Eoghan Ruadh 2-8 Ferns St. Aidan's 2-2
Talented Tyrone kingpins Eoghan Ruadh proved to be a step too far for a gallant Ferns in the final of the John West Féile na nGael Division 4 hurling Shield in Tinryland, Co. Carlow, on Sunday.
The St. Aidan's boys were hugely unlucky to draw their last game in the round-robin stages, when a win would have seen them through to the cup proper.
Yet they didn't sulk, they got right back at it and put in two excellent performances to see off Rathmolyon (Meath) and Naomh Eoin (Carlow) to make the Shield decider.
Maybe things would have turned out differently for the Wexford club had they not got off to an absolutely rotten start, falling 1-1 to nil behind after just two minutes.
Star man for the tournament, Corey Dunbar, sent over a free to pull a point back for Ferns. However, goaltender Stephen O'Toole was forced to make two fantastic saves to keep his side in the game as the half wore on.
Eoghan Ruadh moved into a 1-4 to 0-1 lead as the game edged towards the interval, but the lively George Warren gave his side some hope just before the change of ends with a classy point.
If Ferns were looking for a quick start after the break to get themselves back into the game they failed to find it.
In fact, it was their opponents who went further clear with their second major.
Down by 2-4 to 0-2, Ferns dug deep and scrambled a lifeline through Jerry Sheridan midway through the half.
The improbable seemed possible with three minutes remaining when a fantastic solo run and high, blistering finish to the net by Corey Dunbar left just three between the sides (2-5 to 2-2).
However, Eoghan Ruadh dug deeper and found added reserves to pull clear and take the title with three late points.
It was a gallant effort from a Ferns side which did club and county proud in three fantastic days of hurling.
Ferns St. Aidan's: Stephen O'Toole; Max Meegan, Josh Kinsella, Darragh Breen; Niall Logan, Conor O'Toole (vice-capt.), James Kinsella; Brian Stafford (capt.), George Warren (0-1); David Bolger, Corey Dunbar (1-1, 0-1 free), Liam Byrne; Joe Byrne, James Murray, Craig Dreelan. Subs. - Danny Dreelan, Jerry Sheridan (1-0), Oisín Cronin, Jason Ogwueleka, also Charlie Murphy, Jacob McCormack, Jack Byrne.
Referee: Frankie Fitzpatrick (Carlow).