Cushinstown survive with near-perfect finish
Rathgarogue-Cushinstown 0-16 Ballygarrett 1-11
A near-perfect final ten minutes ensured Rathgarogue-Cushinstown maintained their place in The Courtyard Ferns Intermediate hurling championship at the expense of Ballygarrett in Bellefield on Saturday.
With time ticking away, down by 1-11 to 0-11 after scoring just four points with a howling wind in the first 20 minutes of the second-half, the New Ross District side upped the ante with some of their best hurling of the season.
In the ten-minute spell they outscored Ballygarrett by 0-5 to nil with five different scorers on the board as their improved late season form finally brought some just desserts. Brian O'Neill started the run off from just inside the '65 before Ollie Bolger brought his side within one.
Daire Bolger tied the game with a free after O'Neill was fouled before Wexford F.C. footballer Eoin Porter put his side in front in the 59th minute. With a head of steam up, the superb Jason Dunne grabbed the insurance point to condemn Ballygarrett to the Intermediate 'A' ranks.
Like what was to follow in the Senior final, Rathgarogue-Cushinstown did a lot of the hard work against the breeze in the first-half. Ballygarrett started well enough and built a 0-4 to 0-2 lead on the back of three Jack Hobbs points after nine minutes.
But they went an inexcusable 19 minutes without a score as their opponents bossed the game. In fact, it could have been worse as Patrick Murphy had a goal disallowed for a thrown pass in the build-up and Shane Quinn produced a stunning save over the crossbar from James Devereux.
Ballygarrett did score the last two points of the half but still trailed by 0-7 to 0-6 at the break. No doubt with some choice words ringing in their ears, the Gorey District men responded with a fine third quarter effort.
It started in the 32nd minute when Jimmy Murphy and Colm Cosgrave were involved in releasing Jack Hobbs for the only goal of the game. Despite bouncing between a lead of two points and a goal for the next 18 minutes, the late surge killed off Ballygarrett in the end.
For Rathgarogue-Cushinstown, as much as this is a big win, they will look to complete a double of sorts when they face St. Martin's in the Junior football championship final on Saturday.
Rathgarogue-Cushinstown: Colin Whelan; Peter Aspel, Bryan Cody, Ricky McGrath; Peadar Cody, Daniel Martin Carroll, Liam O'Shea; Robert Murphy (capt.), Daire Bolger (0-4 frees); Brian O'Neill (0-2), James Devereux (0-2), Bernard Furlong (0-1); Jason Dunne (0-4), Francis O'Brien, Patrick Murphy (0-1). Subs. - Ollie Bolger for Devereux, temp. (16-18), Eoin Porter (0-1) for Devereux (45), Bolger (0-1) for O'Brien (48).
Ballygarrett: Shane Quinn; Eddie Redmond, Colm Kennelly, Aidan Murphy; Tom Sinnott, Stephen Redmond, Darren Morris; Cathal Dunbar (capt., 0-1), Gavin Walker; Eoin Corcoran (0-1), Seamus Doyle, Jack Hobbs (1-7, 0-6 frees); Cormac Moore, Colm Cosgrave, Jimmy Murphy (0-2). Subs. - Kevin Jordan for Walker (43), Harry Byrne for Moore (58).
Referee: John O'Loughlin (Monageer-Boolavogue).