Late goals seal it for Island/Fintan's
Two goals in the closing ten minutes helped Our Lady's Island/St. Fintan's to a rather flattering six-point victory over Ferns St. Aidan's in their Wexford People Minor football Roinn 2 championship final in Bree on Saturday.
OLI/St. Fintan's 3-6 Ferns St. Aidan's 1-6
Despite missing out on numerous scoring opportunities, the south county side held their nerve as the game entered the closing stages. Still trailing by one point with nine minutes remaining, the signs did not look good.
However, wing-back Robert Coakley stepped up to the mark when, following a fine run, he finished with a low shot across the goal into the opposite corner of the net, and his side never looked back.
Ferns had looked good for a victory up to this. Their defence was holding firm and they appeared comfortable despite their narrow lead, but once they conceded that second goal they were unable to haul themselves back into contention. Still, they played some quality football through different phases of the game and did not deserve to lose by a six-point margin.
Our Lady's Island/St. Fintan's started well with a Cian Wright point inside 90 seconds, but thereafter the sides struggled for scores. Following a six-minute barren spell, a Patrick O'Hagan point brought the sides level.
An Ivan Meegan 13th-minute point had his side in front by 0-2 to 0-1, but during this spell of dominance the Ferns finishing was wayward with a number of scoring opportunities going to waste.
Despite their best efforts, the eventual winners went a full 24 minutes before their second score arrived, when Sam Berry punched to the net after a Philip Foley shot for goal was blocked into the air, giving his side a 1-1 to 0-2 lead. Approaching the break an Ivan Meegan pointed free left the minimum separating the sides (1-1 to 0-3).
Ferns took the early initiative on the resumption with Conor Nolan goaling inside three minutes of the re-start. Jack Pettit and James Lawlor exchanged points, but Ferns were clinging to a 1-5 to 1-4 lead when Coakley found the net ten minutes from the end.
Peter O'Toole and Quinn Saunders went on to exchange points before three minutes into additional time a Saunders goal put the issue beyond doubt, seeing the Larry Murray Cup going down south.
Our Lady's Island/St. Fintan's: Jarlath Molloy; Seán Kehoe, John Cullen, Robert Cloney; Adam Devereux, Jack Pettit (0-2), Robert Coakley (1-0); Eoin O'Callaghan, Eoin Cummins; Cian Wright (0-1), Cathal Devereux (0-1), Philip Foley; Quinn Saunders (1-1), Sam Berry (1-0), Kevin Wright. Subs. - James Sinnott for K. Wright, Cian Meyler for Berry, Liam Flood (0-1) for A. Devereux.
Ferns St. Aidan's: Jason Maguire; Patrick O'Hagan (0-1), Aaron Cahill, Brian O'Neill; William Bolger, Conor Scallan, Niall Murphy; Ivan Meegan (0-2 frees), Peter O'Toole (0-1); Jeff Tobin, Chris Turner, Jack O'Hagan (0-1); Conor Jordan, James Lawlor (0-1), Conor Nolan (1-0). Subs. - Ciarán Doran for Turner, black card (40), Eoin Murphy for Jordan, John Roche for Bolger, Conor Jordan for O'Toole, black card (54), Jack Ryan for J. O'Hagan.
Referee: George Dee (Taghmon-Camross).