Réalt rule over under par Ferns
District delight for seasiders
Réalt Na Mara proved too good for an out-of-sorts Ferns St. Aidan's in the Gorey District Junior 'B' football championship final in Páirc Uí Shíocháin on Sunday.
Réalth Na Mara 1-11 Ferns St. Aidan's 0-5
The champions were full value for their win as their tackling was crisper, their passing more accurate, and their running off the ball was clever and precise. If their goal-taking had lived up to the standard of the rest of their game, the winning margin would have been even larger.
Ferns just never got going. Both sides started the game slowly, almost certainly impacted by a 15-minute behind schedule throw-in after referee Pádraig Byrne arrived late. However, the St. Aidan's men could never shake the lethargy and failed to do themselves justice.
Patrick Skelton put them ahead in the second minute with a free but they wouldn't score again until Paddy O'Leary registered in the 30th minute. In the meantime, Réalt na Mara slowly found their feet and levelled when Dylan Sweeney popped over a point.
Oisín Willoughby made it 0-2 to 0-1, and that's the way it stayed until the 20th minute. Michael Burke and Seamus Doyle both pointed before Sweeney's looping attempt dipped at the last moment, into the top corner of Tony Cleere's net.
Raymond Cahill kicked a super late score and Sweeney brought his tally to 1-3 for the period as Réalt na Mara went in 1-7 to 0-2 clear. Ferns were looking for a fast start to the second-half and they got it, to an extent.
Derek Thorpe nabbed a point, moments after Kiran Gigi saved from Paddy Rossiter. Yet they would endure another 21-minute spell without a score as their opponents just did enough to keep them at arm's length.
Réalt na Mara only scored two points in that spell themselves, from Burke and Sweeney, but it left them 1-9 to 0-3 ahead entering the final ten minutes. Quickfire converted frees from Skelton and Patrick Codd woke the Ferns crowd up for a few minutes but Oisín Dunbar ended their mini-revival.
Seamus Doyle put a seal on victory with a late point as Réalt na Mara took the Gorey District crown in style.
They will face Monageer-Boolavogue in the county semi-final, with the winners progressing to a decider with Fethard.
Réalt Na Mara: Kiran Gigi; Andrew Redmond, Paul Doyle, Dara Cahill; Gavin Morris, Fergus Lacey (capt.), Harry Byrne; Lar Kinsella, Seamus Doyle (0-2); Raymond Cahill (0-1), Michael Burke (0-2), Oisín Willoughby (0-1); Oisín Dunbar (0-1), Dylan Sweeney (1-4, 0-2 frees), Eddie Doyle. Subs. - John Doyle for Cahill (39), Mark Doyle for E. Doyle (47), James Sugrue for Willoughby (57), Billy Conroy for Dunbar (57), Carl Sweeney for D. Sweeney (59), also Tom Higgins.
Ferns St. Aidan's: Tony Cleere; David Murphy, Pat Nolan (capt.), Aaron Cahill; Barry Breen, Anthony Dwyer, Paul Lancaster; Eddie Walsh, Brian Lacey; Pádraig Walsh, Derek Thorpe (0-1), Paddy Rossiter; Patrick Skelton (0-2 frees), Patrick Codd (0-1 free), Paddy O'Leary (0-1). Subs. - P.J. O'Neill for Cahill, inj. (17), Niall Byrne for E. Walsh (21), Peter O'Toole for P. Walsh (31), Gavin Collier for Lacey (31).
Referee: Pádraig Byrne (Kilanerin).