Sunday 18 August 2019

Walsh points Mary's home

St. Mary's (Rosslare) 0-8 Ferns St. Aidan's 0-7

John Breen of Ferns St. Aidan's is closed down by Rosslare's match-winner Niall Walsh
John Breen of Ferns St. Aidan's is closed down by Rosslare's match-winner Niall Walsh
David Murphy of St. Mary's (Rosslare) sizes up his options as Pádraig Bolger (Ferns St. Aidan's) moves in
Shay Boggan of St. Mary’s (Rosslare) and James Tonks (Ferns St. Aidan’s) contest this 50-50 ball

Dave Devereux

A late point from Niall Walsh maintained St. Mary's one hundred per cent record in Group A of the Amber Springs/Ashdown Park Hotels Intermediate football championship after a dour battle in a miserable Bellefield on Sunday.

Ferns will be kicking themselves for not taking anything from the game though, having recovered from missing a penalty late in the first-half to score four points on the trot to get their noses in front for the first time with 54 minutes on the clock.

However, a Cian Boggan free quickly got the Rosslare outfit back on level terms, before Niall Walsh struck a left-footed effort that sailed between the posts with just a minute of normal time remaining.

In difficult conditions the football was never likely to be pretty, but St. Mary's seemed to have adapted well to the elements as they built up a 0-5 to 0-1 advantage by the 17th minute, with Robert Butler twice splitting the posts, and Lee Devereux, Gearóid Byrne and Conor Cafferkey doing likewise.

All Ferns had to show for the opening quarter was a converted free from goalkeeper Ivan Meegan, and John Breen doubled their tally with another placed ball on 19 minutes.

Breen had the chance to draw his side level a minute before the break when Ian Byrne's shot was saved, and once Christopher O'Connor gathered possession he was hauled down for a penalty.

Breen picked his spot to the goalkeeper's right but his well-struck effort came back off the upright and rebounded to safety.

Christopher O'Connor and Robert Butler exchanged scores early in the second-half, before Ferns assumed an element of control, knocking over four points in a row.

First Ryan Nolan converted a free and then he turned provider, floating in a delivery which Christopher O'Connor got a fist to, and his effort grazed the top of the crossbar and went over.

Netminder Ivan Meegan came forward to fire over two more long-range frees to give Ferns the lead with just over five minutes remaining.

However, the St. Mary's response was instant as Cian Boggan converted a dead-ball and in the 60th minute they manufactured the winning score.

After finding Niall Walsh in space on the left wing, the defen der made no mistake, splitting the posts to secure a hard-fought victory.

St. Mary's (Rosslare): Stephen Breen; Barry Quirke, Gearóid Byrne (capt., 0-1), Conal Grant; Niall Walsh (0-1), Tiarnan Rossiter, Shay Boggan; Robert Butler (0-3), Naomhan Rossiter; Ultan Quirke, Andrew Murphy, Cian Boggan (0-1 free); Lee Devereux (0-1), David Murphy, Conor Cafferkey (0-1).

Ferns St. Aidan's: Ivan Meegan (0-3 frees); Anthony Dwyer, Pádraig Bolger (capt.), Brian O'Neill; Keith Breen, James Tonks, Peter Nolan; Patrick Breen, John Breen (0-1 free); Ian Byrne, Tommy Dwyer, Derek Thorpe; Christopher O'Connor (0-2), Jonathan Dwyer, Ryan Nolan (0-1 free). Subs. - Tomás Hawkins for K. Breen, Eoin Murphy for Byrne.

Referee: Pat Kehoe (Rathgarogue-Cushinstown).

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