Rocks reach knockout
Tara Rocks booked a thoroughly-deserved place in the last eight of the Enniscorthy Electrical Wholesale Junior hurling championship with a ten-point victory over Gusserane in Farmleigh.
Tara Rocks 3-15 Gusserane 1-11
The Gorey District side came into the contest knowing anything short of a win would leave their fate out of their own hands, but they produced a powerful performance just when they needed it.
Such was their dominance in the first 40 minutes that the Rocks could afford to spray 17 wides and still build a lead of 3-10 to 1-5.
Gusserane, no doubt still smarting from their football exit just three evenings earlier, could be headed for exactly the same result in the small ball game.
They came into the match level with Rosslare at the summit with five points but leave it needing Ferns to beat Bannow-Ballymitty in their re-arranged game to stay in the mix.
An early goal by the excellent Niall Breen gave his side a lead they added to when Tomás Owley's long ball was flicked by Brendan Hobbs off defender Liam Dillon to the net (2-4 to 0-2).
Hobbs registered his second major in the 27th minute, only for Gusserane to respond through Páraic Conway.
Their half-time lead of 3-7 to 1-4 had swelled further after the re-start before Gusserane had a mini-revival. However, seven was as close as they could get as the Rocks took the win.
Tara Rocks must wait for the outcome of the Ferns v. Bannow-Ballymitty game to see where they will finish.
A Bannow-Ballymitty win will give them top spot, unless it's by 14 points or more, and a date with Rapparees, while any other result will leave them second and facing Shelmaliers.
As for Gusserane, unless their neighbours Bannow-Ballymitty are beaten by Ferns St. Aidan's, they will have to endure the frustration of finishing fifth in the group and failing to qualify - the exact same fate that befell their Senior footballers as a year full of promise for the club now teeters on the brink of double failure.
Tara Rocks had also experienced disappointment in the other code when, despite being the only team to beat table-toppers Rathgarogue-Cushinstown in their last Junior football outing, they still missed out on the quarter-finals.
Tara Rocks: Lee Owley; Damien Tobin, Tomás Owley, Seán Owley; Liam Fitzpatrick, Colin Breen, Rhys Owley; Niall Breen (1-4, 0-1 free), Declan Breen (0-2 frees); Martin Sheehan, Joe Bolger (0-3), Craig Kenny (0-2); Cormac Whitmore, Brendan Hobbs (capt., 2-4), Michael Fitzpatrick. Subs. - Paddy Phelan for Whitmore (44), Richie McDonald for M. Fitzpatrick (54), Aaron Murphy for Kenny (57), Shane Tobin for C. Breen (60).
Gusserane: David Kehoe; Jack O'Connor, Liam Dillon, Paul Wall; Mark Rossiter, Fintan Ryan, Robert Browne; Adrian Redmond (capt.), Ken Cahill; Nicky Cahill (0-1), Mark O'Neill, Gary O'Grady (0-6, 5 frees); Páraic Conway (1-0), Darragh Doyle, Seán Ryan (0-3). Subs. - Jack Burford for F. Ryan, inj. (12), Martin Fitzharris (0-1) for Doyle, inj. (26), Keith O'Grady for N. Cahill (38), James Redmond for Browne (53).
Referee: Shane Quinn (Ballygarrett).