Double delight for Bohs
Soccer Wexford Football League: Wexford Bohs 3 Courtown Hibs 1
It was a tale of two titles on the same day as Wexford Bohemians seconds turned on the style to take the crucial points from a battling Courtown Hibs side that enabled them lift the Division 4 league title in real style.
The afternoon celebrations may have been delayed, and this after Bohs first eleven clinched the Division 1 title and promotion at Forth Celtic earlier in the day, as the referee was delayed with his earlier game having gone to extra-time, leaving the kick-off down in Drinagh some 35 minutes behind schedule, but it in no way hampered the home side who began with real flair and passion as they sought out that vital opening goal.
Maybe it was title nerves but they spurned three early gilt-edged opportunities of taking the lead, leaving their enlarged support group wondering if they would have to wait awhile longer to lift the silverware, as they became increasingly concerned with the sides failure to turn their excellent outfield play into scores.
But then again, life was not being made easy by a spirited Courtown side, whose back four despite being exposed seemed always able to apply the crucial pressure, while they also looked dangerous with their quick counter attacks, with James Flynn being particularly prominent in those attacks.
From the start it was Bohs who applied the pressure, as Craig Kelly flashed a header just wide from an Ian Farrell cross, while minutes later it was Kelly once again this time just failing to get to a low cross across the face of the goal.
They should have taken the lead on eight minutes when Aaron Walsh found himself in on goal but shot straight at keeper Rhys Hughes, while five minutes later he spurned a further chances as he once again fired into the arms of the keeper when it looked easier to score.
This was becoming somewhat frustrating for Bohs for despite dominating the outfield possession they were still seeking out that opening goal, while at the opposite end Eoin Byrne forced a fine save out of Darragh Hayes.
Bohs had to wait until the 38th minute for the breakthrough they had been threatening from the start.
Michael Murphy cut in on goal from the right, but Conor Whelan seemed to have got in the perfect tackle, but referee Peter O'Rourke thought otherwise pointing to the spot to the surprise of everyone, leaving Alan Flood to neatly put the resulting penalty low into the right hand corner of the net, making it 1-0 which was how it remained to the interval.
There was never a fear of Bohs losing their way despite a fine James Flynn shot bringing the best out of keeper Hayes after 47 minutes.
Certainly they were feeling the pressure through those opening minutes on the resumption but they managed to lift the early siege with an excellent attack of their own, with Craig Kelly making ground down the left before playing the ball into Aaron Walsh who fired first time to the roof of the net, leaving it 2-0 after 51 minutes.
Courtown Hibs did have a couple of long-range efforts on goal but four minutes later they got the breakthrough they deserved when after a ball breaking on the edge of the area it was James Flynn who fired home a superb shot beating keeper Hayes at his right post leaving it 2-1.
These were tense moments for Bohs who needed a minimum of one point to lift the title.
The decisive moment came in the 69th minute when sub Ciaran Walsh took on the visitors back four creating space before shooting across the keeper into the corner of net making it 3-1.
Suddenly one could feel the tension lift from the Bohs supporters, particularly as they went on to control the closing 15 minutes, benefiting from excellent midfield play from Aaron Lambert, Ian Farrell and substitute John Carthy, while Philly Berry and Nicky Hynes were superb at the back, as they went on to lift the title, leading to great celebrations on the final whistle.
Wexford Bohemians: Darragh Hayes, Mick Murphy, Aaron McMahon, Philly Berry, Nicky Hynes, Robbie O'Connor, Aaron Lambert, Ian Farrell, Aaron Walsh, Alan Flood, Craig Kelly. Subs: John Carthy, Ben Walsh, Dan Murphy, Eoin Goodison, Darragh Goodison, Ciaran Walsh, Chris Downes, Darragh Nolan, Andrew Byrne, Alan Roche, Colm O Dowda, Jessie Kells.
Courtown Hibs: Rhys Hughes, Conor Whelan, Jack Freegrobe,, Marso Santo, DAvid Savage, Chris Bessant, Jake Wade, James flynn, Gracjan Dettlaff, Edmond Prqeskogs, Eoin Byrne. Subs: Jamie Kane, Lorcan Rossiter.
Referee: Peter O'Rourke.