Murphy hits late winner
A point from Eoin Murphy in the ninth minute of injury time earned Ferns St. Aidan's a dramatic victory in the Wexford People Minor hurling Roinn 1 shield final in St. Patrick's Park.
Ferns St. Aidan's 2-11 Rathnure 2-10
Moments earlier Rathnure had looked to have pulled the game from the fire when Cathal O'Connor hit the back of the net to drag the black and ambers level, but Murphy edged Ferns back in front deep into time added on.
There was even time for another opportunity for Rathnure to get back on level terms, but Seán O'Connor saw his effort from a difficult 65-metre free drift agonisingly wide of the left upright.
It was fitting that Murphy should land the winning score as he was a bundle of energy throughout and contributed 1-3 from play in an all-action display.
In fact, only one other Ferns player got on the scoresheet, with free-taker Chris Turner adding the other 1-8 of their tally.
The deadly duo weren't long about making their mark, as Turner bagged the first goal with just two minutes on the clock and Murphy had the green flag waving again inside the opening quarter.
Micheál O'Connor had given Rathnure the ideal start when he opened their account with a point after 40 seconds, but Turner soon slalomed through their defence before unleashing an unstoppable shot to the net.
O'Connor doubled his tally in the sixth minute with a fine score, but Eoin Murphy introduced himself to the match by cancelling it out with a great long-range point.
Chris Turner then showed his acumen from placed balls by slotting over two frees, before Eoin Murphy raced on to a long delivery and hit the back of the net to put real daylight between the sides (2-3 to 0-2).
Murphy followed it up with a good point on the run, but Rathnure began to eat into the lead and scored three of the next four points through Michael Martin, Micheál O'Connor and Seán O'Connor (free).
However, Ferns held a seven-point advantage at the interval (2-7 to 0-6), with Turner converting two more frees and Seán O'Connor adding one in reply.
Rathnure had the aid of the breeze after the break and they reduced the deficit to four points by the 45th minute, with Michael Martin opening the second-half scoring and Seán O'Connor adding three points.
Two minutes later they were right back in the game when Seán O'Connor played a ball across the face of the goal and substitute Stephen Martin fired a ground stroke beyond goalkeeper James Lawlor.
Ferns responded well though and two injury time frees from Chris Turner stretched their lead out to three points, but Cathal O'Connor looked to have rescued Rathnure when he buried the ball to the back of the net with 65 minutes on the clock.
However, three minutes later the impressive Eoin Murphy got his chance when he won possession in front of the posts and manufactured enough space for himself to slot the ball over the bar.
Ferns St. Aidan's: James Lawlor; Seán Fortune, Patrick O'Hagan, Shane Stafford; Rory Scallan, Conor Scallan, William Bolger; Eoin Murphy (1-3), Niall Murphy; Conor Jordan, Chris Turner (1-8, 0-8 frees), Jeff Tobin; Steve Warren, Brian O'Neill (capt.), Patrick O'Toole. Subs. - John Power for O'Toole, Jack Ryan for Tobin, also Jordan Ryan, Michael O'Brien, Eoghan Murphy, Liam Murphy, Kevin Stafford, Glen Williams.
Rathnure: Kyle Martin; Cameron O'Leary, Donal McGahan (capt.), Philip Redmond; Dylan Hogan, Eoghan Byrne, Ben Ronan; Michael Martin (0-2), Thomas Furlong; David Dunphy, Cathal O'Connor (1-0), Darragh Reddy; Seán O'Connor (0-5, 4 frees), Niall Dillon, Micheál O'Connor (0-3). Subs. - James Tobin for Dunphy, Stephen Martin (1-0) for M. O'Connor (temp.), Stephen Martin for Reddy, also Rory Higgins, Adam Carty, Brendan Foley.
Referee: Brendan Martin (Ballyhogue).