Ennis the sharpshooting ace for Sars
AN EXHIBITION of point-taking from Sarfields hot-shot Jack Ennis propelled the Wexford town club past Fethard and into the Junior 'B' football championship final at the second attempt in Taghmon on Friday last.
Ennis was the hero two weeks earlier when his last-gasp point snatched a draw from the jaws of defeat and it was the corner-forward - mixing a perfect blend of power with accuracy - who proved the difference-maker again. However, he wasn't involved in the opening 30 seconds when Sarsfields garnered a goal that would keep their New Ross District opponents at arm's length all evening.
Colin Bent and Stephen Gannon played provider roles this time as they probed down the left centre, but it was only when Ciaran Byrne raced into the clear and dispatched to Ciaran Furlong's net that the Sarsfields' perfect start was realised.
That ideal opening continued to get better as the Pairc Charman men, clearly playing with greater intensity, completely bossed the opening quarter. Ennis' long-range free, which never looked over until it curled in at the last second, began a string of three consecutive points for the forward - a run that was ended when Peter Grannell made it 1-4 to nil in the 15th minute.
As the period wore on Fethard began to find their feet, but never really dominated for any sustained spell. Their own scorer-in-chief, Adam Swan, got them on the board, a point Evan Rowe added to just before the interval, but they still trailed by six at the swap-over (1-5 to 0-2).
Despite conceding the opening score of the second-half to Ciaran Byrne, Fethard eventually got on top and bossed the third quarter to move within three (1-6 to 0-6). However, a 45th-minute injury to Stephen Barry killed all their momentum and Sarsfields eased themselves off the ropes and into the clash again.
Three more Ennis points left six between the sides into added time but the end of the match was marred by a mass brawl that somehow saw just one dismissal - that of Stephen Gannon who had been substituted seven minutes before.
Fethard ended the game with the final score - fittingly through top-scorer Swan - but they couldn't deny Sarsfields their final place, with the Wexford side now looking forward to a county final against Ballyhogue.
Sarsfields: James Royce; Liam Barry, Gavin O'Connor, Adam Roche; John Gannon, David Gannon, Shaun Donohue; Sean O Corcora, Colm O Corcora; Colin Bent, Peter Grannell (0-1), Stephen Gannon; John Clancy, Ciaran Byrne (1-1), Jack Ennis (0-7, 4 frees). Subs. - Enda Whelan for Bent, Conor Farrell for S. Gannon, Ian O'Leary for Clancy, Adrian Campbell for S. O Corcora.
Fethard: Ciaran Furlong; Sean Sutton, Tom Power, Liam O'Hara; Stephen Barry, Evan Rowe (0-1), Paddy Traynor; Peter Mullan, Paul Foley; Derek Browne, Adam Swan (0-6, 5 frees), Conan Murphy, Jeff Barry, Philip Tubritt, Robert Swan. Subs. - Jim Byrne for Browne, Shane Tubritt for Barry, inj., Ricky Rowe for Murphy.
Referee: Jack French (Davidstown-Courtnacuddy).