Dubs are defeated
GAA AIB Leinster Club JFC Quarter-final: R'garogue-C'town 0-11 Crabh Chiarain 0-6
Still hitting the heights, Rathgarogue-Cushinstown continued their fairytale journey when fashioning out a hard-earned but impressive five-point victory over Craobh Chiaráin from Dublin in their AIB Leinster Club Junior football championship quarter-final in O'Kennedy Park, New Ross, on Saturday.
The Wexford champions put the visitors to the test from the very start, and it was this ability to play pressure football through the 60 minutes that proved pivotal as they forged another historic victory.
With a strong wind blowing down the pitch into the country goal, it was difficult for both sides, but the Wexford champions possessed the greater skill and composure, particularly when playing into the elements on the resumption.
In what is their first venture into the provincial club football championship, Rathgarogue-Cushinstown are not alone enjoying the experience but have also brought along a hardened band of supporters who helped drive their side through this torrid battle.
They were rampant in the closing ten minutes as they took control of the game into the wind, much to the delight of their support base.
Having battled past the Dublin champions and playing some quality football in the process, they can now look forward to a semi-final clash with Shannonbridge from Offaly, also at a Wexford venue, on Saturday week.
This will most likely be in O'Kennedy Park again as it's a fitting home for the Wexford Intermediate 'A' champions, who utilised the open spaces to take full advantage of their free-flowing football style of play.
They needed just two minutes to open their account when Tadhg Cody got on the end of a neat forward move to kick over a fine point, with the same player adding to their tally four minutes later.
It did not take long for the eventual winners to show their dominance as they continued to press forward, adding further points through two Daire Bolger frees to lead by 0-4 to nil after 17 minutes.
It took the visitors until the 20th minute to open their account with a Mark McGuirk pointed free, but that turned out to be their only score of the half.
The home side finished off with further points from Eoin Porter, who got himself forward from the centre-back role to kick a huge score, while Daire Bolger followed with a free to leave them with a 0-7 to 0-1 interval lead.
Rathgarogue-Cushinstown had given themselves a six-point cushion to take into the second-half but, facing into the strong wind, they fully realised that it would take a deal of defending if they were to survive this acid test.
This was particularly the case when the visitors' corner-forward, Billy Ryan, pointed within 30 seconds of the re-start to reduce the deficit to 0-7 to 0-2.
Craobh Chiaráin had the possession and the territory during the opening ten minutes on the resumption, but with Peadar Cody, Eoin Porter, Brian O'Neill and Bryan Cody proving outstanding in the home defence, they found scores difficult to come by.
Having restricted the opposition, the Wexford champions - with midfielders Daniel Martin Carroll and Matthew Cody regaining control - responded with two excellently executed points through defender Bryan Cody and substitute Aaron Ryan to move into a 0-9 to 0-2 lead after 45 minutes, with Daire Bolger and Tadhg Cody both sparkling in attack.
The visitors then had an attacking surge that produced three unanswered points through Martin McGuirk (free), Gary Kelly and a further McGuirk free to reduce the deficit to 0-9 to 0-5 with eight minutes remaining.
Eoin Porter helped lift the siege with a move forward to point, while in the closing minutes McGuirk from play and Daire Bolger in reply closed out the scoring.
Rathgarogue-Cushinstown: Nicky Sinnott; Pádraig McGrath, Peadar Cody, Patrick Murphy; Brian O'Neill, Eoin Porter (0-2), Bryan Cody (0-1); Daniel Martin Carroll, Matthew Cody; Bernard Furlong, Daire Bolger (0-5, 3 frees), Tadhg Cody (0-2); Eric Cummins, Robert Murphy, Luke O'Connor. Subs. - Jason Dunne for McGrath (HT), Paddy Barron for Cummins (35), Aaron Ryan (0-1) for O'Connor (37).
Craobh Chiaráin: James Ryan; Seán Finnegan, Daniel Ryan, Stephen O'Brien; Christian Walton, Eugene Farrell, Aaron Kenny; Gary Warren, Mark McGuirk (0-4, 3 frees); Paul Kelly, Conor Ryan, Gary Kelly (0-1); Warren Moore, Francis Usanga, Billy Ryan (0-1). Subs. - Mark Prizeman for Moore (35), Conor Ryan for P. Kelly (40), Cian Derwin for Usanga (41).
Referee: David Fedigan (Louth).