Curtis grabs the vital goal
Clongeen shake off Ferns
A 58th-minute Paul Curtis goal finally broke the brave resistance of Ferns St. Aidan's as Clongeen came out on top in a hard-fought Junior hurling championship Group A clash in Oylegate on Sunday.
Clongeen 3-12 Ferns St. Aidan's 1-14
After being reduced to 13 men and trailing by 2-10 to 1-8 with 14 minutes remaining, the game looked up for Ferns, but they reeled off the next five points to drag themselves level.
However, their march was brought to an abrupt halt when Curtis found the back of the net, and after putting so much effort into hauling back their opponents they had little left to give in the remaining minutes.
The sides were deadlocked at 1-6 apiece at half-time, with Clongeen making the first major breakthrough when Christopher Cullen grabbed a goal on twelve minutes.
Paul Curtis sent a delivery into the danger zone and Cullen got a faint touch on the ball to steer it beyond goalkeeper Pádraig Dunbar to give the New Ross District side a 1-2 to 0-3 advantage.
Ben Cowman was next to get the green flag waving as he fired a ground stroke to the back of the net in first-half injury time to edge Ferns in front, although a Tom Donovan point saw the sides switch ends level.
Clongeen were a point to the good when Ferns were dealt a double blow on 43 minutes as first Keith Breen was dismissed and seconds later Niall Maguire joined him on the sideline after being shown a second yellow card.
To rub salt into the wounds, Christopher Cullen fired a free to the net, before splitting the posts with another placed ball.
Ferns showed real grit though and got five points on the trot through Ben Cowman, Pádraig Walsh, Eddie Cullen (two) and Ciarán Doran.
However, when Paul Curtis pounced to bundle the ball over the line after an almighty scramble, there was no way back for gallant Ferns.
Clongeen: Ricky Rochford; Danny O'Grady (0-1), Anton Stafford, Barry Foxe; Martin Delaney, Paudie Cullen (0-1), Marty Reville; Paul Curtis (1-1), Paudie Cahill (0-1); Jamie Keating, Enda Murphy (0-1), Tom Donovan (0-1); Ger Foxe, Christopher Cullen (2-5, 1-5 frees), Peter Anthony Wall (0-1). Subs. - Collie Byrne for Keating, Donal Whelan for Delaney, Martin Kehoe for C. Cullen.
Ferns St. Aidan's: Pádraig Dunbar; Peter Nolan, Niall Maguire, Edward Walsh; Pádraig Walsh (0-1), Patrick Breen, Josh O'Hagan; Peter O'Toole (0-2), Keith Breen; P.J. O'Neill, Paddy Moroney (0-1), Eddie Cullen (0-6, 4 frees, 1 '65); Ben Cowman (1-1), Andy Cash (0-1), Conor Nolan (0-1). Subs. - Ciarán Doran (0-1) for Nolan, Aaron Cahill for Walsh.
Referee: Lar Doyle (Taghmon-Camross).