Wall inspires Gusserane/Fethard win
Mogue O'Rahilly's withstood a ferocious Ferns St. Aidan's fightback to nab the Enniscorthy Guardian Coiste na nOg Juvenile hurling Roinn 1 championship title at St. Patrick's Park.
Mogue O'Rahilly's 2-20 Ferns St. Aidan's 5-8
The Gusserane/Fethard combo were worthy winners, racking up 22 scores in 60 minutes of enthralling hurling.
Unsurprisingly, it's a team with lots of talent. Indeed, their spine is particularly strong with Jimmy Sutton orchestrating from centre-back behind the dynamic double-act of Gavin Sheehan and Mark Kehoe in midfield.
Up front Sam Wall was superb. Not only was the attacker deadly accurate from placed balls, but his build-up play, and his link-up with the dangerous Kevin O'Donohoe at full-forward, was almost telepathic at times.
That said, their endeavours were nearly not enough as their opponents, driven on by Jeff Tobin and Eoin Murphy in midfield, rallied all the way back to within a point after a quick-fire major double by Chris Turner with just nine minutes remaining.
Crucially, Ferns could never get that score to bring them level as Mogue O'Rahilly's battened down the hatches and pressed forward again to pick off points from Wall (two), O'Donohoe and Jamie Sheehan to take the trophy.
The sides produced a blistering start as well as a tense end. The New Ross District combination hit the front with a Wall goal inside three minutes, only for Ferns to respond in kind when Turner grabbed his first seconds later.
A superb individual goal by Brian O'Neill gave Ferns their only lead in the fourth minute (2-0 to 1-0) as Mogue O'Rahilly's scored the next 1-7 on the bounce to take control.
Jamie Sheehan grabbed the goal while Wall (four), Gavin Sheehan, O'Donohoe and Sutton all pointed to ease their side 2-7 to 2-0 ahead.
There was six in it at half-time (2-11 to 3-2) after Jeff Tobin's net-rippler for Ferns was countered by points from Wall (two), Adam Waters and Gavin Sheehan. Mogue O'Rahilly's still looked comfortable as they increased that lead to 2-16 to 3-6 after 50 minutes.
Turner beat Oisín Foran twice in less than 60 seconds to give his side hope but they could never edge in front, and the late settlers came to see Mogue O'Rahilly's over the finish line to title glory.
Mogue O'Rahilly's: Oisín Foran; Aaron Murphy, Thomas Ryan, Donal Kinsella; Eoin Dunne-Codd, Jimmy Sutton (0-1), Pádraig Pilkington; Gavin Sheehan (capt., 0-2), Mark Kehoe; Seán Dunne, Sam Wall (1-11, 0-8 frees, 0-3 '65s), Adam Waters (0-1); Jamie Sheehan (1-1), Kevin O'Donohoe (0-4), Brian Dillon. Subs. - Adam Ross for S. Dunne (38), Jack Pierce for Dillon (59), also Eoin Pilkington, Stephen Whelan, Colin Walsh, Jacob Ferguson, Eoghan Stafford, Zachary Lavery, Emmett Cullen.
Ferns St. Aidan's: James Lawlor; Robert Murphy, Patrick O'Hagan, Steve Warren; Shane Stafford, Conor Scallan, William Bolger; Eoin Murphy (capt., 0-1 free), Jeff Tobin (1-1); Michael O'Brien, Chris Turner (3-6, 0-5 frees), Brian O'Neill (1-0); Rory Scallan, Niall Murphy, Thomas Breen. Subs. - Jordan Kirwan for Breen (45), Eoghan Murphy for O'Brien (55), also Kevin Stafford, Patrick O'Toole.
Referee: Paddy Campbell (Shelmaliers).