Duffry couldn't deal with Flood/Whitty double act
Cloughbawn 2-22 Duffry Rovers 2-11
The power of both Connal Flood and Bob Whitty inspired Cloughbawn to an eventual comfortable eleven-point victory over Duffry Rovers in this Greenstar Enniscorthy District Under-21 hurling Roinn 1 championship final in St. Patrick's Park, Enniscorthy, on Tuesday.
Flood enjoyed one of his best outings for some time, dominating the midfield exchanges with some powerful hurling. And, coupled with the flair of Whitty in attack, they went on to eventually control this game, proving far superior to their opponents particularly in the forward division.
Duffry Rovers enjoyed their best passage of hurling through the opening quarter but ultimately gave way to the superior play of their opponents, despite the skilful forward play of young Cian Fitzhenry.
His first touch, striking and speed carried the main threat to the opposition, but he lacked the necessary support despite his best efforts to break down the Cloughbawn defence.
After Bob Whitty opened the scoring with a third-minute pointed free, corner-forward Daniel Dempsey forced a fine save out of 'keeper Conor Coleman two minutes later, while at the opposite end netminder Seán Keating denied Fitzhenry with a fine save from what looked a goalbound shot.
Seven minutes into the game a Fitzhenry free brought the sides level, and while Fitzhenry and Flood traded points, leaving the sides deadlocked at 0-4 apiece at the end of the opening quarter, Cloughbawn went on to take control with a succession of points.
Whitty then found the net with a clinical finish one minute before the break, leaving his side leading by 1-11 to 0-6 at the interval.
The second-half was to follow the same pattern of the second quarter, with Cloughbawn maintaining their stranglehold despite the sides trading opening points through Flood and Liam Pender (free).
While Whitty and Fitzhenry traded further points, a second Whitty goal after 43 minutes stretched his side into a 2-16 to 0-8 lead.
Duffry Rovers, to their credit, kept on battling, being rewarded with a fine Gavin Watchorn goal, while minutes later a Fitzhenry effort rebounded back into play off the crossbar.
As it transpired it was the superior teamwork of the Cloughbawn side that saw them continue to dominate to the end, with their opponents' second goal - a splendid Fitzhenry finish - coming too late to alter the end result.
Cloughbawn: Seán Keating; Gareth Murphy, Jack Wickham, James Flood; Shane Flood, James Dempsey, Corey Bolger; Connal Flood (0-8, 3 frees, 1 '65), Shane Greene; Kyle Murphy, Bob Whitty (2-9, 0-2 frees), Robert Kinsella (0-2); Daniel Dempsey (0-1), Colin Murphy (0-2), David Casserly. Subs. - Michael Kavanagh for J. Flood, Stephen Casserly for D. Casserly, Jack Fleming for D. Dempsey, also Darragh O'Connor, Billy Wickham (both injured).
Duffry Rovers: Conor Coleman; Jamie Roban, Thomas Dunne, Eric Nolan; Colin Redmond (0-1), John Dunne, Michael O'Leary; Gavin Rafter, Gavin Watchorn (1-0); Jack Bates (0-2), Liam Pender (0-2, 1 free), Tim Bowler; Cian Fitzhenry (1-6, 0-2 frees), Gearóid Doyle, Michael Doyle. Sub. - Seamus Doyle for M. Doyle.
Referee: Ian Plunkett (Marshalstown-Castledockrell).