Do­ran switch does the trick

Craanford come from be­hind to see off OLI/Fin­tan’s

Wexford People - - SPORT - BREN­DAN FUR­LONG MHR 1S in St. Pat’s Park

THE SWITCH of Ea­monn Do­ran from de­fence to at­tack for the sec­ond 30 min­utes proved de­ci­sive as it helped Cran­ford to an even­tual seven-point vic­tory over Our Lady’s Is­land/St. Fin­tan’s in this Wex­ford Peo­ple Un­der-17 hurl­ing Di­vi­sion 1 shield fi­nal at St. Patrick’s Park, En­nis­cor­thy.

The even­tual win­ners were trail­ing by four points at the in­ter­val, but when Do­ran as­sumed a cen­tre-for­ward role for the sec­ond pe­riod when his side were wind as­sisted, it changed the whole course of the game.

In­deed, within three min­utes of the re-start he came up with a goal and a point to bring the sides level.

It was an­other ex­am­ple of a timely move as it helped Craanford re­gain the ini­tia­tive and left no way back for the south county side who, de­spite their best ef­forts, could only man­age one sec­ond-half point.

Craanford, play­ing into the wind, were quickly into the game with two pointed frees from Jack Flem­ing within three min­utes.

Af­ter Jack O’Leary had opened his side’s ac­count with a long-range point, the north county team struck back for a fifth-minute goal, as full-for­ward Ai­dan Ka­vanagh got an over­head flick to a lob­bing Pat Doyle ball to find the roof of the net, giv­ing his side a 1-2 to 0-1 lead.

It was a case of the Is­land/ Fin­tan’s hav­ing to dig deep, par­tic­u­larly as they were wind as­sisted.

Ben Pop­plewell, Liam Crow­ley, Shane Pet­tit and Jack O’Leary all re­sponded with points to leave the sides on level terms (1-4 to 0-7) af­ter 20 min­utes.

Five min­utes be­fore the in­ter­val the Wex­ford Dis­trict side got a ma­jor break.

Af­ter cen­tre-for­ward Shane Pet­tit had worked his way through the mid­dle, his shot for goal was ex­cel­lently saved by Aodán Whitty, but cor­ner-for­ward Tommy Wick­ham was alert to fin­ish the break­ing ball to the net, a score that even­tu­ally helped his side to a 1-9 to 1-5 in­ter­val lead.

Craanford had the strong breeze on the re­sump­tion and they quickly utilised this to their ad­van­tage.

Do­ran pointed in his first piece of ac­tion, while in the 33rd minute he pow­ered through the cen­tre to fin­ish with a low shot to the net, leav­ing the sides level (2-6 to 1-9).

Their op­po­nents kept on bat­tling, but there were com­ing un­der in­ces­sant presure which led to an­other Craanford goal on 36 min­utes from the im­pres­sive Ai­dan Ka­vanagh at full-for­ward, giv­ing his side a 3-6 to 1-9 lead.

Nine min­utes into the sec­ond-half the losers had their soli­tary score af­ter the break from a Liam Crow­ley pointed free, but there was to be no way back.

Their fin­ish­ing there­after was way­ward, both from frees and play, with their misses in­clud­ing a Jack O’Leary penalty, which he put to the wrong side of the post.

While the losers tried to re­spond, the bet­ter-bal­anced Craanford de­servedly held out for vic­tory.

Craanford: Aodán Whitty; Mau­rice Tobin, Ea­monn Do­ran (1-3, 0-1 free), James Doyle; Ciarán McLough­lin, Kevin Hy­land, Pádraig Dono­hoe; Pat Doyle, Patrick Ka­vanagh; Jack Flem­ing (0-6 frees), Joseph Con­roy (0-1), Pádraig Tobin; Bren­dan Tobin, Ai­dan Ka­vanagh (2-1), Odhran Kelly. Subs. - Bren­dan Greene for Kelly, Ciarán Lynch for B. Tobin, also Ted Kenny, Dean Wadding.

Our Lady’s Is­land/St. Fin­tan’s: Liam Kelly; Dan Kelly, James Newport, Mickey Cullen; Leigh Newport, Jack O’Leary (0-4, 2 frees, 1 ’65), Seán O’Reilly; Ja­son Dev­ereux, Liam Crow­ley (0-4, 3 frees, 1 ’65); Johnny Kelly, Shane Pet­tit (0-1), Adam Mullins; Kyle Rankin, Ben Pop­plewell (0-1), Tommy Wick­ham (1-0). Subs. - Aaron Busher for Wick­ham, Oisín Meyler for Kelly, also James O’Leary, Seán Dono­van, Dan Dev­ereux, Quin­lan Kelly, Cil­lian Doyle.

Ref­eree: Colm O’Fla­herty (Black­rock, Cork).

Craanford show their de­light af­ter clinch­ing the shield ti­tle.

Pat Doyle of Craanford with Bren­dan Fur­long (Peo­ple News­pa­pers) and Bobby Goff (Coach­ing Of­fi­cer).

The Our Lady’s Is­land/St. Fin­tan’s crew be­fore the fi­nal.

Ai­dan Ka­vanagh rac­ing goal­wards for Craanford.

Jack O’Leary (OLI/St. Fin­tan’s) beats Ea­monn Do­ran to the ball.

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