St Mogue’s Fethard 1-15 Dunshaughlin 2-11
Today the crowd in Chadwicks Wexford Park were treated to one of the real classic encounters as Fethard St Mogue’s and Dunshaughlin locked horns in the AIB Leinster GAA Intermediate Club Football Final. Coming into the game many people had the Meath outfit as the red hot favorites. However the home side had not read this script and they ultimately came out on top in one of the games of the season.
The visitors from Meath were first off the mark as Luke Mitchell showed his class by firing over after a great run from midfielder Ben Duggan. This effort however was quickly cancelled out by Fethard as John Tubritt opened up his account by finishing a fine move. This set the home side up for a small period of dominance as the pushed right up on Dunshaughlin kick out. The result of which saw the ever lively Cian Byrne create and ultimately score his own free, before notching his first from play from the resulting kick out again. This led to another free for the South East side as this time it was Tubritt who stepped up to slot over and move them into a 3 point lead. Fethard showed no signs of letting up as a breaking ball around the middle was snatched up by half back Sean Nunan. Nunan set off on a direct run through the middle before being hauled back as he was bearing down on goal, Tubritt did the needful from the resulting free.
This seemed to spark the visitors into life as the slowly began to make progress up the field. This was thanks to two fine efforts from John McDonagh and Niall Byrne respectively. A wayward kick out from Fethard then led to Conor Duke getting off the mark as his score left the bare minimum between the sides approaching the 15th minute mark. A third kick out won in a row for Dunshaughlin resulted in Mitchell landing a monster free and bringing the sides back all square.
It was from here that the game upped a gear. The raucous crowd were buoyed by the opening exchanges and themselves steamed into proceedings. Fethard latched onto this energy and a fine run by County Hurling star Mike Dwyer saw him deliver the ball to Morgan Ellis inside the 20 meter line. Ellis showed a beautiful stutter step to create an inch of space, from here the Fethard man made no mistake and fired home the games first goal. Not to be out done Dunshaughlin went about creating their own goal scoring chance shortly after. A give and go between midfielder Conor Gray and Mitchell saw Gray shoot narrowly wide. However, the big centre fielder was ultimately fouled in the process and Mitchell made no mistake from the resulting free.
Dwyer again showed his turn of pace as he too was fouled while threatening to break through the defense just outside the D and Cian Byrne fired over once again. The ensuing kick out saw Dunshaughlin move the ball not only from defense to attack but from side to side before Matthew Moyles shot for on of the points of the day. The final act of the half fell to Fethard full forward Tubritt who was fouled while holding the ball up and kicked the free to leave the goal between the sides heading into the break.
The second half was barely a minute old when the sides were back level, as Matthew Costello proved to be coolness personified as he steadied himself in the penalty area to rattle the Fethard net. The Wexford side responded instantly as Tubritt once again stood up to win a free with this time half back Jake Molloy slotting the placed ball. It was a repeat episode only minutes later as Molloy notched his second of the afternoon from another Tubritt engineered free.
Then came the third goal of the afternoon a sweeping saw Matthew Costello and Conor Duke link up. Duke was bearing down on goal when from the acute angle he laid the ball dangerously across the goal mouth, from here substitute Aaron Murphy made no mistake as he riffled home. Byrne and Mitchel then traded scores before Tubritt intercepted a Dunshaughlin kick out however the Fethard man chose the sensible option and tapped over his easiest score of the day. Then it was the turn of himself and Mitchell to once again trade points, the latter with an acrobatic effort over his head to draw the sides level again.
Richard Waters then popped up with his first of the afternoon, and what a score it was as the midfielders point moved the hosts back in front. Not to be out done by the Wexford man Mitchell snatched the equalizer with a shot that seemed to curl for eternity. The game was right in the melting pot and the crowd continued to play their part as neither side seemed destined to lose. However, as is always the case someone must. Fethard seemed to decide in the closing stages that today it wouldn’t be them. Half Forward Eoin grabbed a breaking ball and was pulled down just as he was pulling the trigger. Cian Byrne once again held his nerve and swept over the free.
The drama however wasn’t finished, Mike Dwyer got on the end of a sweeping move and looked set to rattle the net. However, the Fethard speedster was bottled up and Dunshaughlin moved the ball away. The resulting attack looked like it could prove pivotal only for a Dunshaughlin effort to ultimately drift wide and leave the momentum with the home side. A Joe Sutton point all but sealed the victory and despite a late score from Matthew Moyles it was Fethard who came out on top.
St Mogue’s Fethard: W Doyle; C Molloy, D Mullan, M Doyle; S Nunan, G Foley (capt), J Molloy; J Sutton, R Waters; E Whelan, J Tubritt, G O’Grady; C Byrne, M Dwyer, M Ellis. Sub. – A Swan for Nunan (44).
Dunshaughlin: A McDermott; O Foley, A Doyle, N Byrne; D Fildes, N Murphy (capt), A Kealy; B Duggan, C Gray; J McDonagh, M Costello, M Moyles; C Duke, C Jennings, L Mitchell. Subs. – A Murphy for Jennings (HT), R Kinsella for Fildes (HT), J Rushe for McDonagh (50), F Toolan for Doyle (59).
St Mogue’s Fethard: C Byrne 0-6 (5 frees), J Tubritt 0-5 (3 frees), M Ellis 1-0, J Molloy 0-2 frees, R Waters 0-1, J Sutton 0-1.
Dunshaughlin: L Mitchell 0-6 (2 frees), M Costello 1-0, A Murphy 1-0, M Moyles 0-2, N Byrne 0-1, J McDonagh 0-1, C Duke 0-1.
Referee: A Coyne (Westmeath).