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Thursday 26 April 2018

Duffry secure draw

Duffry Rovers 1-9 HWH-Bunclody 1-9

A battle between the O’Connors as Martin of HWH-Bunclody is pursued by the Duffry’s Donie
A battle between the O’Connors as Martin of HWH-Bunclody is pursued by the Duffry’s Donie

Dean Goodison

Johnny Flynn-O'Connor kicked a 58th-minute equalising point as Duffry Rovers claimed a deserved draw against HWH-Bunclody in the Amber Springs/Ashdown Park Hotels Intermediate football championship Group B tie at the Ferns Centre of Excellence on Saturday.

The Coolree side never led, and were level for just nine of the 60 minutes, but their craft and endeavour at least warranted an impressive draw against one of the championship favourites in Bunclody.

With the crosswind partially aiding the Half Way House in the first-half, they went about building a lead.

In those first 30 minutes, Seán Kenny shone brightest for his side, scoring two fantastic points with the outside of his right boot, but it was his distribution that was really telling.

His side were 0-3 to 0-1 ahead after the opening exchanges when he pinged the first of several long, accurate defence-stretching passes.

It picked out Eoin Kelly in stride, and he burst through but was fouled in the act of shooting, with referee James Owens awarding the penalty.

While it wasn't as picture perfect as his effort against Kilkenny the previous week, Aidan Nolan's spot-kick was just as clinical as he sent Bobby Larkin the wrong way to make it 1-3 to 0-1.

Peter Atkinson narrowly missed the target with a low shot when looking to add a second major, but his side still appeared comfortable.

The Duffry needed a spark and they got it in the 23rd minute. Inspired substitution Donie O'Connor hadn't been on the field long when he released Niall Beggan into the clear, and the big corner-forward made no mistake with his drilled finish.

The new-found confidence helped Rovers within two at the break (1-7 to 1-5), but they had put a lot into the first-half.

Indeed, the second period proved to be a much tighter affair, although Bunclody weren't helped by John Atkinson's dismissal for an off-the-ball incident shortly after the break.

Two Cian Fitzhenry dead-balls that straddled the third quarter mark got the Duffry level.

Despite having a lot of possession, Bunclody didn't register until substitute Edward Dunbar kicked a brace in a few seconds on the 54-minute mark.

Down by two again (1-9 to 1-7), the Duffry weren't likely to drift away meekly.

Tormentor-in-chief, Robert Frayne, won a free that Fitzhenry converted before Flynn-O'Connor snatched a draw for his side with two minutes left.

Duffry Rovers: Bobby Larkin; John Dunne, Donie Doyle, Thomas Dunne; Gavin Watchorn, Craig Casey, Glenn Rafter; Ted O'Brien, Aidan Byrne (capt., 0-1); Gavin Rafter, Johnny Flynn-O'Connor (0-4, 3 frees), Stephen Watchorn; Niall Beggan (1-0), Robert Frayne, Cian Fitzhenry (0-4, 3 frees). Subs. - Donie O'Connor for Glenn Rafter (19), Tim Bowler for O'Brien (43), Liam Pender for Gavin Rafter (50).

HWH-Bunclody: Pat Kavanagh; Billy Kelly, William Atkinson, Adam Hogan; Peadair Cowman, John Atkinson (capt.), John Dunne; Seán Kenny (0-2), Martin O'Connor; Colm Farrell (0-1), Eoin Kelly (0-1), Cathal Doyle (0-1); Peter Atkinson, Kevin Dunne, Aidan Nolan (1-2, 1-0 pen., 0-1 free). Subs. - Byron Byrne for Hogan (31); Edward Dunbar (0-2) for P. Atkinson (48), David Reck for K. Dunne (55), Keith O'Hara for Doyle (59).

Referee: James Owens (Kilrush).

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