Taghmon on a high
Taghmon-Camross 3-11 Gusserane 0-12
Ian Carty was the name on everybody's lips as they made their way out of Innovate Wexford Park on Sunday afternoon.
The corner-forward may not have been one hundred per cent fit for this Tom Doyle Supplies Senior football championship Group B clash, but there was certainly nothing lacking in the predatory instinct he showed to propel his side to a shock victory over the county champions.
The on-song attacker helped himself to a hat-trick of goals as last year's Intermediate champions earned a precious victory, which leaves kingpins Gusserane struggling with just a solitary win from their three games to date.
When Taghmon-Camross were given a footballing lesson by St. Martin's in their opening group game, few would have envisaged that they would have been able to turn things around so quickly.
However, on Sunday they showed that this group of players are capable of learning fast as they illustrated a deep hunger and no shortage of skill to chalked up a fully-merited triumph.
Although playing against the wind, they showed their attacking threat from the outset, with Luke Sinnott dribbling through and forcing a save out of Micheál Ryan in the sixth minute after being put through on goal by Anthony Breen.
Within 60 seconds they did have the green flag waving. Stephen Stafford delivered a pinpoint angled pass to Ian Carty and he applied a cool finish past Ryan.
Gusserane took their time to find their feet but a 14th-minute Sam Wall point was quickly followed by their second, from the boot of Shane Cullen.
However, importantly playing against the elements, Taghmon-Camross kept the scoreboard ticking over with Barry O'Gorman and Darren Carty curling over eye-catching scores either side of a Cullen free.
A 27th-minute Seamie McLoughlin free left a goal between the sides (1-3 to 0-3), but Gusserane finished the half strongly with points from Adrian Redmond, Seán Ryan and Shane Cullen to go in level at the break.
The first-half performance of Taghmon-Camross must surely have planted seeds of doubt into the minds of the Gusserane contingent.
And those seeds began to sprout shortly after the resumption when Ian Carty bagged another goal with less than 30 seconds on the clock, gathering possession near the end line before cutting inside and angling a precise shot to the far corner of the net.
Stephen Stafford rubbed salt into the wounds with a long-range point and although a couple of Mark Rossiter frees kept Gusserane in touch, they continued to turn the screw with the lively Seamie McLoughlin adding three points and Ian Carty floating over a superb score while off balance.
Points from Shane Cullen and Sam Wall gave Gusserane a semblance of hope of igniting a revival, but a booming effort from Luke Sinnott in the 52nd minute was a real confidence-booster for Taghmon-Camross, giving them a 2-9 to 0-10 advantage.
Páraic Conway pulled a point back for the champions, and they were handed an opportunity to really eat into the lead when John Roche was dragged back and referee Billy Dodd awarded a penalty.
Kenneth Cahill stepped up to take the spot-kick and his effort grazed the crossbar and went over, rather than under, the bar.
It was a let-off for Taghmon-Camross and they weren't going to look a gift horse in the mouth, adding 1-2 to their tally to close out a fine performance.
Barry O'Gorman and Seamie McLoughlin got the points either side of a third goal for star of the show Ian Carty.
A short kick-out from Micheál Ryan was gobbled up by Luke Sinnott, who picked out Carty, and there was only ever going to be one outcome as he confidently planted the ball into the corner of the net.
Taghmon-Camross: Seán O'Gorman; Shane Doyle, Alan Nolan, David O'Keeffe; Stephen Stafford (0-1), Mark O'Gorman, Darren Carty (0-1); Barry O'Gorman (0-2), Anthony Breen; Eoin Doyle, Stephen O'Gorman, Chris Cullen; Seamie McLoughlin (0-5, 1 free, 1 '45), Luke Sinnott (0-1), Ian Carty (3-1). Sub. - Michael O'Gorman for I. Carty.
Gusserane: Micheál Ryan; Adrian Redmond (0-1), Mark O'Neill, Gavin Sheehan; Jack Burford, Liam Dillon, Jack O'Connor; John Roche, Cillian Kehoe; Páraic Conway (0-1), Shane Cullen (0-4, 2 frees), Seán Ryan (0-1 line ball); Kenneth Cahill (0-1 pen.), Paul Wall, Sam Wall (0-2). Sub. - Mark Rossiter (0-2 frees) for P. Wall.
Referee: Billy Dodd (Sarsfields).