Duf­fry in sec­ond fi­nal on trot af­ter vi­tal Cole­man goal

Wexford People - - SPORT - TOP OIL IAHC in Belle­field

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).

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