Wednesday 17 January 2018

Doyle's goal secures victory for Ballyhogue

David Medcalf

Bunclody became the second high profile casualties of the evening in Enniscorthy as they lost by a point to Ballyhogue and tumbled out of contention for the IFC crown.

Ballyhogue 1-08 HWH-Bunclody 0-10

Hot on the heels of Kilanerin's elimination at the same St Patrick's Park venue, Bunclody spurned numerous opportunities to at least draw a contest which was close from start to finish.

The soul searching which is bound to follow such a result may focus on how they managed to score just three points from open play despite sustained spells of dominance.

Such matters will scarcely trouble the victors as they prepare for the round of four after showing admirable resilience and the precious ability to nick a match winning goal.

Spectators had to wait until the 44th minute for that decisive score to arrive, long after Bunclody twice went close to finding the net in the opening stages.

First Colm Farrell pulled his shot inches wide of Myles Roche's right hand post and then Roche made a magnificent block to thwart Jason Cowman.

Bunclody were obliged to make a last minute reshuffle of their resources after full back Martin O'Connor became a late addition to an already lengthy injury list when he suffered back spasms during the warm up.

With James Moorhead dropping capably back into the number three's slot, the side's problems were not so much in defence as in persistent failure to make the most of often impressive attacking approach work.

With just over a quarter of an hour played, they had compiled four points - including a hefty '45' from stylish young John Dunne - to their opponents' one.

But then the scores dried up for the Half Way who found themselves tied at 0-4 each with their rivals at half time and facing the prospect of playing into the wind.

They continued to throw all the right shapes going forward after the break while extracting very limited returns as the excellent Syl Byrne marshalled a no-panic regime at the back for Ballyhogue.

The boys in blue were just a point adrift when the critical score arrived, courtesy of a rampaging run up the left flank by wing back Graham Parker.

He palmed the ball into the danger area, with Shane Doyle arriving full tilt at the far post to help it over the line, crashing painfully into the woodwork in the process of putting his side ahead for the first time.

As the shooting continued frantically wayward at the other end of the field, the new leaders made joyous use of whatever few chances came their way in the closing quarter.

Doyle might have had a second goal when Paul Finn needed to be at his best to keep him at bay but Parker, free-taker Noel Roche and sub Denis Leacy all collected valuable points amidst swelling cheers from the ranks of their supporters.

As the defenders massed in front of Roche's goal, all the increasingly frustrated opposition could muster in the later stages were three frees from the boot of Barry Kehoe.

Ballyhogue: Paul Finn; Thomas Moriarty, Sean Rochford, Arthur Dunne; James Parle, Daniel Pim, Graham Parker; Syl Byrne, Shane Byrne; Tony Ryan, Shane Doyle (1-0), Conor Byrne; Sean Ring, Eddie Galavan (0-1), Noel Roche (0-5 frees). Subs: Denis Leacy (0-1) for Ryan 51 minutes; Shane Murphy for C Byrne 54 minutes; Michael Condon for Pim 62 minutes.

HWH-Bunclody: Paul Finn; Josh Martin, James Moorhead, Enda Slevin; Mattie Byrne, Eoin Kelly, Pauric Sinnott; John Dunne (0-4, 3 frees, a 45), Conor Kinsella; Jason Cowman, Keith O'Hara, Sean Kelly; Colm Farrell, Peter Atkinson (0-2), Barry Kehoe (0-4, 3 frees). Sub: Aidan Nolan for Cowman 48 minutes.

Referee: Barry Redmond.

Wexford People

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