Breen's goal vital in local derby to forget
THE MOST charitable thing one could say about this Lodgewood Engineering Intermediate championship Group A game in Farmleigh on Saturday last is that football mustn't have been high on the priority list of either club in the long break for inter-county activity since the previous round.
Patrick Breen's goal in the 40th minute powered Ferns St. Aidan's to victory over a very weak HWH-Bunclody side in a clash with no redeeming features, leaving the team coached by Colm Morris in top spot with a maximum six points from three outings.
Not every local derby is a hum-dinger that will live long in the memory, and this was proof positive. Ferns may take the bragging rights but all those present will be doing their best to forget about it as quickly as possible.
It took nearly ten minutes before Colm Farrell picked off the first point for HWH-Bunclody, with Paul Morris responding at the start of the second quarter and then giving Ferns the lead.
Netminder John Byrne equalised from a '45 before Conor Kinsella was brought down for a penalty which Kevin Dunne missed in the 24th minute, one of 13 HWH-Bunclody wides in all compared to eight for the winners.
Barry Kehoe and Tomás Hawkins (free) swapped points before the break and there was no improvement on the re-start as over eight minutes elapsed before Ian Byrne gave Ferns an advantage they would not relinquish.
That decisive goal arrived just under 60 seconds later, with James Tonks, Paul Morris and Byrne all involved in the move before Hawkins struck a low shot off the post and the rebound was fired home by Patrick Breen (1-4 to 0-3).
Ferns netminder Conor Swaine brought off smart saves from Colm Farrell and Paudge Kehoe after Pádraig Bolger had widened the gap to five points, while substitute Aidan Nolan had steered a goal chance wide for the losers earlier in the half.
The sole HWH-Bunclody point after the break came in the 58th minute from a Mark Sheehan free, before Paul Morris had the last word for the victors in a dreadful outing.
Ferns St. Aidan's: Conor Swaine; Declan Byrne, Jamie Dunbar (capt.), Colin Leacy; Pádraig Bolger (0-1), Ciarán Roberts, Jonathon Dwyer; James Tonks, Colm Whelan; Tommy Dwyer, Brendan Jordan, Ian Byrne (0-1); Paul Morris (0-3), Patrick Breen (1-0), Tomás Hawkins (0-1 free). Subs. - Barry Breen for Whelan, temp. (11-13), Eddie Cullen for Whelan (50), Barry Breen for Hawkins (54).
HWH-Bunclody: John Byrne (0-1 '45); Enda Slevin, John Atkinson, Steven Finn; James Moorhead (capt.), Colm Farrell (0-1), Seán Kenny; Bryan O'Hara, Conor Kinsella; Paul Finn, Barry Kehoe (0-1), Keith O'Hara; Jamie John Murphy, Mylie Connors, Kevin Dunne. Subs. - Aidan Nolan for P. Finn (35), Mark Sheehan (0-1 free) for K. O'Hara (41), Paudge Kehoe for Murphy (41), Ollie Connors for Dunne (48), John Connors for S. Finn (59).
Referee: Seánie O'Shea (Blackwater).
New Ross Standard