Ferns maintain winning record
FERNS MAINTAINED their 100 per cent record in the Lodgewood Engineering Intermediate football championship with a straight-forward victory over Ballyhogue in St. Patrick's Park on Thursday last.
Riding high on top of Group A with three consecutive victories, Ferns always looked likely to make it four as a whirlwind first-half left the Bree boys shell-shocked.
Indeed, it could hardly have been a more impressive first 30 minutes for the St. Aidan's side. Against a side with superb movement between the two forward lines, a midfield that was in dominant form and a defence that kept up an incredible rearguard record that has seen them concede just 2-20 in four games, Ballyhogue were completely over-run.
Strangely the Enniscorthy District side did grab the opening score when Liam Kelly flashed over but that second minute minor was to be the sum of their first-half efforts.
Ferns, playing with a slight breeze, rushed away with a first period salvo of 1-9. County hurling regular Paul Morris grabbed three early scores as his club racked up five points by the end of the first quarter.
The deficit could have been worse had Ferns managed to goal in that spell. Tomás Hawkins brilliantly intercepted a defensive handpass, laid off to Edward Cullen who in turn released Patrick Breen, however the corner-forward saw his shot saved.
A deserved major did arrive in the 20th minute and again it was Hawkins and Cullen linking up. The former fed Cullen who darted towards goal and unleashed a stunning shot into the top left corner of the net from just outside the '20 (1-6 to 0-1).
The eleven-point interval lead was closed by two within six minutes of the resumption when Seán Ring and Syl Byrne pointed as Ballyhogue improved dramatically in the early stages of the second-half. Tommy Dwyer fired Ferns' final score in the 42nd minute (1-11 to 0-5) but a quiet final quarter meant that they were never really threatened.
Ferns St. Aidan's: Conor Swaine; Declan Byrne, Jamie Dunbar, Colin Leacy; Johnny Dwyer, Ciarán Roberts, Pádraig Bolger; Colm Whelan, Ian Byrne; Paul Morris (0-3), James Tonks (0-1), Tommy Dwyer (0-2); Tomás Hawkins (0-1), Edward Cullen (1-2, 0-2 frees), Patrick Breen (0-2 frees). Subs. - Barry Breen for Hawkins, Robert Vickers for I. Byrne, Ben Cowman for P. Breen, Keith Rynhart for Cullen.
Ballyhogue: Myles Roche; Ger Cullen, Seán Rochford, Denis Asple; John Roche, Richard Dunne, Hughie O'Neill; Syl Byrne (0-1 free), Shane Byrne; Shane Roche, Liam Kelly (0-2), Ivan Jacob; Seán Ring (0-3, 1 free), Jim Bob Levingstone, Noel Roche. Subs. - Graham Parker for J. Roche, Jack Fortune for Jacob, Mick Parker for Levingstone.
Referee: John Tobin (Geraldine O'Hanrahans).