Sunday 18 August 2019

Four from four for the holders

Anne's finish with fluorish

Adamstown top scorer Conor Hickey is closely policed by Kenny Cloney of St. Anne's
Adamstown top scorer Conor Hickey is closely policed by Kenny Cloney of St. Anne's
The battle of the number nines as David Fogarty (St Anne's) tries to strip the ball from the grasp of Tony French (Adamstown)

Alan Aherne

Holders St. Anne's are past masters at doing just about enough to grind out a win, and they underlined this quality for the fourth time this season when they had three points to spare over Adamstown in Group A of the Tom Doyle Supplies Senior football championship in Innovate Wexford Park on Saturday.

St Anne's 1-10 Adamstown 2-4

The underdogs edged into a 2-4 to 1-5 lead in the 44th minute when netminder Richard Cleary was yellow-carded for a footblock on Tomás Harrington after a slide rule pass from Conor Hickey who slammed the resultant penalty to the net.

However, Adamstown, who managed a meagre two scores from play, didn't register again as St. Anne's got over the line with five points without reply in the last quarter.

The victors might have been undone by their wayward shooting as ten wides were registered after the break playing into the town end.

However, while their kicking in general play wasn't at its best, Seán Gaul had his eye in from placed balls and this was a key factor.

He converted a brace of '45s, from the right and then the left, in the immediate aftermath of that Adamstown goal to level matters.

Redmond Barry, substituted earlier in the half, was re-introduced in a bid to get his side over the line, and they regained the lead when Kevin Hannigan picked out Liam Og McGovern for a point in the 53rd minute (1-8 to 2-4).

And although four more wides followed to leave them with eleven at the finish, another Gaul free after a needless foul on Aidan Rochford on the endline was followed by the clincher in added time when Diarmuid O'Keeffe - returned from his travels - sold a dummy before lofting over a left-footed point.

St. Anne's had been punished for sloppiness early on, missing three scoreable chances playing into the wind before conceding a fifth-minute goal.

A long Tony French handpass found Paddy Whitty whose shot was saved by Richard Cleary, but Barry Power pounced on the rebound to hammer it home.

St. Anne's had the margin down to the minimum (1-1 to 0-3) by the end of the first quarter, and they went on to lead by 1-5 to 1-3 at the break after Aidan Rochford surged forward for a goal in the 25th minute.

Redmond Barry's incisive pass found Liam Og McGovern who immediately popped the ball to the wing-back running off his shoulder, and Rochford did the rest.

Two points up and with the wind to come, St. Anne's would have been expected to win with a degree of comfort.

However, their poor shooting started to afflict them - including a glaring goal miss from Mark Furlong - and they had to do it the hard way after failing to score in a third quarter when Conor Hickey scored 1-1 for Adamstown from that penalty and an earlier free.

St. Anne's: Richard Cleary; Páraic O'Keeffe, Tomás Cullen (capt.), Kenny Cloney; Liam Og McGovern (0-1), Cian McGovern, Aidan Rochford (1-0); Jonathan Fogarty, Rory Stafford; Finn O'Driscoll, Seán Gaul (0-5, 3 frees, 2 '45s), Kevin Hannigan; Mark Furlong (0-1), Redmond Barry, Jack Murphy (0-2). Subs. - David Fogarty for Stafford (HT), Diarmuid O'Keeffe (0-1) for Barry (35), Barry for Furlong (52).

Adamstown: Alan Bradley; Seán Barden, M.J. Cooper, Kieran Finn; James Breen, Lorcan French, Michael Boland; Shane O'Gorman, Tony French; Tomás Harrington, Thomas Shannon, Barry Power (capt., 1-0); Conor Hickey (1-4, 1-0 pen., 0-3 frees), Paddy Whitty, Paudie Barden. Subs. - Michael Curtis for Boland (HT), Shane White for Whitty (32), P.J. Carroll for Cooper (41), Eric Bradley for P. Barden (41), Boland for S. Barden (58).

Referee: James Owens (Kilrush).

Wexford People

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