Gorey glean the derby spoils
Gorey C.S. 4-11 St. Mary's 3-6 (AET)
It was a case of another Friday, and another South Leinster title, for Gorey Community School in Bellefield at the end of last week as they outscored St. Mary's C.B.S. by 2-3 to 0-1 in extra-time to collect Top Oil Juvenile football 'B' championship honours.
Seven days after their Junior hurlers also savoured success, this latest victory was achieved the hard way after the Anthony Masterson-coached north county lads initially squandered a six-point half-time lead.
Their Enniscorthy rivals, prepared for battle by incoming Wexford Under-20 manager Brendan Kehoe, deserve immense credit for recovering to force an additional 20 minutes, especially as they were reduced to 14 players at the end of the third quarter.
However, a second well-struck penalty goal from Gorey centre-back Rian Fitzpatrick just before the break in added time was the end of the line as far as Enniscorthy were concerned, and they finished a keenly-fought contest eight points in arrears.
December dawned with a sunny and bright, but chilly, day in Bellefield, and Gorey enjoyed the better of the first-half exchanges with the light wind behind them.
A couple of early Enniscorthy point attempts fell short before J.J. Twamley played a one-two with Cian Hughes and gave the visitors the lead in the fifth minute.
The first of just five Gorey wides followed, but they prospered from the kick-out as it led to a move started and finished by team captain Twamley.
He off-loaded to Hughes who in turn found Shane Flood, with the full-forward spotting that Twamley had continued his run at the scoreboard end where the lively number 11 rattled the net.
Gorey made the very most of this purple patch, with a foul on midfielder Jack Toomey leading to a calm finish from the penalty spot by Rian Fitzpatrick in the eighth minute (2-1 to nil).
The game threatened to run away from Enniscorthy, but they got the desired boost on their next attack when Oisín Pepper handpassed across the square into the path of Eoin Gahan who sent a powerful shot to the net.
Gahan nearly got on the end of a similar delivery from Corey Dunbar later in the half, but Enniscorthy had to be content with a point via their goalscorer from another move as they trailed by 2-4 to 1-1 at the interval.
A very good run by Jack Higgins had led to a Shane Flood point for Gorey, with free-taker Cian Hughes and midfielder Simon Campbell also on target as they established that six-point gap.
An exchange of points between Dunbar and Hughes (free) on the re-start was followed by the tonic of an early Enniscorthy goal in the 34th minute.
A Gorey line ball in their right corner-back berth was intercepted, with Oisín Pepper eventually handpassing to Eoin Gahan whose shot squirmed in at the near post for his second major (2-5 to 2-2).
Cian Hughes steadied Gorey from a free, and the odds seemed to be stacked in their favour when two yellow cards in less than seven minutes for full-back James Doyle saw Enniscorthy reduced to 14 players for the last quarter.
Rian Fitzpatrick widened the gap to five from a Jack Higgins pass, but Enniscorthy showed commendable heart to recover, helped to some extent by the enforced substitution of Gorey midfielder Simon Campbell with a back injury.
Their revival began when Corey Dunbar's outstretched hand knocked a cross from the right to the net in the 47th minute, although Gorey nearly cancelled that out when Bill Peare did very well to keep out a Shane Flood shot.
Free-taker Dunbar made it a one-point game in the 55th minute after a verbal outburst made his task that bit easier, and the same player levelled when a Stephan San Agustin '45 broke into his path.
All of the momentum had been with Enniscorthy for the duration of the fourth quarter until Gorey managed to break towards the Bellefield Road end for a precious point in the 59th minute.
The direct running of Jack Higgins had been most fruitful throughout, and he earned another free for Cian Hughes to convert as their lead was restored (2-8 to 3-4).
However, Enniscorthy deserved to at least force extra-time given their spirited response to that dismissal, and they got their just rewards when Oisín Pepper was fouled and Corey Dunbar pointed the free just under 40 seconds into added time.
An additional two minutes were played without either team threatening a score, but just twelve seconds of extra-time had elapsed when J.J. Twamley - now at midfield - raced towards the scoreboard end after winning the toss and picked out Jack Higgins for a Gorey point.
By the interval they had added a further 1-1 to their tally, with another Cian Hughes free followed by the goal that effectively wrapped up the crown on the stroke of half-time.
Hughes passed to Shane Flood who was fouled, with referee Pat Kehoe signalling a penalty and Rian Fitzpatrick opting to drill this one hard to the net after rolling his first spot kick along the ground.
