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Sunday 20 October 2019

Hynes leads Mary’s charge

Greenstar Under-20 football Division 4 championship final: St. Mary's (Maudlinton) 4-9 Kilrush 1-6

Joint captains Mark Doyle and Jamie Thomas receiving the trophy from Seamus Whelan
Joint captains Mark Doyle and Jamie Thomas receiving the trophy from Seamus Whelan
St. Mary’s (Maudlintown) celebrating their county championship success
The defeated finalists from Kilrush
Jordan Donovan of St. Mary’s beats Peter O’Neill to the ball

Brian Carty

An electric second-half display saw St. Mary's (Maudlintown) create their own little piece of history as they stormed to the inaugural Greenstar Under-20 football Division 4 championship title with a 4-9 to 1-6 victory over Kilrush in Saturday's re-scheduled county final in St. Patrick's Park, Enniscorthy.

Fresh from his five-goal haul in the semi-final, Todd Hynes' frankly ludicrous scoring form continued here, as he plundered 3-6 (0-4 frees), including three brilliantly-taken goals.

Two of them came after the break as St. Mary's really put the foot on the throttle against their shell-shocked opponents.

Jim Sharry was assigned the difficult task of keeping the flying number eleven under wraps, but it was clear from an early stage that he was operating on a different wavelength than everyone else on the field, as his running off the ball, and particularly his confident finishing, ensured that Maudlintown became only the second team to win a title in the re-structured age grade.

It took just 90 seconds for Hynes to get the ball rolling, when pointing the opener off his left boot following a patient build-up.

But it was Kilrush who manufactured the first clear goal chance on four minutes when Darragh Kinsella's '45 was under-hit, but Jack Nolan gathered and drilled high towards goal, only for Luke Rogan to get across his line for an excellent save.

St. Mary's fared better one minute later when attack-minded wing-back Ramesh Byrne made the initial burst forward, and Hynes was fed through the centre before planting into the roof of the dressing-room end net (1-1 to nil).

However, Kilrush supplied the next four scores to pull level by the twelfth minute, as Conor Byrne flicked the ball into the path of James Byrne to nicely point, while Seán Bookey intercepted soon after as Conor Byrne chipped over.

Bookey turned over possession from a kick-out and Seán Kirwan split the posts with acumen, and when Kevin Kenny drew a free on 14 minutes, Kinsella converted the equaliser.

Gary Cullen screwed over the lead point for St. Mary's one minute later, but John Kavanagh's endeavour won another free for Kenny to convert as nothing separated the sides approaching half-time.

They didn't know it at the time, but when Kinsella did well to get control of the ball and kick Kilrush in front for the first time after 27 minutes, they were destined not to score again until Kavanagh poked home a consolation goal at the death.

A Todd Hynes free made it 1-3 to 0-6 at the interval, and although Kilrush created a half-goal opportunity a minute into the new period, St. Mary's really kicked on to take the honours.

Midfield partners Kavanagh and Bookey had combined, only for the latter to kick the ground in the process of shooting for that chance, and things started to unravel for the Ballyroebuck lads on 34 minutes when a malfunctioning kick-out led to Hynes making yards before nestling low to the far corner (2-3 to 0-6).

St. Mary's pushed up on another re-start two minutes later as a mark from Cian Whelan led to Emmett Nolan pointing with a rising shot, and the rampant Wexford town side really surged into an authoritative position from the next attack when Jordan Donovan and Hynes combined to play in Cullen, who fired across Conor Kehoe to stretch the gap to 3-4 to 0-6.

Hynes tagged on a free off the floor, and he completed his hat-trick in audacious fashion when he received from Mark Doyle after 40 minutes before unleashing a drop-kick which flew all the way to the net via the butt of the post.

St. Mary's prosperous spell continued, courtesy of a point from Cian Whelan and three singles from Hynes, with two frees sandwiching a trademark effort in full stride on the counter-attack.

Kilrush peppered the danger-zone with a string of chances, and finally broke their second-half impasse when Kavanagh finished soccer-style from close-range to bring slightly more respectability to the final scoreboard.

However, nine months on from when the competition began in February, St. Mary's followed in the footsteps of Ferns St. Aidan's who had taken home the Division 3 trophy from the same venue the night before.

St. Mary's (Maudlintown): Luke Rogan; Josh Kavanagh, Tre Long, Patsy Whelan; Ramesh Byrne, Mark Doyle (joint capt.), Lee Nolan; Jamie Thomas (joint capt.), Cian Whelan (0-1); Jordan Donovan, Todd Hynes (3-6, 0-4 frees), Emmett Nolan (0-1); Gary Cullen (1-1), Adam Baziz, Ben Walsh. Subs. - T.J. Nolan for Walsh (44), Mark Thomas for Baziz (49), Jack Kehoe for Donovan (49).

Kilrush: Conor Kehoe; Liam Sheehan, Garret O'Connor, Pádraig O'Rourke; Ned O'Neill, Jim Sharry, Peter O'Neill; John Kavanagh (1-0), Seán Bookey; James Byrne (0-1), Darragh Kinsella (0-2, 1 free), Seán Kirwan (0-1); Conor Byrne (capt., 0-1), Kevin Kenny (0-1 free), Jack Nolan. Subs. - John Doyle for Nolan (53), Paddy Sharry for O'Rourke (53), also Kieran Kenny, Dean Lancaster.

Referee: Fintan O'Reilly (Kilmore).

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