Cowman on target
HWH-Bunclody 2-12 Naomh Eanna 0-12
Two Peadair Cowman goals in the last twelve minutes proved pivotal as hosts HWH-Bunclody booked a semi-final spot in the Wexford People Minor football Premier championship on Wednesday.
His side held a narrow 0-12 to 0-10 lead in the 48th minute when substitute Ciarán Regan fed Cowman into the clear and he smashed high off the fingertips of Derek Woods to the Naomh Eanna net.
Two Michael Molloy frees pulled Gorey to within a goal but, in the final minute of normal time, Darren Doyle took a clever and accurate sideways free across the face of goal that Cowman broke onto and calmly side-footed low past Woods to wrap up the win.
It was, no doubt, a deserved victory for the table-toppers. They were powerful in midfield and possessed more of a scoring threat in the final third of the field. They defended well from the front and look like the team to beat.
One slight concern is the size of their squad. If injuries materialise, with games coming thick and fast, it may be difficult for Bunclody to maintain their high level of performance. Only time will tell on that front.
Naomh Eanna's eyes are probably more on the hurling at the moment but they could be a dangerous side if they sneak into the last six. They have several strong players around the field and have a smattering of younger contributors who will only continue to improve.
The visitors played with the breeze in the opening half and kicked some superb scores. Michael Molloy registered four of them, including a booming effort from almost on the '45. Corner-forwards Cian Browne and Eddie O'Brien-Murphy were on target while Nathan Byrne also registered.
A big key to Bunclody's success was their first-half points against the breeze. Gorey managed just four frees going into the wind after half-time but the hosts slotted an array of quality minors from William Dunne, midfielders Cowman and Edward Dunbar, John McCormack and Cathal and Darren Doyle.
Down by one (0-8 to 0-7) at the break, Bunclody levelled at ten each when Cathal Dunbar pointed in the 42nd minute. They moved ahead for the third and decisive time when Edward Dunbar registered shortly after, but Cowman's goals cemented victory.
HWH-Bunclody: Jack Regan; Lee Levingstone, Adam Hogan, Tadhg O Ceallaigh; Mikey Furlong, Ciarán Kavanagh, Jamie Kavanagh; Edward Dunbar (0-3), Peadair Cowman (capt., 2-1); Darren Doyle (0-2 frees), John McCormack (0-1), William Dunne (0-1); Cathal Dunbar (0-2), Cathal Doyle (0-2), Ryan McDonald. Subs. - Ciarán Regan for McDonald (37), also Alan Carton.
Naomh Eanna: Derek Woods; Oran Fitzpatrick, Shane Stokes, Corey Meyler; Seán Dowling, David Christie, Cian Molloy; Jack Cullen, Nathan Byrne (0-1); Jack Doran, Evan O'Dwyer, Eoghan Kennedy; Cian Browne (0-2, 1 free), Michael Molloy (capt., 0-8, 6 frees), Eddie O'Brien-Murphy (0-1). Subs. - Darragh Canavan for Christie, black card (8), Larry Cullen for O'Dwyer (60), also Andrew Cushen, Aaron Byrne, Ronan Thornton, Patrick Dwyer, Jordan Nolan, Eoin Molloy, Charlie McGuckin.
Referee: John Carton (Monageer-Boolavogue).