Monday 18 December 2017

Flannery looks to Leinster after Oulart's lucky 13

Oulart-The Ballagh 0-17 Cloughbawn 1-11

Oulart-The Ballagh manager Frank Flannery. Photo: George Hatchell
Oulart-The Ballagh manager Frank Flannery. Photo: George Hatchell Newsdesk Newsdesk

Where the season takes this Oulart-The Ballagh team remains to be seen but another clinical finish secured another county title at Innovate Wexford Park yesterday.

The three-point winning margin does not reflect the holders' dominance in the final quarter as Cloughbawn struck for a goal through Martin Kehoe in additional time.

It can be argued that Cloughbawn failed to turn their spells of pressure into scores but it was the guile and experience of the reigning champions which won out in the end, as they lifted the title for the 13th time.

Wexford's new manager Davy Fitzgerald was given a warm reception as he took his place in the stand, and he must have been impressed by the champions' display, particularly in the final quarter.

After Rory Jacob and Connal Flood had exchanged points, the accurate Nicky Kirwan stretched Oulart into a 0-4 to 0-2 lead by the end of the opening quarter.


But Cloughbawn, despite playing into the breeze, put in a storming finish to the half with points from Flood, Harry Kehoe and Bob Whitty giving them a 0-7 to 0-6 half-time lead.

Two early second half frees from Jacob had the champions back in front as they pushed into a 0-10 to 0-7 lead by the 38th minute.

Kehoe cut the gap to the minimum with a free and 65, and when Alan Carton levelled entering the final quarter the large crowd were setting themselves up for a possible shock.

Again the firepower of Oulart-The Ballagh became evident in the final quarter as they struck back for excellent points from Eoin Moore, Garrett Sinnott, Tommy Storey, Peter Murphy and Dessie Mythen to power their way to victory.

Manager Frank Flannery felt that it was his side's experience which won out in the end.

"We struggled for periods of the first half but once we opened up the game in the final quarter, we managed the crucial scores," said the Corkman.

"Fair play to Cloughbawn, they put up a huge fight but we are delighted to now go forward and defend our provincial title."

Scorers - Oulart-The Ballagh: R Jacob 0-6 (5fs), N Kirwan 0-4fs, D Mythen 02, D Redmond, E Moore, T Storey, P Murphy, G Sinnott 0-1 each. Cloughbawn: H Kehoe 0-6 (3fs, 1 65), M Kehoe 1-0, R Whitty, C Flood 0-2, A Carton 0-1.

Oulart-the Ballagh - C O'Leary; A Roche, K Rossiter, B Kehoe; M Jacob, P Roche, S Murphy; D Redmond, E Moore; D Mythen, T Storey, P Murphy; R Jacob, G Sinnott, N Kirwan. Subs: M Doyle for Kirwan (inj. ht), D Morton for P Roche (inj. 33); K Sheridan for M Jacob (39); M Og Storey for Mythe (45), B O'Connor for P Murphy (58).

Cloughbawn - N Carton; M J Furlong, T Furlong, G Murphy; D Murphy, C Kehoe, B Kehoe; B Carton, P Cullen; H Kehoe, A Carton, C Flood; M Kehoe, P Foley, R Whitty. Sub: B Wickham for Foley (56).

Ref - J Heffernan (Blackwater).

Irish Independent

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