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O’Rahillys end on high note

Shamrocks depart after conceding last seven points


Aaron Whelan on the ball for Gusserane.

Aaron Whelan on the ball for Gusserane.

Gusserane's Eoin Power breaks with the ball.

Gusserane's Eoin Power breaks with the ball.


Aaron Whelan on the ball for Gusserane.


A DOUR first-half made way for an enjoyable second period as Gusserane took advantage of their numerical superiority to advance to the Enniscorthy Farm Systems Junior football championship last eight after a 0-12 to 1-7 victory over Shamrocks in Sunday’s preliminary quarter-final in windy Oylegate.

The Enniscorthy town team had put in their best display of the campaign by quite some margin when an unanswered run of 1-5 in a ten-minute spell before the second water break eased them into a 1-7 to 0-5 lead.

But a foul on Jamie Cooney inside at the expense of a scoreable free proved extra costly for Shamrocks as it led to Shane Larkin receiving a black card to go with an earlier yellow as they were reduced to 14 men.

Seán O’Connor tapped over that free to cut Gusserane’s deficit to four points, before Evan Kiely’s delivery inside saw Cooney claim a mark as he found the range. Conor Twomey soon set up Cooney to kick over another point off his trusty left boot, and the latter converted another free following a trip on Dylan Ryan to make it 1-7 to 0-9 after 52 minutes.

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It was an absolute siege on a beleaguered Shamrocks rearguard by now, and the New Ross District lads eventually struck for the equaliser that looked inevitable when O’Connor assisted Jack Culleton to just fire over via Colin Sheehan’s fingertips.

O’Connor then squared up to a tricky looking free to the left of the posts a minute before time, but found the range with ease to give Gusserane their first taste of the lead since the 34th minute.

And the same player did well to extract himself from traffic before off-loading to Martin Fitzharris to float over the insurance point with the penultimate kick of the game.

John O’Connor had converted a free for Shamrocks after four minutes, with Cooney cancelling that out from Fintan Ryan’s clever ball inside.

But the eventual victors had a goal chalked off on eleven minutes when Cooney’s handpass looped into the net, while Mark Kehoe was denied by an excellent save from Colin Sheehan later on in the half.

The score stood at an uninspiring 0-1 apiece at the first water break, and Gusserane led by 0-3 to 0-1 by half-time through Eoghan Foran and Kiely.

A couple of goaling opportunities were fluffed by both sides as the game progressed, but when substitute Aaron Wallace forced a good save out of Mark Flynn, captain Robert Moorehouse pounced on the loose ball for a scruffy finish despite Flynn getting his hand on the rebound.

And points followed from Seán Wildes, Brandon O’Connor, Josh Hogan, Anthony Wallace and Barry Dobbs (free) as they forged ahead, with Gusserane eventually turning the tables to join Castletown and St. Martin’s as the three clubs with second teams in the last eight.

Gusserane: Mark Flynn; Fintan Ryan, James Redmond (capt.), Eoghan Foran (0-1); Eoin Power, Cathal Somers, Aaron Whelan; Evan Kiely (0-1), Mark Kehoe; Conor Twomey, Martin Fitzharris (0-1), Seán O’Connor (0-2 frees); Jamie Cooney (0-5, 1 mark), Jack Culleton (0-1), Dylan Ryan (0-1). Subs. - Tommy Ryan for Kehoe, inj. (26), Jack Boyd for Power (51), Ger Wallace for Twomey (57).

Shamrocks: Colin Sheehan; Ricky Murphy, Podge Doyle, Rhys Dunne; Shane Larkin, Brandon O’Connor (0-1), Anthony Wallace (0-1); John Kavanagh, Seán Wildes (0-1); Mickie Dempsey, John O’Connor (0-1 free), Barry Dobbs (0-1 free); Niall Thorpe, Robert Moorehouse (capt., 1-0), Jack Moorehouse. Subs. - Josh Hogan (0-1) for Dempsey (23), Aaron Wallace (0-1) for J. O’Connor (HT), Philip Freeman for J. Moorehouse (HT), George Wheelock for Dunne (46).

Referee: Derek Murphy (St. Martin’s).