A STRONG showing from the bench propelled Ferns St. Aidan’s to victory in Páirc Charman on Saturday, ensuring a second place finish for the visitors in the Permanent TSB Junior hurling championship Group B table.
Jack O’Hagan, Pádraig Kinsella and Tomás Hawkins were all on target in the last ten minutes as Ferns overturned a 0-9 to 0-7 deficit to win by the minimum and set up a last eight clash with local rivals St. Patrick’s in St. Patrick’s Park on Friday.
For the hosts it was a disappointing end to the game and it left them fourth in the table, sending them into the knockout stages with a local derby for themselves too, against Group A table-toppers Glynn-Barntown in Tagoat on Saturday.
Despite horrific conditions, the game actually started at a superb clip, with both sides on the scoresheet twice in the opening few minutes. Brian Stafford and Pádraig Bolger were on target for Ferns, while Calum Corcoran and Jason Gordon matched those scores at the other end. After the quick start it wasn’t until early in the second quarter that Faythe Harriers scored again through Ben Hynes.
They added further scores from Podge Farrell and Gordon, but Stafford did convert his second free to leave just two between the sides at the break (0-5 to 0-3).
The third quarter was a nip and tuck affair as, every time the hosts stretched their lead to three, Ferns came back with a response.
Gordon (two) and Hynes were on target for the Harriers while Pádraig Bolger, Pádraig Walsh and Peter O’Toole countered.
Stafford and Farrell frees cancelled each other out to leave the Harriers 0-9 to 0-7 ahead in the final ten minutes, but the visitors won their second one-point game in consecutive weeks with a set of supercharged substitutions seeing them home.
Ferns St. Aidan’s: Mick Walsh; Brian O’Neill (Clone), Paddy O’Hagan, Peter Nolan; Barry Murphy, Brian O’Neill (St. Aidan’s), Barry O’Toole; Pádraig Bolger (0-2), P.J. O’Neill; Brian Stafford (0-3 frees), Peter O’Toole (0-1 free), James Kinsella; Paddy O’Leary, Pádraig Walsh (0-1), Conor O’Toole. Subs. - Tomás Hawkins (0-1) for Nolan, Andy Cash for O’Leary, Jack O’Hagan (0-1) for P.J. O’Neill, Pádraig Kinsella (0-1) for J. Kinsella.
Faythe Harriers: Tírnan Doyle; Seán Byrne, Mark Henebery, Alex Kirby; Alex Boggan, Cillian Lawlor, Calum Corcoran (0-1); Emmett Nolan, Jack Murphy; Ben Hynes (0-2), Seán Pailing, Jason Gordon (0-4 frees); Stephen Kearney, Podge Farrell (0-2, 1 free), Eoin Kavanagh. Subs. - Conor Kehoe for Pailing, Eoin Doyle for Murphy, Conor Halligan for Hynes.
Referee: Derek Murphy (St. Martin’s).