Browne kicks crucial point
Rathgarogue-Cushinstown 0-11 Oylegate-Glenbrien 0-9
Garrett Browne confirmed his arrival as a second-half substitute when his late point secured Rathgarogue-Cushinstown a two-point victory as they overcame a staunch Oylegate-Glenbrien challenge in this excellent Enniscorthy Farm Systems Junior football championship semi-final in Killurin on Saturday.
Both sides gave everything over the 60 minutes, with the result in the balance right up to the final whistle, but in the end it was a job well done for the eventual winners who somehow managed to amass scores at vital stages.
This in turn helped them shake off the Oylegate-Glenbrien challenge, but the losers will be disappointed not to have forced at least a replay, as they created sufficient chances to have taken something from the game.
While both sides played their football to a high level throughout, one sensed from an early stage that this was a game that would go right down to the wire. Very little separated them as they settled into the game from the opening exchanges.
Daire Bolger, who was to prove his side's main attacking threat, opened the scoring with a neat point inside 90 seconds of the start. Through the opening quarter this turned out to be the only score despite the eventual winners enjoying most of the possession, but their finishing failed to match their approach work as they kicked five wides during this period of supremacy.
Oylegate-Glenbrien would not have been happy with their play during this spell, as they had to wait until the 16th minute for their opening score - a Ciarán Hourihane point - in what was just their third real attack.
Amazingly, one minute later they hit the front through a Marty Kelly pointed free, while Tadhg Cody and Hourihane went on to exchange points.
The sides continued to trade points, with Eoin Porter lofting over a huge 50-metre free, while the same player followed with another long-range free, but two Tom White points saw the sides go in level (0-6 each) at the interval.
After the re-start the New Ross District side edged in front through points from Jason Dunne and an Eoin Porter '45, while on 36 minutes a fine save from substitute 'keeper Pierce Murphy denied Porter when clean through on goal.
While a Ciarán Hourihane point kept Oylegate-Glenbrien in contention, the more accurate finishing of the eventual winners led to points from Ollie Bolger and substitute Aaron Ryan, while a huge Damien Reck effort in between kept the opposition very much in contention.
Indeed, Oylegate-Glenbrien were thankful to 'keeper Murphy who somehow kept out a Daire Bolger effort, but with the eventual winners clinging to a one-point lead (0-10 to 0-9), Browne's late point secured his side their spot in the final.
Rathgarogue-Cushinstown: Jonny Kelly; Robert Murphy, Bryan Cody, Patrick Murphy; Peadar Cody, Eoin Porter (0-3, 2 frees, 1 '45), Eoghan Whelan; Bernard Furlong, Danny Martin-Carroll; Daire Bolger (0-3), Brian O'Neill, Tadhg Cody (0-1); Ollie Bolger (0-2), Matthew Cody, Eric Cummins. Subs. - Jason Dunne for M. Cody, inj., Aaron Ryan (0-1) for Murphy, Garrett Browne (0-1) for Cummins.
Oylegate-Glenbrien: Eddie Mernagh; Lee Kehoe, Michael Heffernan, Bryan McCormack; Shane Reck, Damien Reck (0-2), Ciarán Hourihane (0-2); Mark Kavanagh, Jim White; Tom White (0-2), Jamie Reck, Marty Kelly (0-1 free); Seamus Casey, Peter Nolan, Conor Heffernan (0-2. Subs. - Pierce Murphy for Mernagh, inj., Podge Doran for Heffernan, Jack Reck for Nolan.
Referee: Francis Neville (Shelmaliers).