An interesting stat from the 20 extra minutes was the free count of 16-1 in favour of the eventual victors, a clear sign that they had a lot more of the ball than their tiring rivals who were restored to a full complement of 15 but never got going.
With 31 frees in the opening half, and 27 in the second period, the stoppages were plentiful, and both sides could do with a lot of coaching in the art of tackling as they move up through the grades.
An Oisín Pepper point five minutes after the final re-start reduced the gap to four, but it was the last throw of the dice from Enniscorthy.
Gorey finished on a high with a fourth goal in the 78th minute. Jack Toomey put Shane Flood in the clear and, when the full-forward crashed his kick off the crossbar, Seamie O'Hagan was on hand to knock the rebound to the net.
A fifth successful free from Cian Hughes left that final margin of eight points, and mentors Anthony Masterson, John O'Brien and Brendan O'Sullivan will now be leaving no stone unturned in a bid for outright provincial honours.
Gorey C.S.: Ewan Stephens (unattached); Darragh Fitzpatrick (Naomh Eanna), Conor Jones (Ballinastragh Gaels), Rúairí Martin (Naomh Eanna); Andrew Smith (Ballinastragh Gaels), Rian Fitzpatrick (Naomh Eanna, 2-1, 2-0 pens.), Conor Kelly (Naomh Eanna); Jack Toomey (Buffers Alley), Simon Campbell (Ballinastragh Gaels, 0-1); Jack Higgins (Castletown, 0-1), J.J. Twamley (Naomh Eanna, capt., 1-2, 0-1 free), Seamie O'Hagan (Buffers Alley, 1-0); Lee Polglase (Ballinastragh Gaels), Shane Flood (Naomh Eanna, 0-1), Cian Hughes (Ballinastragh Gaels, 0-5 frees). Subs. - Gavin McNulty (Castletown) for Campbell, inj. (41), Luke Darley (Naomh Eanna) for Polglase (55), also Thomas Wheatley (Naomh Eanna), David Neville (Ballinastragh Gaels), Hugh Fahey (Ballinastragh Gaels), Farrel Doyle (Réalt na Mara), Tomás Mythen (Naomh Eanna), Eoin Kelly (St. Patrick's), Scott Murphy (Naomh Eanna), James Barrett (Castletown), John Kenny (Castletown), Noah Maher (Naomh Eanna), Max Farrell-McCabe (St. Patrick's), Ted Kenny (Craanford), Ben Ryan (Ballinastragh Gaels), Micheál McGonigle (Ballinastragh Gaels), Shane Meleady (Buffers Alley), Ruadhan Comerford (Naomh Eanna), Cathal Murphy (Réalt na Mara).
St. Mary's C.B.S.: Bill Peare (Starlights); Darragh Kehoe (Cloughbawn), James Doyle (Davidstown-Courtnacuddy), Jamie Donnelly (Starlights); Matt Kinnaird (Starlights), Kian Murphy (Starlights), Tobias Redmond (Ballyhogue); Stephan San Agustin (Starlights, capt.), Fionn Walsh (Monageer-Boolavogue); Cameron Clarke (Oylegate-Glenbrien), Eoin Dolan (Monageer-Boolavogue), Eoin Gahan (Monageer-Boolavogue, 2-1); Corey Dunbar (Ferns St. Aidan's, 1-4, 0-2 frees), Shane Cullen (Crossabeg-Ballymurn), Oisín Pepper (Starlights, 0-1). Subs. - Noah Kearney (Marshalstown-Castledockrell) for Dolan (55), Andrew Fitzhenry (Oylegate-Glenbrien) for Donnelly (55), Donnelly back on as 15th player for extra-time, Dolan for Kearney (68), Tommy McVeigh (Starlights) for Kinnaird, inj. (70), also Rúairí Leacy (Monageer-Boolavogue), Paul Burns (Oylegate-Glenbrien), Adam O'Brien (Crossabeg-Ballymurn), Oisín Cooney (Davidstown-Courtnacuddy), Tadhg English (Crossabeg-Ballymurn), Joe Doyle (Davidstown-Courtnacuddy), Riley Doran (Starlights), Liam Lynch (Marshalstown-Castledockrell), Seán Fitzpatrick (Davidstown-Courtnacuddy).
Referee: Pat Kehoe (Carlow).