Saturday 25 November 2017

Fired-up Ferns run riot

Ferns St. Aidan's 7-18 Cloughbawn 1-15

Dave Devereux

Tomás Hawkins (Ferns St. Aidan's) in a tussle for the ball with Cloughbawn defender Tony Keating
Tomás Hawkins (Ferns St. Aidan's) in a tussle for the ball with Cloughbawn defender Tony Keating
James Dempsey of Cloughbawn and Paddy O'Leary (Ferns St. Aidan's) battle for possession

A fired-up Ferns outfit simply tore their opponents to shreds in Bree, knocking in seven goals to emphatically capture the EEW and Plumbing ACHL Division 5 title with a swagger.

Hot-shot Anthony Dwyer helped himself to four of those majors, with Paddy O'Leary getting the green flag waving twice and Jeff Tobin also hitting the back of the net.

The accuracy of Joey Lawlor had just about kept Cloughbawn in touch until the 24th minute when they trailed by six points (2-7 to 0-7), but three further goals before the break completely knocked the stuffing out of the green and whites and ended the game as a contest.

It took just four minutes for Ferns to get their first three-pointer when the wily Edward Cullen played a ball into the danger zone, which was helped on by the stick of Paddy O'Leary, and Anthony Dwyer finished to the net past Seán Keating.

Two minutes later they were celebrating their second goal, when Jeff Tobin collected a pass from O'Leary, broke clear and confidently blasted the ball to the corner of the net.

Cloughbawn were living off scraps and were totally reliant on influential captain Joey Lawlor for scores as they desperately tried to cling on to the Ferns coat-tails.

However, they were left grasping at thin air when Ferns hit them for a hat-trick of quick-fire goals before the turnaround.

On 23 minutes Anthony Dwyer played a clever ball into space for Eoin Murphy to run on to and the midfielder picked out the inrushing Paddy O'Leary who knocked it in.

Within five minutes O'Leary had his second, brilliantly losing his marker with a clever flick, before bearing down on goal and arrowing a shot to the corner of the net.

O'Leary turned provider seconds later, handpassing to Anthony Dwyer who applied the finish.

Billy Wickham knocked over the final score of the half to ensure Lawlor wasn't the only Cloughbawn name on the scoresheet at the interval, but their race was well and truly run as they trailed by 5-10 to 0-9 as the sides switched ends.

Ferns never allowed Cloughbawn to close the gap in the second-half, keeping their opponents at arm's length with a succession of quality points, with Eoin Murphy scoring the pick of the bunch from the left sideline.

Cloughbawn briefly had reason to raise a smile in the 51th minute when Eoin Doyle got on the end of a Joey Lawlor delivery and finished to the net, but the corners of the lips were headed south again seconds later when Ferns grabbed their sixth goal, with Anthony Dwyer again doing the needful.

They were in seventh heaven four minutes from the end, when the clinical Dwyer finished off a sweeping move by plundering his fourth goal.

Ferns St. Aidan's: Niall Byrne; Paul Lancaster, Colm Whelan, Peter Nolan; Patrick Breen (capt.), Seán Walsh, Pádraig Walsh; Peter O'Toole (0-1), Eoin Murphy (0-3); Derek Thorpe (0-3), Edward Cullen (0-1 free), Jeff Tobin (1-4); Anthony Dwyer (4-2), Tomás Hawkins (0-1), Paddy O'Leary (2-2). Subs. - Edward Walsh for Tobin, Ciarán Doran (0-1) for Murphy, Patrick Tonks for Nolan, Jack Ryan for Dwyer, also Conor Scallan, Conor Doran, Jamie Whelan, Aaron Cahill, Conor Jordan, Conor Nolan, Ben Cowman, P.J. O'Neill, Jack O'Hagan.

Cloughbawn: Seán Keating; Liam Kehoe, Tony Keating, Aaron Byrne; James Lennon, Colin Doyle, Shane Flood; Joey Lawlor (capt., 0-11, 7 frees, 1 '65), Robert Kinsella; Billy Wickham (0-2), Conor Harrington, James Dempsey, John Paul Furlong, Michael Redmond (0-1), Daniel Dempsey. Subs. - Eoin Doyle (1-0) for D. Dempsey, Colm Murphy (0-1) for Kehoe, Barry O'Connor for Harrington, also David Casserly, Leslie Monahan, Michael Connors, James O'Neill, Michael Kavanagh, Eanna Harrington, Corey Bolger, David Doyle-Murphy.

Referee: Martin Armstrong (Rapparees).

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