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Sunday 17 December 2017

Harriers halt rally

Faythe Harriers 2-13 Crossabeg-Ballymurn 2-10

Dave Devereux

Faythe Harriers defender Stephen Cummins attempts to block Lorcan Leacy (Crossabeg-Ballymurn)
Faythe Harriers defender Stephen Cummins attempts to block Lorcan Leacy (Crossabeg-Ballymurn)
Paul Larrissy of Crossabeg-Ballymurn tries to hold off Pádraig Clancy as Paddy Glover (Faythe Harriers) looks on

A blistering start from Faythe Harriers paved the way for victory in their Greenstar Under-21 hurling Premier championship first round encounter in Páirc Charman on Tuesday.

Talented forward Conall Clancy was instrumental as the town side burst out of the blocks, scoring 1-3 in the opening eight minutes to help his side to a 1-5 to nil lead.

They were made to sweat before finally stumbling over the line though, with Crossabeg-Ballymurn staging a late rally to leave just a puck of the ball between the sides at the death.

That nervy finish looked unlikely in the early stages, as a young Faythe Harriers outfit played with a real verve and swagger.

Conall Clancy showed he was in the mood just 30 seconds in, gathering a pass from Conor Halligan and arrowing the ball over the black spot.

Halligan popped over a free to double their advantage and they then had the green flag waving with four minutes on the clock.

The irrepressible Clancy gathered a long delivery from the rock-solid Shane Wilde, and after his first effort had been saved he batted the rebound beyond goalkeeper Noel Scallan.

The Harriers continued to turn the screw and a Halligan free was followed by two superb scores from Clancy from the right sideline as everything he touched turned to gold.

David Kehoe finally got a shell-shocked Crossabeg-Ballymurn side off the mark in the tenth minute with a long-range effort, and the hard-working Ronan Devereux then picked off the next two points to give the champions of two years ago renewed belief.

The town side were quickly back in the groove though, with Jack O'Leary knocking over a quickfire double and Conor Halligan converting a 27th-minute free to leave the hosts with a handsome 1-8 to 0-3 advantage at the break.

Sam Kelly had been off target with a couple of placed balls in the first-half but he got his radar right after the turnaround, converting two '65s and a free to reduce the deficit to five points.

On 37 minutes Crossabeg-Ballymurn had a chance to get right back in the mix, but substitute Alex Sludds saw his shot saved by James Henebery.

A minute later the Harriers were celebrating their second goal when Conor Halligan gathered possession to the right of the posts, cut inside and fired the ball to the net.

When Conall Clancy finished off a searing run by splitting the posts in the 42nd minute there looked to be no way back for Crossabeg-Ballymurn, but after Jack Fortune and David Gouldson had swapped points they staged a rousing fightback.

The revival was kick-started when David Kehoe delivered the ball into the danger zone and Oisín Foley diverted it past James Henebery in the Faythe Harriers goal.

Foley and Conor Halligan then exchanged scores, before substitute Jake Clancy steadied the home side's nerves with two eye-catching points on the trot to leave eight between the teams with five minutes remaining (2-13 to 1-8).

However, Crossabeg-Ballymurn showed commendable battling qualities and gave themselves a semblance of hope when James White was quickest to react after Oisín Foley's shot had been well saved by Henebery.

Points from Sam Kelly and David Kehoe (free) left a goal between the teams but time ran out for Crossabeg-Ballymurn and the Harriers marched on to a quarter-final meeting with Rathnure, while the losers will face HWH-Bunclody in the 'B' equivalent.

Faythe Harriers: James Henebery; Stephen Cummins, Danny Walsh, Cillian Gahan; Conal O Crualaoich, Shane Wilde, Fiach O Crualaoich; David Gouldson (0-1), Jack Murphy; Conor Halligan (1-4, 0-3 frees), Pádraig Clancy, Paddy Glover; Conall Clancy (1-4), Jack O'Leary (0-2), Seán Banville. Subs. - Jake Clancy (0-2) for Glover, Liam Hore for Gouldson, Brian Mitchell for C. Clancy

Crossabeg-Ballymurn: Noel Scallan; Eoin O'Connor, Paul Larrissy, Stephen Cullen; Conor Barlow, David Kehoe (0-2, 1 free), Robert Byrne; Ronan Devereux (0-2), Luke Redmond; Jack Fortune (0-1), Sam Kelly (0-4, 2 '65s, 1 free), Evan Kinlough; Shane Conroy, James White (1-0), Lorcan Leacy. Subs. - Alex Sludds for Leacy, Paddy Devereux for Kinlough, Oisín Foley (1-1) for Conroy, Lorcan Cummins for Redmond.

Referee: Seán Whelan (St. Martin's).

Wexford People

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