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Quickfire goals send St. Anne’s on their way to victory over Cloughbawn in Wexford Senior hurling championship

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Liam Rochford, who scored five points against Cloughbawn on Saturday, in action against Crossabeg-Ballymurn.

Liam Rochford, who scored five points against Cloughbawn on Saturday, in action against Crossabeg-Ballymurn.

Liam Rochford, who scored five points against Cloughbawn on Saturday, in action against Crossabeg-Ballymurn.

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St. Anne's 3-17 Cloughbawn 1-18

QUICKFIRE GOALS from Andrew Moran and Mark Furlong early in the second-half sent St. Anne’s on their way to a five-point victory over Cloughbawn in Group A of the Pettitt’s Senior hurling championship in Monamolin on Saturday.

It had been pretty much neck and neck up until that point, with Cloughbawn leading by 1-9 to 1-8 at the break, but those two majors in the space of three minutes gave the Wexford District side the breathing room they needed and they never looked like relinquishing the lead thereafter.

The men from Rathangan and Cleariestown scored a healthy 3-17 for the second game in succession and again their attackers were on song, with each of their half-forward line managing to raise a green flag, while corner-forwards Liam Óg McGovern and the particularly lively Liam Rochford chipped in with nine points between them.

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That said, Cloughbawn will feel it was a game that they could have taken something from, but they just didn’t have the cutting edge and goal threat of their opponents.

Cloughbawn began brightly, with Connal Flood bursting forward to open the scoring, but points from Liam Óg McGovern and Mark Furlong (free) had St. Anne’s in front by the fifth minute.

The Enniscorthy District side then had a chance to lay down an early marker when Flood pumped the ball into the danger zone to Páidí Cullen, who was held back, and referee Barry Redmond signalled for a penalty.

Up stepped Harry Kehoe and, although he struck it pretty well, it wasn’t quite in the corner and goalkeeper Redmond Barry got across well to his right to make a fine save.

Bob Whitty knocked over the resulting ’65 and then picked off another point, after Harry Kehoe had split the posts from the left wing, to give them a 0-4 to 0-2 advantage.

However, St. Anne’s then scored 1-2 without reply to take the initiative. Andy Kennedy got his name on the scoresheet, after good work from Diarmuid O’Keeffe, while Liam Rochford opened his account to draw them level.

They then grabbed the first goal of the game in the 15th minute, when Rochford chipped the ball through to Mikey Fogarty, who confidently fired to the net.

The Cloughbawn response was good though, and points from Connal Flood, Jack Fleming and Bob Whitty (free) had them back on level terms by the 20th minute (1-4 to 0-7). St. Anne’s scored four of the next six points, through Liam Óg McGovern, Andrew Moran, Liam Rochford and Mark Furlong (free), with Bob Whitty (free) and Paddy Whitty replying, but they were hit with a sucker-punch less than two minutes before the break when their opponents plundered a goal.

Páidí Cullen raced on to an inviting delivery from Colm Kehoe and showed great composure to stick the ball in the corner of the net to give his side a 1-9 to 1-8 half-time advantage.

They looked to be in a good position when Cullen, Flood and Bob Whitty (free) added to their tally in the four minutes following the interval to give them a three-point advantage, after Liam Rochford had opened the second-half scoring.

However, it then went pear-shaped for Cloughbawn as St. Anne’s went on a scoring burst that yielded 2-2 in five minutes.

Mark Furlong began the purple patch by converting a free and then Andrew Moran blasted a ground stroke to the net when the ball broke to him following a menacing Liam Óg McGovern run.

Two minutes later they had another major as Mikey Fogarty found Mark Furlong, who took a step to his left and powered a shot past Seán Keating, and McGovern added a point to give St. Anne’s a 3-11 to 1-12 advantage.

Bob Whitty stopped the rot with a free to get Cloughbawn back to within four, but that was as close as they could get as St. Anne’s kept them at arm’s length.

Whitty continued to keep the scoreboard ticking over with placed balls, while Darragh Kehoe also got in on the act, but it wasn’t enough to eat into the St. Anne’s advantage as two points apiece from Liam Rochford and Mikey Fogarty plus scores from McGovern and Furlong comfortably saw them home.

Cloughbawn will face Crossabeg-Ballymurn in Bellefield next Saturday at 7.30 p.m., while St. Anne’s will aim to maintain their perfect record when they take on Glynn-Barntown in Hollymount at 3.30 p.m. the following day.

St. Anne’s: Redmond Barry; Seán Gaul, Tomás Cullen, Eoin Ryan; Brian Kavanagh, Aidan Rochford (capt.), Kenny Cloney; Diarmuid O’Keeffe, Andy Kennedy (0-1); Mikey Fogarty (1-2), Mark Furlong (1-4, 0-4 frees), Andrew Moran (1-1); Liam Óg McGovern (0-4), Jonathan Fogarty, Liam Rochford (0-5). Sub. - Liam Schokman for Gaul (HT).

Cloughbawn: Seán Keating; Gary Kennedy, Barry Carton, Shane Kehoe; Corey Bolger, Connal Flood (0-3), Barry Kehoe (joint-capt.); Colm Kehoe, Darragh Kehoe (0-1); Jack Fleming (0-1), Alan Carton, Páidí Cullen (1-1); Paddy Whitty (0-1), Bob Whitty (0-10, 5 frees, 3 ’65s), Harry Kehoe (joint-capt., 0-1). Subs. - Liam Flood for Fleming (46), James Dempsey for Kennedy, inj. (49); Darragh Redmond for A. Carton (54), Johnny Cullen for Bolger (56).

Referee: Barry Redmond (Na Fianna Clonard).


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