Anne’s pip Hogues for U-20 final place
ST. ANNE’S 3-6 BALLYHOGUE 2-8
A DREARY first-half made way for a hugely entertaining second period as two goals in the final quarter steered St. Anne’s into the Greenstar Under-20 football Division 3 championship decider after a 3-6 to 2-8 victory over hosts Ballyhogue in Saturday’s semi-final played at a wet Bree.
It was hard to envisage the drama that would follow after a low-key opener as neither side could stamp any form of authority in the greasy conditions, although not for the want of trying.
Indeed, Philip Rawson and Darragh Furlong for St. Anne’s and Enda Minogue for Ballyhogue all found themselves in promising situations in front of goal at various stages but lacked the execution to rattle the net.
Ironically, the goal that did give the locals the initiative came from rather fortunate means as Liam Rossiter linked up with Cian Wickham and his shot at the posts ended in the top corner to open a 1-2 to 0-3 half-time lead.
St. Anne’s hit the last two points before the break through Brian Kavanagh and Páraic Reville, and two of their potent options in the full-forward line really came to the fore after the interval to just about nudge the Rathangan men through.
Furlong possesses a serious turn of foot, and he used that asset to his advantage on 35 minutes to surge through and put the simplest of finishes on the plate for Dylan O’Brien (1-3 each).
Still, Matt Browne got forward to sweep Ballyhogue back in front, while on the opposite wing, Colm Parnell made the decisive burst forward in the build-up to Wickham flicking into the path of Conor Rossiter to drive low to the net for a 2-4 to 1-4 lead.
Two Dean Doyle points followed (one free), only for St. Anne’s to goal again on 46 minutes as Conor Ryan forced the turnover and supplied Furlong for a calm rolled finish.
O’Brien was an outstanding outlet at full-forward for the victors, kicking the equaliser on 52 minutes before his quickly-taken free pin-balled around the square and Furlong eventually placed soccer-style into the top corner as they forged a precious 3-6 to 2-7 advantage with three minutes of regulation time to play.
Doyle’s well-measured free off the floor had the minimum between the sides as the clock ticked into injury time, but Ballyhogue couldn’t fashion one last score to force parity as instead St. Anne’s confirmed a decider against Rathgarogue Cushinstown or Ferns St. Aidan’s.
St. Anne’s: Dylan Kavanagh; Vincent Carroll, Andrew Walsh, Michael Carroll; Barry Roche, Finn O’Driscoll (capt.), Brian Kavanagh (0-1); Ben Moore, Páraic Reville (0-1); Criostóir Reville, Andy Kennedy (0-2, 1 free), Philip Rawson; Kevin Byrne, Dylan O’Brien (1-1), Darragh Furlong (2-1). Subs. - Conor Ryan for Rawson (42), Barry Stone for Walsh (46), Paddy White for P. Reville (60+2).
Ballyhogue: Darragh Rochford; Cian Rochford, Shane Fenlon, Edward Byrne; Colm Parnell, Darragh Byrne (capt.), Matt Browne (0-1); Enda Minogue, Peter Kelly; Cian Wickham, Nick Doyle, Tadhg Malone; Liam Rossiter (1-0), Dean Doyle (0-7, 4 frees), Conor Rossiter (1-0). Subs. - Ronan Byrne for C. Rochford, inj. (8), Peter Rodgers for Wickham (47).
Referee: Brendan Holohan (Rathgarogue-Cushinstown).
Man of the match Daire Barden racing away from Cathal McCabe.