Hogues hit back
Ballyhogue 1-10 St. James' 1-5
Ballyhogue rebounded from a rough start to burst clear of St. James' and claim the Gorey Guardian Juvenile football Roinn 2 championship crown in St. Patrick's Park.
Playing with the breeze in the opening half, the eventual winners fell 1-2 to nil down in less than three minutes but put on a dominant showing in the remainder of the game to claim a well-deserved crown.
What makes their victory all the more impressive was the fact that they did it with all of their scores coming from deep.
Right across their half-forward line, plus back into a powerful midfield, Ballyhogue impressed with controlled, clever football.
St. James' were looking to complete a double, after taking the hurling crown just four days earlier.
The play of their full-back line was sensational in this game, not giving up a score from play between the three of them.
Their attack got off to a flying start too. Seán O'Grady and Rory Lynch had points on the board in the opening two minutes, and their dream start was further enhanced when the latter drifted into space to the right of the goal and smacked a stunning shot into the roof of the net.
However, they failed to build on their great opening and their advantage slowly slipped away. Both John Kehoe and Darragh Cloke-Rochford had a pair of points apiece on the board, while Peter Rodgers also raised a white flag to tie the game after 16 minutes.
They got level in the middle of a purple patch that abruptly ended when Kehoe made it 0-8 to 1-2 in the 22nd minute.
From there until the break neither side could trouble the scoreboard as Ballyhogue took a three-point lead into the change of ends.
Against the breeze the Bree boys got off to the best possible start.
St. James' were penalised for handling the ball on the ground in the goalmouth and Leigh Whelan made no mistake with the resulting penalty.
The horrid weather took its toll during the half. St. James' did get within a goal with four minutes to go after a trio of Darragh McPhillips points, but Ballyhogue settled the late nerves with scores from Ben Harrington and Tommy Kennedy to wrap up the title.
Ballyhogue: David Kelly; Ian Donoghue, Ben Harrington (0-1), Jack Kinsella; Ronan Byrne, Eamonn Doyle, Tadhg Malone; John Kehoe (capt., 0-3), Peter Rodgers (0-1); Darragh Cloke-Rochford (0-3), Leigh Whelan (1-0 pen.), Tommy Kennedy (0-2 frees); Lewis Comiskey, Eoin Fitzpatrick, Liam Doyle. Subs. - David Hennebry for Comiskey (40), Tobias Redmond for Fitzpatrick (40), Conor Dawson for Whelan, black card (60+1), also Jason Roche, Alan Doyle, Adam Broaders, Jamie Fitzpatrick, Conor Rodgers, Tiernan Cleary, Evan Murphy, Martin Doyle.
St. James': Alfie Eite; James Nolan, Keelan Foley, Mark Whitty; Ben McPhillips, Daniel Behan, Colum Fitzgerald; Paudie Barron, Owen Whitty (capt.); Darragh McPhillips (0-3, 2 frees), Seán O'Grady (0-1), Sam Wallace; Tommy Barron, Rory Lynch (1-1), John White-Keating. Subs. - Ethan Kehoe for O'Grady (53), Shane Dunne for M. Whitty (60), Joe McPhillips for White-Keating (60), Jack Nolan for Fitzgerald (60).
Referee: James Flood (St. Mary's, Maudlintown).