Ballygarrett Realt na Mara (Wexford) 3-9
Naomh BrÍd 1-12
By Kieran Murphy
THIS was Naomh Bríd’s best performance of the season. With a Carlow semi-final quickly followed by the local B intermediate decider and then the Leinster competition, the Carlow representatives were as sharp as they have been all year.
But what they couldn’t legislate for was moments of hesitancy which handed the initiative to the Wexford side, who just about managed to make it pay.
Within four minutes of this Leinster JHC quarter-final at a wet and windy training centre on Saturday, Naomh Bríd were 1-1 to 0-0 ahead. When Aaron Amond was fouled in the big square, he took on the responsibility himself and placed his penalty in the top right-hand corner of the net. He followed up with a point from play.
Jack Hobbs replied for Ballygarrett knocking over three fees in six minutes. While Amond was the go-to forward for the Carlow side, Adam Dunne took an excellent cross-field pass from Cathal Coughlan to become Naomh Bríd’s second scorer of the game.
With the game finely balanced, Ballygarrett attacked down the right-hand side at the Fenagh end of the ground. From the by-line, John Doyle delivered the perfect pass across the goal to Eoin Corcoran. The right half-forward had it all to do, but he rose high to collect, beat two defenders and found the net from 20 metres.
Amond hit back with three further points to give his side a 1-8 to 1-5 interval lead.
The Carlow side endured a disastrous start to the second-half when Hobbs converted a 31st minute free and Ballygarrett followed up with a goal from John Doyle. They reacted well, with Amond pointing and Michael Cowman nudging the home side in front again.
It was tight to the end. Defences did well and chances were hard to come by. It took an element of luck to turn the game in favour of Ballygarrett. Jimmy Murphy was surely going for a point from distance and from the sideline it looked as if his effort was drifting wide. Naomh Bríd keeper Darren Kavanagh got his hurl to the tailing ball, but to his horror, the wet sliotar caught equally wet timber and the ball spun into the net.
Naomh Bríd still had time to rescue the game, but Ballygarrett were not going to let this one go as they held out for a narrow win.
Ballygarret: Aaron Hall, Eddie Redmond, Seamus Doyle, Aidan Murphy, Brendan Corcoran 0-1) Stephen Redmond, Colm Kennelly, Darren Morris, Tom Sinnott, Eoin Corcoran 1-0, Patrick Naughter Cormac Moore, John Doyle 1-0, Jack Hobbs 0-8 (0-7 frees, sl), Killian Doyle. Subs: Jimmy Murphy 1-0 for E Redmond (44 mins), Johnny Sinnott for K Doyle (55 mins), Adam Fleming for Kennelly (56 mins), Harry Byrne for S Doyle (57 mins), Sean O’Brien for Naughter (60 mins).
Naomh Bríd: Darren Kavanagh, Caoimhin Ryan, Eddie Kane, Andy Mulleney, Tommy Dunne, Sean Watchorn, Adam Dunne 0-1, Niall Roche 0-1, Padraic Coughlan, Michael Cowman 0-1, Michael Bambrick, James Kehoe, Cathal Coughlan, Aaron Amond 1-9 (1-0 pen, 0-6 frees), Mark Brennan. Subs: Ayrton Gleeson for Kehoe (h/t), Jimmy Cahill for Ryan (35 mins), Gary Dunne for Cowman (47 mins), Eanna Holland for Brennan (59 mins).
Ref: Thomas Gleeson (Dublin).