Captain Wren hails Johnson's killer instinct

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kevin@tullamoretribune.ie

“He is a natural born killer and that is what you want close to goals.” A fairly up front and frank assessment of Cian Johnson from his Ferbane captain Stephen Wren.

Wren was at the heart of the defence and made a crucial goal line clearance in the second half while Johnson was pulling the trigger at the other end and breaking Rhode hearts.

Wren always believed in their forward ability and knew that given the type of players they had up front, that something was going to happen and it did with Cian Johnson striking for two superb goals.

“When you have killers in the full forward line like Cian Johnson and Oisin Kelly, you know that something special will come. In fairness to the them, when they got their chances, they took it.

“What a finish it was from Cian to take it past two players and put it in the net, fantastic. That's why he got man of the match.”

Ferbane are a tight knit team. Stephen Wren along with the Flynn's and Nally's are all cousins while there are five sets of brothers on the panel. Ferbane were built on solid foundations.

However, when the topic of a goal line clearance comes up, it's every man for himself. Having mistakenly credited his second cousin Shane Nally with that goal line clearance in the second half, Wren was quick to set the record straight.

“That was myself that touched the ball. I will take credit for that”, joked the corner back.

Ferbane were two points down at half time but their Captain insisted that there was no panic at half time as they were confident they would have the legs in the second half.

“Look, it could have been a lot worse and it could have been a lot better (at half time). We were happy enough. We knew we had legs on the bench in the second half.

“We didn't panic. It is testament to this team this year that we know we can get a lead back. We have fantastic players and I think we ended up winning six balls in a row from kick outs and breaks.”

Brendan Flynn was the last Ferbane man to lift the Dowling Cup for Ferbane before Sunday 25 years ago when they beat Shannonbridge in the final and he is a first cousin of Stephen Wren's mother.

“It's a proud day for me. I am more a figurehead that anything because we have leaders all over the field. Leon Fox and Shane Nally have all led the way before me. Once that cup was coming back to Ferbane, I don't anybody cared who lifted it.”

Wren has nothing only admiration for Rhode. They have fell defeated to them in finals in the past and he spoke highly of them not only after the game but in his speech after accepting the cup also.

“That Rhode team are fantastic. We knew they would throw everything at us and they did. They steadied into the game quicker but we didn't panic and we stayed doing what we have been doing all year.”

“It was down to composure and we have shown it all year. We did what we came to do and pushed onto a new level.”

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