HWH-Bunclody 2-9 Naomh Eanna 2-3
HWH-Bunclody responded quickly and efficiently when the gauntlet was thrown down by hosts Naomh Eanna in the opening fixture in Division 1B of the Greenstar Under-20 football championship on Friday.
Despite dominating the second-half, the visitors found themselves level when substitutes Joseph Naughton and Jack Doran combined to pick out Eddie Murphy, and the Gorey corner-forward forced the ball home off the deck.
Now level pegging with twelve minutes remaining (1-5 to 2-2), Bunclody upped the ante and responded within seconds.
They moved the ball down the field, and Eoin Kelly released Peadair Cowman who rattled high past Cillian Donohoe to break the hosts' resistance.
From there Bunclody shut the door. John McCormack and Eoin Kelly both knocked over a pair of points each which meant, despite a Charlie McGuckin free, there was no real drama as the game moved to a mucky end.
Earlier, Bunclody edged the first-half and were able to build a 1-4 to 1-2 interval advantage.
Kelly and Byron Byrne scored points in the first two minutes but the heavy underfoot conditions aided a 14-minute scoreless period.
It was broken by a McGuckin free but Brandon Kavanagh quickly replied at the other end. With the rain beating down, Gorey put together a move of real quality.
McGuckin, Eddie Murphy and Paddy Dwyer were all involved in releasing Larry Cullen, and he calmly slotted under Jack Regan to the net.
After Evan O'Dwyer kicked a classy point (1-2 to 0-3), Bunclody - who had nine of their Minor-winning starting team from last season on the field - hit back.
Peadair Cowman was fouled close to goal and John Dunne sauntered up the field to slot the spot-kick low to the net.
Two points ahead at the interval, Bunclody struggled to turn their dominance into scores until Cowman netted with eleven minutes remaining to set them on their way to victory.
The winners will face Shelmaliers on Saturday, a day after Naomh Eanna - who were without Gary and Mick Molloy - host Sarsfields.
HWH-Bunclody: Jack Regan; Aidan Mahon, Adam Hogan, Adam Sadler; Stephen Kavanagh, John Dunne (1-0 pen.), Byron Byrne (0-1); Martin O'Connor (capt.), Josh Martin; Cathal Doyle, Peadair Cowman (1-0), Brandon Kavanagh (0-2); John McCormack (0-2), Eoin Kelly (0-4, 2 frees), Tadhg Kelly. Sub. - William Dunne for B. Kavanagh (47).
Naomh Eanna: Cillian Donohoe; Corey Meyler, Seamus O'Donnell (capt.), Martin Kavanagh; Nathan Byrne, Eoin Molloy, Seán Dowling; Jack Cullen, Seán Delaney; Evan O'Dwyer (0-1), Jack Cushe, Larry Cullen (1-0); Eddie Murphy (1-0), Charlie McGuckin (0-2 frees), Paddy Dwyer. Subs. - Joseph Naughton for Dwyer (38), Jack Doran for L. Cullen (47), Cian Kenny for Dowling (57), Oran Fitzpatrick for Kavanagh (59), Eoin Collins for Cushe (60+1).
Referee: Pádraig Byrne (Kilanerin).