Wednesday 18 September 2019

Fitzgerald fires Bunclody through

Edward Dunbar (HWH-Bunclody) and Dylan Shannon (Shamrocks) in action during Tuesday's clash
Edward Dunbar (HWH-Bunclody) and Dylan Shannon (Shamrocks) in action during Tuesday's clash
The successful HWH-Bunclody squad
Martin O'Connor of HWH-Bunclody surveys his options

Dean Goodison

James Fitzgerald struck a stunning injury-time goal to send HWH-Bunclody through to the Wexford People Minor football championship Roinn 1 quarter-finals in Fr. Murphy Park on Tuesday.

HWH-Bunclody 2012 Shamrocks 2-10

When the visitors' full-forward latched on to Martin O'Connor's through ball he still had plenty to do.

However, there was just one thing on his mind as he cut inside and flashed a stunning, unstoppable strike to the top corner of Matt Canavan's net.

It was a cruel blow for Shamrocks who were on the verge of securing at least a play-off spot before the goal.

Both sides came into the game with hopes of making the last eight, but HWH-Bunclody were in the better position with four wins from their previous six games.

Shamrocks had one fewer victory but were still one of seven teams that could potentially have found themselves with a top four spot in the group had they claimed the win and got a little help elsewhere.

While the Shamrocks focus may be primarily on hurling, there is no lack of football talent in this team and had they hung on to take the points Half Way House could have had no complaints.

Yet the victors started out on the front foot and goaled inside 60 seconds after a lovely move down the field ended with Lee Conroy feeding Cathal Doyle and the corner-forward finding the net.

Shamrocks didn't panic after the sloppy start and bounced back to take the lead in the eighth minute.

Jack Carroll, who scored all 1-4 of his side's first-half tally, dispatched to the net after a expertly-weighted Aaron O'Neill pass.

Carroll's 1-4 was enough to leave the sides deadlocked on that tally at the interval. The hosts made the breakthrough after half-time when Robbie Cleary assisted Anthony Murphy for a well-taken major.

Points from Murphy and Ronan Gahan put Shamrocks 2-9 to 1-7 ahead with twelve minutes remaining, but HWH-Bunclody kept chipping away with frees from John Dunne and Fitzgerald before the latter sealed victory with his late major salvo.

HWH-Bunclody: Bobby McKeown; Adam Hogan, Diarmuid Crean, Paddy Dunbar; Conor Thorpe, Martin O'Connor, Peadar Cowman; Eoin Kelly, John Dunne (capt., 0-5 frees); Byron Byrne (0-1), Darren Murphy, Edward Dunbar; Lee Conroy, James Fitzgerald (1-5, 0-3 frees), Cathal Doyle (1-1). Subs. - Adam Sadler for Thorpe, inj. (36), Eamonn Kennedy for D. Murphy (50), Shane McCarthy for Dunbar, inj. (51), also Tomac Bilako, Terry Doherty.

Shamrocks: Matt Canavan; John Clince, Cory Breen, Reece Dunne; Dylan Shannon, Brandon O'Connor (0-1), Ricky Murphy; Ronan Gahan (0-1), John Murphy (0-1); Jack Carroll (1-5, 0-2 frees), Podge Doyle (0-1), Robbie Cleary (capt.); Aaron O'Neill, Aaron O'Toole, Anthony Murphy (1-1). Subs. - Darragh Martin for J. Murphy (42), Peter Cullen for Cleary (42), Lee Kennedy for Shannon, inj. (59), Kian Cowman for R. Murphy, inj. (60 + 2), also Seán McDonald, Cillian Gahan.

Referee: Ian Plunkett (Marshalstown-Castledockrell).

Wexford People