Clongeen start recovery process as two late goals seal win
Clongeen 3-14 Kilanerin 1-8
Clongeen needed two late goals to fend off the limpet-like challenge of Kilanerin's second string in Sunday's Joyces Expert Intermediate 'A' football championship Group B opener in St. Patrick's Park, Enniscorthy.
Eleven years on from winning their sole Senior title, the New Ross District side showed an admirable battling quality to put Kilanerin away just as the north county men were threatening to cause an upset.
Indeed, Lee Owley had seized upon a kick-out and subsequently goaled to bring Kilanerin to within 1-10 to 1-7 after 41 minutes.
Clongeen's Jamie O'Grady then had a penalty well saved by the solid Eoin Lucey, although Wexford footballer Paul Curtis pointed the rebound for the penultimate score from his personal tally of 0-6.
There was a throwback to the glory days in the 56th minute goal that finally gave Clongeen some breathing space, as ex-county man Páraic Curtis' hanging effort was punched home by another former Wexford stalwart, Collie Byrne, right on the periphery of the square.
And when the subsequent re-start went awry, Jamesie Rochford tucked away the insurance goal, although the final scoreline of 3-14 to 1-8 is a tad harsh on the collective effort from Kilanerin.
They had a few neat first-half points from Peter Hughes, Jim Hughes and Ben O'Connor, but were narrowly trailing by 1-7 to 0-6 at the break thanks to O'Grady's penalty on nine minutes.
That said, Kilanerin also had Lucey to thank just before the break when he made an excellent save to deny Paul Curtis.
Nonetheless, Clongeen weren't to be denied as their quest for an immediate return to the second tier began in earnest.
Clongeen: Ricky Rochford; Stephen Curtis, Enda Murphy, Jamie Keating; Richard Rochford, Páraic Curtis, Leon Stafford; Robert Farrell (0-1), Collie Byrne (1-0); Shane Kilkenny, Shane Cahill (0-3), Jim Bennett (0-1); Paul Curtis (0-6, 4 frees), Jamie O'Grady (1-1, 1-0 pen.), Jamesie Rochford (1-2, 0-1 free). Sub. - Ger Foxe for Bennett (52).
Kilanerin: Eoin Lucey; Colm Noctor, Brian Hughes, Cathal O'Reilly; Seán Bardon, Lorcan Clare, Ben O'Connor (0-1); Niall Breen, Stephen Hughes; Jim Hughes (0-1), Tommy Boland (0-1), Gearóid O Súilleabháin; Lee Owley (1-1), Peter Hughes (0-2), Patsy Fortune. Subs. - David Byrne (0-1) for S. Hughes, inj. (16), Damien Tobin (0-1) for Bardon (HT), Stephen Neville for P. Hughes, inj. (45), Andrew Murphy for Breen (59), Danny Howard for Fortune (59).
Referee: Paddy Brady (Réalt na Mara).
New Ross Standard