Ferns hammer Harriers
FABULOUS FERNS St. Aidan's built steadily on their opening round win over Shelmaliers when they demolished Faythe Harriers with even greater ease, giving the stand-out performance of the weekend in this entertaining Pettitt's Senior hurling championship Group A clash in Bellefield on Saturday last.
Two goals in the second quarter and another brace in response to one from the Wexford town team after the interval powered the red and whites to a fully-deserved runaway win which was inspired by the complete midfield dominance of the outstanding Brendan Jordan and Tommy Dwyer.
Faythe Harriers may have edged the early exchanges after their best forward, Shane Howard, picked off a point just 44 seconds into the action, but the game took a twist in favour of Ferns in the 18th minute when Richie Kehoe flapped at a long-range Tommy Dwyer free on the line and it ended up in the net.
That score pushed the eventual winners ahead for the first time (1-3 to 0-5), and they were boosted even further ten minutes later when Paul Morris and John Breen combined down the right flank before centre-forward Jamie Whelan cleverly batted the ball to the net to avoid being hooked.
His brother, Colm, followed up with a rousing point, shipping a shoulder from Lee Chin before splitting the posts, and Ferns were full value for their 2-7 to 0-9 half-time lead.
Their dominance grew on the re-start with the first three points from Paul Morris, Tommy Dwyer (free) and Jonathon Dwyer, but the Harriers briefly threatened a comeback when the ball was brought closer to goal for dissent after a foul on Chin and Jim Berry planted the free in the net (2-10 to 1-9).
The decisive response from Ferns wrapped up victory though as they pounced for two goals in just over 60 seconds. Ian Byrne cut in from the left for the first and 'Archie' Scallan couldn't keep his shot out despite getting a touch on the ball, and then a poor clearance was punished to the full as Jamie Whelan handpassed to John Breen who made it game, set and match in the 38th minute (4-10 to 1-9).
The Harriers grew increasingly ragged and ought to have been reduced to 14 men but referee Niall McDonald didn't give the second yellow card which one of their key men deserved for a nasty slap at Tommy Dwyer.
Although a Jim Berry free from out the field went all the way to the net in the 41st minute (4-11 to 2-9), Ferns went on to score five of the last seven points as the prolific Paul Morris brought his tally to five from play while Dwyer landed a brace of frees before Christopher O'Connor got in on the act.
Ferns St. Aidan's: Mick Walsh; Declan Byrne, Niall Maguire, Colin Leacy; Colm Whelan (0-1), James Tonks, Ciarán Roberts; Brendan Jordan, Tommy Dwyer (1-6, 1-4 frees); John Breen (1-0), Jamie Whelan (1-0), Ian Byrne (1-0); Jonathon Dwyer (0-2), Paul Morris (capt., 0-6, 1 free), Christopher O'Connor (0-1). Subs. - Patrick Farrell for J. Whelan, temp. (5-7), Farrell for J. Whelan (48), Eddie Cullen for J. Dwyer (55), Gavin Bailey for Roberts (58).
Faythe Harriers: Ian Scallan; Brendan Mulligan, David Mooney, Alan Lynch; Emmet Keeling, Richie Kehoe (capt.), Colm Heffernan; Kevin Gore (0-1), Jim Berry (2-5 frees); Ben O'Brien, Lee Chin (0-2), Rhys Clarke; Shane Howard (0-2), Pádraigh Farrell, Paul Lambert (0-1).
Referee: Niall McDonald (Crossabeg-Ballymurn).