Nolan the Ferns hero
FERNS ST. AIDAN'S SHAMROCKS
THREE excellently-taken second-half goals by Ryan Nolan proved crucial as Ferns St. Aidan's took the Minor hurling Division 3 championship final replay at New Ross in front of a large attendance on Saturday last. They served up another cracker with a second-half goal fest, mostly coming from the outstanding Nolan who bagged 3-4 in all and a brilliant 3-3 from play.
This game did not explode into life until the second-half as the sides only managed five scores between them in the first-half, leaving it 11 to 0-3 to the Enniscorthy town men at half-time. The first score did not come until the seventh minute when Ryan Nolan reacted to a rebound off the post and slotted over from close range.
However, minutes later half-forward Jack Moorehouse brilliantly caught a high ball on the opposition's 21-yard line and, while his shot was blocked at the first attempt, the second time he struck along the ground and sent a bullet to the roof of the net from 14 yards.
Ryan Nolan pegged back the arrears to a point from a 21-yard free. Both teams were guilty of some poor shooting in a dull first-half, although Lar McDonald whizzed the ball over the bar from a 21-yard free and Nolan again pointed just before the break with a fine score to leave the Shamrocks one point up at the interval.
The second-half exploded into life with Shamrocks midfielder Shane O'Connor pointing from 35 yards. Both teams hit some poor wides again with the defences coming out on top, but this was soon to change as the Ferns St. Aidan's fullforward line clicked into action.
After a fine solo effort, Ben Cowman laid the ball off to Nolan and he buried it in the net, leaving Ferns St. Aidan's a point up. Ferns were now on top and Eric Browne pointed before moments later Nolan once again found the net with a powerful effort in the 50th minute which was too strong for Kevin Somers.
Lar McDonald pointed from a free before Andy Cash hit the Shamrocks net again after some good work from Jason Collier. Nolan pointed again before a McDonald free had them trailing by seven with the clock ticking.
Jack Moorehouse, who was a thorn in the Ferns defence, buried a close-range free to the net to put four between the sides with five minutes left.
However, Ferns put the game to bed with two quick points from Ben Cowman, and the final nail in the coffin came from the star man of the game, Ryan Nolan, who completed a second-half hattrick by rounding the goalie and slotting home a low strike along the ground.
Lar McDonald and Jack Moorehouse were prominent for the Shamrocks while Ben Cowman and Gavin Bailey were impressive for Ferns, but the Shamrocks defence could not deal with the Ferns full-forward line in the second-half, especially Ryan Nolan.
Coiste na nOg Chairman and Ferns St. Aidan's clubman Des O'Neill presented the cup to captain Pádraig Walsh.
Ferns St. Aidan's: Peter O'Toole; John Roche, Aaron Collier, Jack O'Hagan; Conor Hall, Patrick Breen, Pádraig Walsh; Gavin Bailey, P.J. O'Neill; Eric Browne (0-1), Andy Cash (1-0), Ryan Nolan (3-4, 0-1 free); Jason Collier, Ger Turner, Ben Cowman (0-2). Subs. - Conor Nolan for Cowman, Aaron Cahill, Dean Collier, Ger Breen, Dylan Murphy.
Shamrocks: Kevin Somers; Martin Murphy, Conor Kelly, Shane Larkin; Graham Nolan, Lar McDonald (0-3 frees), Aaron Sinnott; Shane O'Connor (0-1), Michael O'Neill; Jack Moorehouse (2-0, 1 free), John O'Connor, Ronan Gahan; Andy Kelly, Mark Murphy, Páraic Doyle. Subs. - Larry Kirwan, Killian Gahan, Dylan Murphy, Lee Kennedy, Alan Murphy, Mick Connors, Aaron O'Neill, Andrew Sherlock, Ciarán Joyce, Jack Costen, Mike O'Toole.
Referee: James Flood (St. Mary's, Maudlintown).