Friday 17 November 2017

Bannow-Ballymitty teach Ferns a painful lesson

Rick Lewis

Jonathan Dwyer from Ferns in action against Bannow-Ballymitty's Conor Neville in the Lodgewood Engineering intermediate football quarter-final at Bellefield. Photo: Ger Leacy
Jonathan Dwyer from Ferns in action against Bannow-Ballymitty's Conor Neville in the Lodgewood Engineering intermediate football quarter-final at Bellefield. Photo: Ger Leacy

Poor old Ferns. A week after bowing out of the hurling championship at the merciless hands of Oulart, they were given an equally painful footballing lesson by Bannow.

Bannow Ballymitty 3-22 Ferns St Aidan's 0-07

There was a distinct hangover air about the side beaten in the big ball quarter-final in Bellefield on Saturday, perhaps associated with the wedding of a club member the previous day.

Whatever, the reason, they were slow off the mark and then continued out of sorts to end the afternoon two dozen points to the bad and with just 13 players on the pitch.

In contrast Bannow came out of the traps like derby hopefuls, racking up seven unanswered points in a trice, the best of them a classy effort from Ben Brosnan.

The county man showed skill in picking up the ball, followed by a dart of pace and a one-two with Mark Wallace on his way to the score, the first of his 2-6 for the day.

When the men from Gorey district did eventually post a couple of cuilini, their tormentors immediately countered with a goal, Aaron Diskin keeping his wits about him to deliver the telling shot even as he fell.

The chasm between the teams had widened to 2-13 to 0-3 by the break, Brosnan providing the second goal for Bannow with a neatly judged low finish..

The leaders took their time about returning to the field for the second half and seemed to have some problem slipping back into their stride.

Just for a moment or two, Ferns threatened a mini-rival with a couple of well taken points, from Aaron Collier and Ian Byrne,, only for Bannow to score another Brosnan inspired goal and wipe out the good work.

Ferns displayed some spirit, with Paul Morris executing an exquisite pass to tee up the hard working Jonathan Dwyer for a point but their scores dried up completely after 39 minutes.

The game, already lopsided, became a totally meaningless exercise as the losing outfit lost one player to a double yellow and then another to a red which was shown after John Staples was levelled by Keith Breen.

The victors had the luxury of being able to rest their leading attackers, putting a stop to the contest between Bren Brosnan and the also excellent Niall Harney to see who could inflict most pain on such hapless opposition.

Proceedings lacked the drama normally associated with the knockout stages of a championship, with many of the sprinkling of spectators showing as much interest in the word of Dublin v Mayo coming from Croke Park as in proceedings in front of them.

Despite the impressive margin of victory, no one in the Bannow-Ballymitty camp was tempted to install their team as favourites to win out the grade, such was the feebleness of the challenge put up against them.

Still, with the likes of Aaron Diskin and John Sinnott showing up well at the weekend, they certainly have every reason to believe that further progress is possible.

Bannow-Ballymitty: Philip Murphy; Jon Reville, MJ Doran, John Staples; Conor Neville, Niall Murphy, Nicky Doyle (0-2); Art Sweetman (0-1), John Sinnott (0-1); Niall Harney (0-7, 1 '45'), Aaron Diskin (1-2), Ben Brosnan (2-5, 2 frees); Michael Murphy (0-1), Mark Wallace, David White (0-1). Subs: Gary Morton for Sinnott 44 minutes; John Mernagh for Reville 47 minutes; ; Jack Faragher for Harney 53 minutes; Pat Fitzharris for Brosnan 55 minutes.

Ferns St Aidan's: Jason Maguire; Brian O'Neill, Kieran Roberts, Declan Byrne; Keith Breen, James Tonks, Tommy Dwyer; John Breen, Colm Whelan; Robert Vickers (0-1), Paul Morris (0-1), Jonathan Dwyer (0-1); Aaron Collier (0-1), Ian Byrne (0-2), Ryan Nolan. Subs: Jamie Whelan for Breen black card 16 minutes; Benny Jordan for Vickers 30 minutes; Barry Breen for Nolan 30 minutes; Conor Nolan for Whelan 52 minutes.

Referee: Kevin Carty.

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