Tubritt wreaks havoc as flying Fethard march on
JOHN TUBRITT cashed in with two excellent goals, one in each half, as he inspired Fethard to a hugely-impressive seven-point victory Sarsfields in this Tom Doyle Supplies Senior football championship semi-final at Wexford Park on Sunday last.
Things may be looking incredibly rosy for the Fethard side, but they will face a more daunting challenge from St. Martin's in a final that is sure to whet the appetite of football supporters throughout the county. Following this win their confidence will have grown, and the manner in which they overcame the absence of ace attacker, Kevin Rowe, suggests they are still a side to be feared.
Hungier for work, brighter in attack, more committed in defence, and stronger in the man-to-man duels, they answered many questions over the course of the 60 minutes as their pattern of football, with players behind the ball and counter-attacking at speed, makes them a very difficult side to play against.
For Sarsfields it was a disappointing exit from the championship. They were allowed an abundance of outfield possession but were unable to utilise it in a manner to unhinge the Fethard backs, whose disciplined defending led to few close-in frees.
It was all about solid defending, so much so that Sarsfields did not have a direct shot for goal with 'keeper William Doyle not having a save to make. This coupled with some wayward shooting, particularly in the opening 30 minutes, always left Sarsfields chasing the game.
They could not have asked for a brighter start. After Jason Murphy had pointed them in front after three minutes, they followed with a fine Philip Cullen point, before Fethard opened their account with an eighth-minute Chris Colfer pointed free.
But given the way the Sarsfields were winning so much outfield ball, one felt it was going to be difficult for Fethard, particularly after points from Lee Walker and Paul Murphy extended the town side into a 0-4 to 0-1 lead after 13 minutes.
But the game was transformed one minute later when Garreth Foley, having picked up a well-placed clearance from Darren Foley, who had an outstanding game, fed the ball inside to John Tubritt, and he beat 'keeper Eoin Healy with a rising shot at his near post, leaving the sides level (1-1 to 0-4).
Chris Colfer (free) and Eoin Roche exchanged points, after which Paul Murphy and Lee Walker combined to set up Paul Gannon for a point. Now leading by a point (0-6 to 1-2), Sarsfields went on to hit three dreadful wides from scoreable positions, misses that would come back to haunt them.
Fethard were putting a massive amount into the game and when Darren Foley's long sideline kick was misjudged by the Sars defence, it left Garreth Foley in the clear and he beat 'keeper Healy with a fierce shot. When Tubritt closed out the first-half scoring with a point, Fethard led by 2-3 to 0-6 at the interval.
On the resumption Sarsfields continued to force the pace with lots of outfield possession but they lacked a scoring edge as an abundance of ball was coughed up. Jason Murphy pointed a free, but at the opposite end Chris Colfer countered with a free.
The sides continued to trade points through Mark Wallace and John Bridges, but twelve minutes from the end John Tubritt finished to the net with a low shot, giving his side a six-point cushion (3-5 to 0-8) to take into the closing ten minutes.
Fethard had now taken the initiative, finishing with points from Daire Barden and John Tubritt, before Sarsfields were reduced to 14 players in additional time, with Jason Murphy sent-off on a second yellow card.