Fethard finish strongly
OUR LADY’S ISLAND 1-14 1-12
AFTER playing catch-up for most of the game Fethard eventually reeled in their gallant opponents late on to scramble over the line in a feisty Top Oil Intermediate ‘A’ hurling championship quarter-final in Killurin on Saturday.
Our Lady’s Island led 1-5 to 1-3 at the interval, and still held that two-point advantage with ten minutes remaining, but Fethard produced their now customary strong finish to advance to the final four.
Fethard held a 0-3 to 0-2 advantage by the 11th minute with Mark Wallace arrowing over two frees and Jesse Foley finding the range, with Dean Maloney keeping the scoreboard ticking over for the Island.
The Wexford District side then enjoyed a period of dominance, with Maloney to the fore, to take a 1-5 to 0-3 lead by the 18th minute.
First Maloney caught everybody off guard by driving a free to the back of the net, quickly added a point when he was found by a searching pass from Joey Murphy and then converted two frees to complete the scoring spurt.
However, Our Lady’s Island couldn’t continue to strike while the iron was hot and failed to add to their tally for the remainder of the half, with Fethard grabbing an all-important goal just before the interval.
Mark Wallace floated a delivery into the danger zone and Mikie Dwyer gathered possession and headed straight for goal, before planting an unstoppable shot beyond goalkeeper Alan Kinsella.
Our Lady’s Island began the second-half brightly, with Dean Maloney adding two more points to his impressive tally to stretch the lead to four.
However, after two Mark Wallace frees sandwiched an effort from Quinn Saunders, Fethard gradually clawed back their rivals point by point.
Richard Waters tenaciously won back possession and popped the ball over the bar, Mark Wallace followed suit and Graham O’Grady fired over a beauty to get Fethard back on level terms (1-8 to 1-8).
To their credit, Our Lady’s Island did respond well, with points from Dean Maloney (free) and Nicky Keane edging them two ahead, but substitute Ciarán Dwyer made a big impact, first firing over a wonderful score over his shoulder and then slotting over the equalising point in the 53rd minute.
Fethard were in full stride at this stage and points from Mark Wallace (free), Daire Barden and an eye-catching Mikie Dwyer effort from a prohibitive angle gave them a three-point advantage with less than five minutes remaining.
Our Lady’s Island continued to battle hard, with Dean Maloney converting two frees either side of booming Garrett Foley point, but Fethard held firm to take their place in the semi-final.
Fethard: Seán Foley; Chris Molloy, Ruairi Tubritt, Martin Power; Richard Waters (0-1), Kevin Rowe, Brian O’Donohoe; Garrett Foley (0-1), John Tubritt; Graham O’Grady (0-1), Mark Wallace (0-6, 5 frees), Daire Barden (0-1); Mikie Dwyer (1-1), Jesse Foley (0-1), Joe Sutton. Subs. - Eddie Power for Sutton, Ciarán Dwyer (0-2) for J. Tubritt, Daniel Mullan for Molloy, Seán Sutton for Foley.
Our Lady’s Island: Alan Kinsella; Rory Reville, Eamon Maloney, Brian Moore; Cathal Devereux, Liam Kinsella, Davy Corish; Joey Murphy, Gary Walsh; Colm Kinsella, Fintan Mullins, Quinn Saunders (0-1); Dean Maloney (1-10, 1-7 frees), Noel Dempsey, Cian Meyler. Subs. - Nicky Keane (0-1) for Kinsella, Robbie Reville for Dempsey, Eoin Wright for Corish, Dylan Murphy for J. Murphy.
Referee: Brian O’Leary (Crossabeg-Ballymurn).