Duffry in second final on trot after vital Coleman goal
DUFFRY ROVERS 1-15 TARA ROCKS 0-15
DUFFRY ROVERS qualified for a second successive Top Oil Intermediate ‘A’ hurling championship final, and ended the double dreams of Tara Rocks in the process, when a Joe Coleman goal ultimately gave them the edge in a game full of talking points in Bellefield on Sunday.
The full-forward pounced early in the second-half to open up a 1-9 to 0-8 lead for the eventual victors, doubling on a dropping ball to beat netminder Tom Hughes from close range.
The Gorey District men were well served by the sharpshooting of Dean O’Toole, but they may feel aggrieved at not being awarded what looked like a stone-wall penalty when the game was finely balanced in the second-half.
That said, they survived a miss from the Duffry earlier in the game when goalkeeper Hughes stood strong to deny Cathal Clince from a close-in free, and the Coolree/ Ballindaggin side also reached double figures in the wides count as well.
It was 0-9 to 0-8 in favour of Duffry Rovers at half-time, with Dean O’Toole contributing five frees plus one from play for their rivals while Peter Hughes and Niall Breen added one apiece.
That Coleman goal saw them open up some daylight on the re-start with four points between the sides, but Tara Rocks didn’t lie down.
Indeed, Dean O’Toole restored parity from a successful ’65 in the final quarter (1-12 to 0-15), meaning that it was a real test of Duffry Rovers’ mettle.
However, they were equal to the task in a tense conclusion, accounting for the last three scores to book their place in the decider alongside Taghmon-Camross, the team they beat by ten points in last year’s quarter-final.
It was interesting to note that twelve of the winners’ 15 points came from placed balls, with Cathal Clince and Liam Pender both responsible for a string of vital scores. The stand-out effort from the duo was a line ball by former county Minor Clince who was prominent in the heart of defence.
Duffry Rovers only lost this corresponding final to Fethard by one goal last year and, given that their conquerors have gone on to reach the Intermediate decider at the first attempt, they will no doubt take heart from that achievement.
Tara Rocks had designs on a double prior to this game, but their exit means that there will be full concentration from their dual players now on Kilanerin’s quest for a first Senior football title since 2008 next Sunday.
Duffry Rovers: Stephen Watchorn; James Nolan, Donie Doyle, Craig Casey; Thomas Dunne, Cathal Clince (0-5, 4 frees, 1 line ball), Matthew O’Connor; Johnny Flynn-O’Connor, Liam Pender (0-7, 6 frees, 1 ’65); Robert Frayne (0-1), Donie O’Connor (0-1), Cian Fitzhenry; Alan O’Neill, Joe Coleman (1-0), Gavin Watchorn. Sub. - Eamonn Doyle (0-1) for Frayne.
Tara Rocks: Tom Hughes; Aidan Jones, Edward Hughes, Rhys Owley; Mark Boland, Conor Devitt, Jim Hughes; Niall Breen (0-2), Paudie Hughes; Bobby Hughes, Stephen Hughes, Peter Hughes (0-2); Lee Owley, Brendan Hobbs, Dean O’Toole (0-10, 8 frees, 1 ’65). Subs. - Ben O’Connor (0-1) for S. Hughes, Patrick Fortune for Hobbs, Colin Breen for Peter Hughes.
Referee: James Mullally (Gusserane).