HWH-Bunclody survive late burst for third victory
HWH-Bunclody withstood a late onslaught from Ferns St. Aidan's to make it three wins from four in Group B of the Ashdown Park/Amber Springs Hotels Intermediate football championship in Bellefield on Saturday.
HWH-Bunclody 1-10 Ferns St. Aidan's 2-4
When Keith O'Hara grabbed a goal with twelve minutes remaining, turning in an opportunistic effort from close range, Bunclody looked to have the points in the bag but Ferns rallied to get back within striking distance.
However, try as they might, and despite a few frantic moments for the Bunclody defence, they couldn't force a late equalising goal.
HWH-Bunclody had slightly the better of a tepid first-half, and went in with a 0-6 to 0-3 advantage at the interval, with Keith O'Hara, Colm Farrell and Josh Martin finding the range and Ryan Nolan (two frees) and Conor Nolan replying for Ferns as the sides were deadlocked at 0-3 apiece on 18 minutes.
The eventual winners managed to put a bit of daylight between themselves and their opponents in the last ten minutes of the half though, with Seán Kenny edging them in front and Kevin Dunne adding two frees.
Ferns weren't long about wiping out that lead, however, with John Breen firing the ball to the back of the net on 33 minutes after good work in the build-up by Ivan Meegan.
There was no panic in the Bunclody ranks though and they built up a five-point advantage by the 49th minute, with substitute Peter Atkinson and Keith O'Hara picking off points, and the latter then pouncing for a most important goal.
Kevin Dunne blasted in a shot from the right and O'Hara applied a touch to steer the ball beyond goalkeeper Jason Maguire and give his side a 1-8 to 1-3 lead.
Back came Ferns though and Ryan Nolan had them right back in the tie when he confidently strode forward and buried the ball in the far corner of the net on 54 minutes.
Points from Peter Atkinson and Kevin Dunne (free) calmed the Bunclody nerves slightly, but when Patrick Breen fisted a floated Ryan Nolan free over the bar with the watch reading 59 minutes the gap was back to a single score.
Ferns threw everything at Bunclody for the remaining minutes but they held firm to leave themselves sitting pretty at the top of the table.
HWH-Bunclody: Patrick Kavanagh; Billy Kelly, John Atkinson, Enda Slevin; Martin O'Connor, James Moorhead, Páuric Sinnott; Bryan O'Hara, Conor Kinsella; Colm Farrell (0-1), Keith O'Hara (1-2), Josh Martin (0-1); Eoin Kelly, Seán Kenny (0-1), Kevin Dunne (0-3 frees). Subs. - Peter Atkinson (0-2) for Martin, Barry Kehoe for B. O'Hara.
Ferns St. Aidan's: Jason Maguire; Niall Maguire, Declan Byrne, Brian O'Neill; Robert Vickers, Colm Whelan, Keith Breen; John Breen (1-0), Ian Byrne; Ivan Meegan, Tommy Dwyer, Patrick Breen (0-1); Ryan Nolan (1-2, 0-2 frees), Peter Codd, Conor Nolan (0-1). Subs. - Jamie Whelan for Byrne (temp.), Whelan for C. Nolan, Frank Devereux for N. Maguire.
Referee: Brendan Martin (Ballyhogue).