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Saturday 25 November 2017

Ferns succeed with a tremendous finish

Ferns St. Aidan's 4-13 Horeswood 1-17

Dave Devereux

Ferns St. Aidan's produced a storming final five minutes to eventually shake off the stubborn resistance of Horeswood in an entertaining Permanent TSB Junior hurling championship Group A encounter in Bree on Sunday.

The Gorey District side looked to be in control when holding a 3-10 to 1-12 advantage with a quarter of the game remaining, but Horeswood reeled off four points on the trot to restore parity in the 54th minute.

However, Ferns re-grouped with Ian Byrne, Edward Cullen and Anthony Dwyer splitting the posts before substitute Aaron Cahill killed off the contest with an injury time goal.

If Horeswood, who let a nine-point half-time lead slip against Bannow-Ballymitty in their opening game, needed a confidence booster they certainly got it, opening the scoring with a goal inside three minutes.

After gathering a Barry Hearn delivery, Declan Murphy rampaged towards goal and picked out Seán Nolan, who finished with aplomb.

The celebrations had barely died down when the green flag was waving at the other end though, with Eoin Murphy finishing well after collecting a pass from Anthony Dwyer.

After Michael O'Hanlon had edged Horeswood back in front with a free, Ferns plundered their second goal when Dwyer's shot was blocked and Edward Walsh collected the loose ball and calmly found the back of the net.

Dwyer could claim the assist for his side's opening two majors and he then displayed his goal-scoring instinct by grabbing their third in the 20th minute, latching on to a Seán Walsh delivery into the danger zone and lashing the ball past Eoin Mythen to give Ferns a six-point advantage.

Horeswood kept plugging away and stayed in touch through the ever-dangerous Declan Murphy and the accuracy of Michael O'Hanlon, and when Barry Hearn sent over a good longe-range point in first-half injury time it left just a puck of the ball between the sides (3-7 to 1-10).

Ferns stretched their lead to five after the turnaround, with Ivan Meegan arrowing over his second stylish point, and Ian Byrne converting a free, but Michael O'Hanlon wiped out those efforts with two placed balls.

After Byrne slotted over another free, Horeswood enjoyed a purple patch with three Michael O'Hanlon frees and a Seán Nolan score dragging them back onto level terms.

Ferns rallied, however, with an Ian Byrne '65 edging them back in front and they kicked on with points from Edward Cullen and Anthony Dwyer.

The game was then put to bed in the 61st minute and again the lively Dwyer was involved.

The corner-forward gathered an Ian Byrne delivery and picked out substitute Aaron Cahill, who found the back of the net at the second attempt.

Ferns St. Aidan's: Niall Byrne; Pádraig Bolger, Colm Whelan, Peter Nolan; Derek Thorpe, Seán Walsh, Tomás Hawkins; Peter O'Toole, Ian Byrne (0-6, 4 frees, 2 '65s); Ivan Meegan (0-2), Eoin Murphy (1-0), Edward Cullen (0-1); Anthony Dwyer (1-2), Edward Walsh (1-1), Paddy O'Leary (0-1). Subs. - Aaron Cahill (1-0) for Meegan, Patrick Tonks for Cullen.

Horeswood: Eoin Mythen; Eamonn O'Sullivan, Shane O'Hanlon, Gavin Murphy; Danny Byrne, Barry Hearn (0-1), David Murphy; Paddy Murphy, David Larkin; Declan Murphy (0-3), Michael O'Hanlon (0-12, 9 frees), Seán Stafford; Jim Wall, Seán Nolan (1-1), Craig Murphy. Subs. - Leigh O'Brien for C. Murphy, Mossy Kent for Wall, Ivan Kehoe for Stafford.

Referee: Seamus Whelan (Oylegate-Glenbrien).

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