Willie Morrissey turns back the clock as Fethard advance to county final

Jeddy Walsh

Jeddy Walsh

County Junior ‘B’ Football Championship Semi-Final:



South champions Fethard now find themselves just one step away from another title following an impressive 10 points win over Cashel King Cormacs in the county semi-final at New Inn on Saturday last. The vastly experienced ‘Blues’ led from start to finish and at no stage over the hour did they look anything but winners.

Star performer on the day was veteran Willie Morrissey who turned back the clock with an all-round performance which was inspirational to his team, scoring five points from play and being involved in so much more.

Fethard had the benefit of a strong breeze for the first half and Martin Coen opened their account with a free inside sixty seconds.

In the third minute Liam Barron and Kevin O’Sullivan combined for Cashel and the latter’s effort forced an excellent save by Paul Kenny who touched the ball onto the post and away to safety.

Seven minutes in Willie Morrissey soloed through the middle of the Cashel defence to point as P.J. Aherne and and Cathal Hurley began to get a dominating foothold in centre-field.

Cathal Hurley made it 0-3 to 0-0 after 12 minutes when converting his first free of the day.

On the quarter hour mark Kevin O’Sullivan put the King Cormacs on the scoreboard with a 13 metres free.

Brian Minogue who was doing well at full-back for Cashel was forced to go off injured after 21 minutes and immediately his loss was evident in the King Cormacs rearguard. Fethard put together a good three-man move with Eugene Walsh, Willie Morrissey and Dean Tobin combining before Tobin rattled the net. This was immediately followed by a point from Morrissey as Fethard went six points clear.

In the run-up to the break both sides had a brace of points apiece, Cashel via Brian Quinlan and another Kevin O’Sullivan free, with Fethard’s white flags coming from a Martin Coen free and a second point by Dean Tobin who was showing up everywhere.

The last kick of the first half saw Liam Barron goal for Cashel and the King Cormacs would have been quite pleased with themselves going in just three points in arrears with the wind to assist them in the second period.

Inside the first six minutes of the second half Fethard tacked on three frees, two by Cathal Hurley and one by Martin Coen to lead again by six.

Cashel then enjoyed a period of dominance and replied with three of their own. Billy Minogue who was getting involved in a lot of their best play scored the first and set up Kevin O’Sullivan for another before Alan Coughlan rounded off the three-point salvo with a free in the 46th minute. It was, however, to be their last score of the day.

From then to the finish Fethard took complete control and scored seven unanswered points.

Darren O’Meara, just on as a substitute, scored from play after 47 minutes following good work by Brian Healy. This was added to by Martin Coen after P.J. Aherne won a high ball in the middle to begin the move. Captain Aherne was next on the scoresheet with a point of his own as the West Tipp side began to fade.

Miceal ‘Hammer’ Spillane , a handful all day for the King Cormacs defence, then pointed after one of his many strong runs.

The last three points of the game, all from play and within a three-minute spell, came from man of the match Willie Morrissey.

For the first he soloed through from midfield, the second came after a lay-off by ‘Hammer’ and the third after Cashel keeper Robert White had made two outstanding saves from Spillane and Morrissey before Willie knew better than to try a third time and gratefully accepted the point.

In time added on Cashel’s Gavin Browne was dismissed for a second yellow card offence.

For Fethard; Michael Moroney, Ian Kenrick, Frankie O’Donovan and Damien Byrne all had their moments in defence; P.J. Aherne and Cathal Hurley controlled the middle of the park while up front Willie Morrissey turned back the clock big time ably assisted by Miceal Spillane, Martin Coen and Dean Tobin in the first half.

For Cashel: Robert White in goal can remember his spectacular double save at the death, Niall Anglim, Shane Murphy, Paul Hoare and Gavin Browne worked hard in defence while further up the field Alan Couglan, Brian Quinlan, Billy Minogue and Kevin O’Sullivan never gave up.

Scorers and teams

Fethard: Paul Kenny, Peter Gough, Michael Moroney, Ian Kenrick, Frankie Donovan, Damien Byrne, Ronan Allen, P.J. Ahearne (capt) (0-1), Cathal Hurley (0-3F), Eugene Walsh, Willie Morrissey (0-5), Dean Tobin (1-1), Martin Coen (0-4, 0-3F), Miceal Spillane (0-1), Brian Healy.

Subs: Darren O’Meara for Dean Tobin; Johnny Neville for Martin Coen; Michael Quinlan for Eugene Walsh; John Fitzgerald and Ciaran Allen for Miceal Spillane and Willie Morrissey.

Cashel King Cormacs: Robert White (capt), Niall Anglim, Brian Minogue, Shane Murphy, Gavin Browne, Paul Hoare, John Darmody, Niall Fitzgerald, Michael Ryan, Alan Coughlan (0-1F), Jason Connolly, Brian Quinlan (0-1), Billy Minogue (0-1), Liam Barron (1-0), Kevin O’Sullivan (0-3, 0-2F).

Subs: Cathal Minogue for Brian Minogue; Martin Hickey for Shane Murphy.

Referee: Donie Cahill (Ballyporeen).