St. Mary’s preserve their winning start
Home side has one goal to spare
The big clash in the New Ross Standard Coiste na nOg Under-14 football Division 4 championship saw hosts St. Mary's (Maudlintown) claim victory over Bannow-Ballymitty and with it top spot in the table on Thursday.
St Mary's 2-8 Bannow-B'mitty 1-8
It will be no surprise if these two sides meet again later in the year, with both squads loaded with the talent needed to make the latter stages of the championship come the autumn.
However, it was St Mary's who prospered in this tie, grabbing the last two points of the evening to take a narrow victory. Bannow-Ballymitty looked set to push on when the excellent Cathal Cummins drove in to goal with eight minutes remaining (2-6 to 1-8).
The home side didn't panic after the net rippled. If anything the setback solidified their defensive unit and reinvigorated their attackers. John Hore popped over a settler just a minute after the major hit the net and the superb Jordan Donovan sent over the final minor from Emmet Nolan's feed to secure the points.
It didn't start as brightly for Maudlintown as it finished. The Rocks boys fell four points down after just ten minutes as John Crosbie, Cummins, Lorcan Breen and Ryan Morris hit the target without reply.
Nolan responded for St. Mary's but that point was countered by Cummins' second minor. Slowly the Wexford town side began to pierce the visitors' rearguard with powerful attacks, most of which began with the influential midfield duo of Nolan and Luke O'Rourke.
O'Rourke turned provider when Donovan burst through the middle and smashed a stunning shot into the roof of the Bannow-Ballymitty net.
It got even better for St. Mary's when Jack Kehoe found himself in space close to goal and coolly slotted past Pádraig Leacy four minutes later.
Points by Donovan and the diminutive but talented Dylan O'Connor bettered the solitary Cummins score to leave Maudlintown 2-3 to 0-6 up at the interval. That advantage increased further when O'Connor and Nolan pointed shortly after half-time.
Lorcan Breen and Cummins registered to narrow the gap but O'Connor responded with ten minutes remaining. When Bannow-Ballymitty goaled through Cummins they looked set for a late charge, but in the end St. Mary's took the win and remain unbeaten.
St. Mary's: Charlie Carty; T.J. Nolan, Josh Kavanagh, Mikey O'Dowd; Andy Murphy, Stephen Doyle, Adam O'Connor; Luke O'Rourke, Emmet Nolan (0-2); Jordan Donovan (1-2), Byron Sweeney, John Hore (0-1); Dylan O'Connor (0-3), Jack Kehoe (1-0), Gavin Roche. Subs. - Cade Buggy for O'Dowd (45), also Daniel Tennant, Conor Kehoe.
Bannow-Ballymitty: Pádraig Leacy; Oisín Cullen, Jack Donohoe, Michael Gaynor; Leon Cleary, Michael Harney, Chris Keating; Dorian Reville, Ryan Morris (0-1 free); Adam Scott, Cathal Cummins (1-4, 0-1 free), John Crosbie (0-1); Lorcan Breen (0-2, 1 free), Seán McCormack, Dean O'Neill. Subs. - Eoin O'Connor for O'Neill (29), Patsy Druhan for Reville (32), Dylan Scott for Morris, inj. (33), Jack Doyle for Cleary (45), Daniel Wickham for McCormack (45), also James Sinnott, Josh White, Robert Rossiter, Michael Keegan, John Harpur.
Referee: Martin Conway (Clonard).