Scoring burst secures title
Cloughbawn in accurate form
A burst of scoring in a five-minute spell early in the second-half propelled Cloughbawn past St. Mary's (Maudlintown) to Wexford People Minor football Roinn 2 shield glory in St. Patrick's Park.
Cloughbawn 4-14 St. Mary's (Maudlintown) 4-5
The Castleboro boys scored 2-4 in that time to increase a goal lead into a 13-point advantage, blowing their opponents away in the process.
The victors were particularly powerful down the spine, with midfielders Darragh O'Connor and Billy Wickham adding the creative class in the central third.
Cloughbawn got off to a flying start and already had a couple of points on the board when O'Connor latched onto a St. Mary's kick-out, fed Johnny Connors and the dangerous full-forward sidestepped the outrushing Luke Rogan and fired to the net.
With Seán Keating hitting the target and Connal Flood starting to find his range, Cloughbawn opened up a 1-6 to 0-2 lead. However, the game was lit up in the 23rd minute when Adam Baziz latched onto a breaking ball and sent a stunning, thunderous strike, soccer-style, from 25 metres out into the top right corner of James Flood's net.
It shook Cloughbawn into life and they edged further ahead when Connal Flood broke quickly onto a Rogan kick-out, drove at the St. Mary's goal and coolly slotted low to the net to make it 2-6 to 1-2 with five minutes of the half remaining.
Despite Cloughbawn's class, there was still time for Maudlintown to throw a spanner in the works before the break.
This time it was Leon Nolan-Cullen with a tidy punched finish from Ben Walsh's left-wing floated ball, coupled with a pair of Todd Hynes frees, that left three between the sides at the change-around (2-7 to 2-4).
Between the 35th and 40th minutes Cloughbawn did irreversible damage. Darragh O'Connor burst through from Flood's pass and netted for the first goal of the spell.
Connors poked home at the second attempt while Flood added four points as the eventual victors went 4-11 to 2-4 in front.
Cloughbawn would add just three points in the final 20 minutes but the damage was already done.
St. Mary's chipped away and pulled a goal back when Hynes fired low past James Flood in the 47th minute.
In injury time Nolan-Cullen's free flew into the roof of the net but it didn't overly concern the boys in green as they claimed what could be the first part of a double, with the Wexford People Roinn 2 hurling final against Our Lady's Island/St. Fintan's still to come.
Cloughbawn: James Flood; Michael Murphy, Jack Wickham, Nick Walkden; Stephen Casserly, James Dempsey, Michael Kavanagh; Darragh O'Connor (1-1), Billy Wickham (capt., 0-2); Daniel Dempsey, Connal Flood (1-8, 0-3 frees), Seán Keating (0-2); Dylan O'Neill, Johnny Connors (2-1), Gearóid Blackburn. Subs. (not used) - Patrick Whitty, Niall Murphy, Jack Fleming, Kyle Murphy, Liam Flood, Fionn Codd.
St. Mary's (Maudlintown): Luke Rogan; Tre Long, Max Barnes, Josh Kavanagh; Ramesh Badhan, Mark Doyle (capt., 0-1), Lee Nolan; Cian Whelan (0-1), Jamie Thomas; Todd Hynes (1-3, 0-3 frees), Leon Nolan-Cullen (2-0, 1 free), Ben Walsh; Stephen Doyle, Adam Baziz (1-0), Byron Sweeney. Subs. - Patsy Whelan for S. Doyle (42), Conor Morris for Sweeney (46), Mark Kehoe for Walsh (55), Jack Kehoe for Kavanagh (60+4), also Jordan Donovan.
Referee: Paddy Brady (Réalt na Mara).