Clough­bawn end on top

Wexford People - - SPORT - DEAN GOOD­I­SON in New Ross

CLOUGH­BAWN SMOTH­ERED the en­thu­si­asm out Fethard in the bat­tle for top spot in Group A of The Court­yard Ferns In­ter­me­di­ate hurl­ing championship in O’Kennedy Park, New Ross, on Sun­day.

Both sides had qual­i­fied be­fore this match-up, both had picked up seven from a pos­si­ble eight points, and both had only been pre­vi­ously de­nied vic­tory by St. James’. That’s where the sim­i­lar­i­ties ended as the Castle­boro side bossed this from the off.

The game was pretty much done as a con­test af­ter the open­ing half and, im­por­tantly, Clough­bawn did the dam­age while get­ting every­one in­volved. If they are to re­gain their Se­nior sta­tus, this is a de­cent blue­print to fol­low in the com­ing weeks.

If proof of the gap be­tween th­ese sides on the day was proven by any­thing, it was the scor­ing stats in the open­ing half.

All the for­wards scored for Clough­bawn, with Barry Car­ton get­ting the all-im­por­tant brace of ma­jors. On the other hand, Fethard had just four frees from mid­fielder Gra­ham O’Grady to their name at the in­ter­val.

It was 0-3 to nil al­ready when good work by Conor Har­ring­ton pre­sented Car­ton with pos­ses­sion, and he set off on a pow­er­ful, di­rect run and smashed his fin­ish past Seán Fo­ley.

When Alan Car­ton be­came the sixth Clough­bawn for­ward to score, his side led by 1-8 to 0-3 in the 27th minute.

Al­ready in con­trol, an al­most per­fect first-half for the the En­nis­cor­thy District side was fur­ther em­pha­sised when M.J. Fur­long’s point attempt came down off the up­right, Car­ton hauled it in and quickly dis­patched it past Fo­ley to make it 2-9 to 0-4 at the break.

Clough­bawn scored just two points in the first 20 min­utes of the sec­ond-half but they didn’t need to do much more than man­age the game. Ciarán Dwyer be­came Fethard’s sec­ond scorer in the 50th minute to get his side within eight.

They con­tin­ued to chip away with Gar­rett Fo­ley adding three points, but Alan Car­ton and Harry Ke­hoe shared five late points to se­cure a com­fort­able win.

The vic­tory and top spot en­sures Clough­bawn the­o­ret­i­cally get a favourable quar­ter-fi­nal tie against Sham­rocks, who man­aged their first win of the championship sea­son against Askamore on Sun­day.

Given the form of both po­ten­tial op­po­nents this sea­son, it’s fair to say that Fethard’s route to the semi-fi­nals is now more treach­er­ous. They will face-off against a tricky Adamstown out­fit for a cov­eted last four spot.

Clough­bawn: Noel Car­ton; Gavin Mur­phy, Tomás Fur­long, James Dempsey; Barry Ke­hoe, Conor Har­ring­ton, Johnny Cullen; Páidí Cullen (0-2), Colm Ke­hoe; Paul Fo­ley (0-1), Alan Car­ton (0-3), Harry Ke­hoe (0-7, 4 frees); Bob Whitty (0-3), Barry Car­ton (capt., 2-1), M.J. Fur­long (0-1). Subs. - Joey Lawlor for Dempsey (49), Colin Doyle for Fo­ley (55), Thomas Fo­ley for A. Car­ton (60+2).

Fethard: Seán Fo­ley; Martin Power, Jesse Fo­ley, Daniel Mul­lan; Rúairí Tubrid, Kevin Rowe, Richie Wa­ters; Gra­ham O’Grady (0-9, 8 frees), Gar­rett Fo­ley (capt., 0-3, 1 free); Ed­mund Power, John Tubritt, Jimmy Sut­ton; Ciarán Dwyer (0-1), Dar­ren Fo­ley. Bryan Power (0-1). Subs. - Daire Bar­den for D. Fo­ley (37), Brian Dil­lon for J. Fo­ley (56), Danny John­ston for Wa­ters, inj. (58).

Ref­eree: An­thony Tobin (Geral­dine O’Han­ra­hans).

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