Two goals set up Anne's win
Stars lose by eight points
Two goals in a four-minute spell in the first-half set up St. Anne's for an eventual comfortable eight-point victory over Starlights in this Tom Doyle Supplies Senior football championship Group A game at Innovate Wexford Park on Saturday.
St.Anne's 2-13 Starlights 1-8
For a time it looked as if Starlights were capable of upsetting their opponents, particularly with Liam Ryan prominent at midfield, and it could have been different had the inter-county hurler goaled inside a minute of the start.
Having powered his way through the defence, he saw his low shot rebound off the upright with 'keeper Richard Cleary well beaten.
A goal at that stage would have provided a huge boost, but after an even opening ten minutes the south county side gradually assumed control, as the experienced David Fogarty and David O'Connor began to establish themselves in midfield.
Following Ryan's initial effort for goal, Starlights took the lead through a second-minute Ryan Mahon point, but St. Anne's were back level within a minute through a Seán Gaul pointed free.
One minute later Liam Og McGovern, following neat approach football, set up Francis Simpson but he somehow pulled his shot wide from the edge of the square with a goal at his mercy.
Liam Rochford and the impressive Jack Kelly traded points, before a punched effort from Eamonn Furlong restored his side's one-point lead (0-3 to 0-2).
Then came a four-minute spell which changed the course of the game. Nine minutes in Redmond Barry set up Simpson who atoned for his earlier miss with a low shot to the net, while four minutes later it was the turn of Mark Furlong who blazed high into the net, giving his side a 2-2 to 0-3 lead.
As the game moved into the second quarter, Starlights resurrected their bid when full-forward Eamonn Furlong finished a cross to the net, but even the loss of Redmond Barry through injury could not undermine the challenge of St. Anne's.
Through points from two Gaul frees, Liam Rochford and Diarmuid O'Keeffe, the Wexford District went in leading by 2-6 to 1-5 at the interval, with Tomás Mahon and Jack Kelly managing points in between.
St. Anne's generally dictated the game on the resumption. After Jack Murphy had extended his side's lead, two points in quick succession from substitute Ricky Fox kept the Cathedral town outfit in touch.
Gaul with a fine run and point and Ricky Fox went on to exchange scores. Fox's 38th-minute point proved his side's final score as St. Anne's finished the closing quarter in total control, adding further points through two Gaul frees, Francis Simpson, Liam Rochford and Jack Murphy to take another two valuable points.
St. Anne's: Richard Cleary; Páraic O'Keeffe, Tomás Cullen, Cian McGovern; Diarmuid O'Keeffe (0-1), Seán Gaul (0-6, 5 frees), Kevin Hannigan; David Fogarty, David O'Connor; Liam Rochford (0-3), Liam Og McGovern, Jack Murphy (0-2); Francis Simpson (1-1), Mark Furlong (1-0), Redmond Barry. Subs. - Patrick Miskella for Barry, inj., Finn O'Driscoll for Furlong, Patrick O'Brien for Hannigan (black card), Michael O'Brien for Miskella.
Starlights: Lee Murphy; Rory O'Connor, Kevin Courtney, Ben Edwards; Dillon Redmond, Jack Kelly (0-2), Mel Doyle; Liam Ryan, Jason Russell; Tomás Mahon (0-1), Kevin Foley, Ryan Mahon (0-1); Darragh Pepper, Eamonn Furlong (1-1), Tommy Foley. Subs. - Ricky Fox (0-3) for T. Foley, Kevin Ryan for Pepper, Pa Doyle for Redmond, Anthony Roche for K. Foley.
Referee: Damien Donovan (Volunteers).