St. Martin's edge it
St. Martin's 0-13 HWH-Bunclody 1-9 (AET)
St. Martin's were taken all the way by HWH-Bunclody but escaped after extra-time to claim the New Ross Standard Under-14 football Division 1 shield in St. Patrick's Park.
Neither side managed to work a lead of more than two points in the first 50 minutes, but things changed in the first-half of extra-time.
St. Martin's kicked four points in a row - Rory Devereux hit three of them, with John O'Sullivan adding the other - to build a 0-13 to 1-6 lead.
Ben Martin kicked a free just before the break in extra-time to set up a grandstand last ten. Bunclody pressed for almost all of the second-half but were only able to add a couple of Eoin McDonnell frees as St. Martin's defended heroically to take the title.
Earlier, Bunclody managed just two scores against the breeze in the opening half. However, Darragh Farrell's penalty and Tommy Atkinson's minor were enough to counter three Diarmuid O'Leary points and a Zach Breslin effort as St. Martin's wasted a lot of good chances (1-1 to 0-4).
The Piercestown and Murrintown side started the second-half fairly well and led by 0-7 to 1-3 after 33 minutes, thanks in no small part to two Killian Barry points. Yet they didn't score again until added time as Darragh Farrell and Paddy Connors put Bunclody ahead by two with one minute left.
There was still time for drama, as Oisín Kavanagh scored a point from a tight angle and, with time running out, John Whitty got up field to nail a classy leveller.
Bunclody had Rory Byrne dismissed on a second yellow card deep into added time, but they were still entitled to return to a full complement of players for extra-time.
It all set up an energy-sapping period that St. Martin's emerged from victorious.
Unfortunately, there were scenes involving referee Brendan Martin that left a sour taste after the game.
The official, who got all the big decisions correct, was aggressively accosted by Bunclody supporters as he left the field.
Some of this behaviour was caught by our quick-thinking photographer John Walsh, who himself was approached and shoved by one of the aggressors. Young men learn from examples set, and unfortunately this is not behaviour that should be followed by those of an impressionable age.
St. Martin's: Cian Clarke; Reuben Lafferty, John Codd (capt.), Josh Whitty (0-1); Brian Codd, Kevin Reck, Conor King; Joe Mernagh, Chris Ryan; Diarmuid O'Leary (0-4, 2 frees), Rory Devereux (0-3, 2 frees), Killian Barry (0-2, 1 free); Oisín Kavanagh (0-1), Zach Breslin (0-1), Oisín Kehoe. Subs. - John O'Sullivan for Mernagh, inj. (15), Mernagh for Ryan, inj. (20), Ryan for O'Sullivan (26), Harry Quirke for B. Codd, inj. (35), O'Sullivan (0-1) for Kehoe (37), Robert Curtin for Lafferty (38), Ronan Griffin for Mernagh, inj. (39), Codd for O'Leary, black card (50+3), Eoin Ormonde for Curtin (51), Kehoe for Codd, inj. (55), also Derry Crowley, Conor Dempsey, Josh Reid, Thomas Connick, Daniel Hamilton-Foley, Bobby Whelan, Ke Young, Jack Mullen, Sam Norval, Lewis Martin, Eoghan O Lionáin.
HWH-Bunclody: Derry Mahon; Liam Carton, Oisín O Ceallaigh, Pádraic Doyle; Rory Reallaigh, Eoin McDonnell (0-2 free), Rory Byrne; Darragh Farrell (1-1, 1-0 pen.), Paddy Connors (0-1); Ciarán Whiting, Ben Martin (0-1 free), Tommy Atkinson (0-3); Faolan O Ceallaigh, Robert Black (0-1 free), Aaron Dunne. Subs. - Mylie Connors for Dunne (26), Dunne for Whiting (28), Whiting for Dunne (35), Conor Burke, on as 15th player (51), Dunne for Burke (63), also Michael Doyle, Hubert Wiedocha, Jarred Morris, Cathal Sweeney, Jimmy Connors, Thomas Cowman, Desmond Connors.
Referee: Brendan Martin (Ballyhogue).