Kilrush put in their best performance of the season but it wasn't enough to get the better of District rivals Ferns St. Aidan's in the Wexford People Coiste na nOg Minor football Roinn 2B championship at Ballyroebuck on Wednesday.
The hosts had suffered heavy defeats in their two previous outings but put in a really hearty showing this time around.
They were still well in the game (0-12 to 0-6) when, at the end of the third quarter, they were denied twice when going for a crucial goal.
Eoin Mulholland curled a tantalising soccer-style shot that seemed to go in slow motion before pinging the bottom of Conor Ronan's post in the 40th minute. Then seconds later, buoyed by their previous inroads, Conor Byrne got away on the left and forced the Ferns 'keeper into a reaching stop.
Those chances came at the start of an 18-minute spell where neither team managed to score. Kilrush also went close when substitute Dean Lancaster flashed a shot wide ten minutes from full-time.
There was no such wastage when Ferns grabbed their first goal four minutes from the end. Eoin Murphy played the role of provider on the wing, fed the ball to Chris Turner and the star man drove in and smashed home an unstoppable shot that hit both the crossbar and right post before the net.
That goal opened the floodgates and left the scoreboard unfairly skewed against the hosts at the final whistle. Niall Murphy (two) and Kevin Stafford grabbed points while James Lawlor smashed home from close range for goal number two.
In that barrage of scores, Kilrush did score through 16-year old talisman Ned O'Neill.
The midfielder registered five points overall, with several coming from difficult frees, and looks like a serious prospect for the north county club.
Hotshot O'Neill was on target three times and Mulholland once as Kilrush opened up a 0-4 to 0-3 lead after 18 minutes.
However, with Conor Nolan taking his tally to four and further scores coming from Ivan Meegan, Turner and William Bolger, the visitors turned a deficit into a 0-9 to 0-5 interval lead - despite a Darragh Kinsella point.
The lead swelled to double scores early in the second period after points from Turner, Evan Ryan and Meegan and, despite a dodging a few bullets, Ferns were able to extend to a strong victory in the last few minutes.
Ferns St. Aidan's: Conor Ronan; Jack Ryan, Dylan Murphy, Niall Murphy (0-2); Conor Doran, Aaron Cahill, Shane Stafford; Eoin Murphy, Ivan Meegan (capt., 0-3); Ciarán Doran, Chris Turner (1-3, 0-1 free), William Bolger (0-1); Conor Nolan (0-4), James Lawlor (1-0), Evan Ryan (0-1). Sub. - Kevin Stafford (0-1) for D. Murphy, inj. (12).
Kilrush: Cian Power; Patrick Sharry, Liam O'Rourke (capt.), Patrick O'Rourke; Conor Byrne, Jim Sharry, Peter O'Neill; Ned O'Neill (0-5, 4 frees), John Kavanagh; James Byrne, Darragh Kinsella (0-1), Dylan Carr; John Doyle, Eoin Mulholland (0-1), Dean Austin. Sub. - Dean Lancaster for Austin (35).
Referee: Patrick Kennedy (Buffers Alley).