Anne's edge tight battle
St Anne's edged another tight battle, this time against Fethard, to take victory in their second Tom Doyle Supplies Senior football championship Group A tie in Taghmon on Sunday.
St Annes 1-7 Fethard 0-5
The Rathangan boys were narrow winners first time out against St. Fintan's and they were made to battle all the way to the end on this occasion, with Jack Murphy's goal deep into added time putting a slanted look on the scoreboard.
This wasn't a double scores kind of win for St. Anne's, it was hard work from the first minute. Much of the game was played in the middle third with a flowing block of bodies from one end to the other creating a low-scoring affair.
What won the game for the county champions was a mini-burst between the 36th and 40th minutes, at a time when the game was tied at 0-4 each. It was preceded by a great move involving Murphy, David Fogarty and Liam Og McGovern that ended with Jonathan Fogarty seeing a shot saved by William Doyle in the Fethard goal.
Rather than deter St. Anne's, the miss energised them. They forced Daire Barden into overcarrying and Seán Gaul converted the free. The point-scorer was then dragged down by the collar and not awarded a free, but it mattered little as his side reclaimed possession and Liam Rochford pointed.
Aidan Rochford created the third point in the four-minute spell when his slick handpass released Murphy. The corner-forward drove through the Fethard defence and popped over on the right of goal to send his side into a 0-7 to 0-4 lead.
The New Ross District team edged close with a Chris Colfer point following a quickly-taken Chris Molloy free. They then had one great chance to hit the front with 13 minutes to go but the ball was knocked out of John Tubritt's hands as he attempted to burst through and he could only poke a weak half-volley wide.
With the game all but up, St. Anne's broke a spell of 22 minutes without a score when Murphy shot to an empty net after great work by Rochford to clinch a hard-earned victory.
Earlier St. Anne's, who were without the injured David O'Connor and Redmond Barry, led by 0-4 to 0-3 at half-time. Fethard were never in front but hadn't trailed by more than a point until their opponents' second-half burst that proved to be enough to take the victory.
St. Anne's: Richard Cleary; Páraic O'Keeffe (0-1), Tomás Cullen (capt.), Kenneth Cloney; Kevin Hannigan, Mark Furlong, Liam Og McGovern; Jonathan Fogarty, David Fogarty (0-2); Seán Gaul (0-2 frees), Aidan Rochford, Rory Stafford; Jack Murphy (1-1), Diarmuid O'Keeffe, Liam Rochford (0-1). Sub. - Fergus Whelan for D. Fogarty, black card (52).
Fethard: William Doyle; Martin Power, Daniel Mullan, Seán O'Donohoe; Bryan Power, Daire Barden, Chris Molloy; Michael Roche, Kevin Rowe (0-1 free); Chris Colfer (0-2), Rúairí Tubrid, Graham O'Grady; Mark Wallace (capt.), John Tubritt (0-1), Ciarán Dwyer (0-1). Subs. - Mikey Dwyer for Tubrid (38), Tubrid for B. Power, black card (60 + 2).
Referee: David Jenkins (Gusserane).