Stradbally 2-11 O’Dempsey’s 2-10
ACFL Division 1A
Stradbally scored 1-1 in second half injury time to stun O’Dempsey’s and claim a very valuable two points in the ACFL Division 1A.
Martin Murphy side had won just one of their opening five games while O’Dempsey’s had enjoyed four victories in the same period which saw them sit second in the table prior to throw in.
And it seemed that O’Dempsey’s winning ways would continue as they led by three points as the game ticked into added time but Podge Langton and Tom Shiel had other ideas – scoring a goal and a point respectively.
Stradbally began the game without Eoin Buggie, Colm Begley, Darren Maher and Stephen Lawlor while their woes were further increased just after half time when Jody Dillon was forced off with injury.
But the Little Town found a way to win and it moves them out of the relegation zone as we approach the midpoint of the league schedule.
O’Dempsey’s began the scoring with a brace of Brian Nugent points but Stradbally drew level by the tenth minute thanks to Jody Dillon and Tom Shiel.
Johnny Kelly and Dillon then swapped points before the game’s first goal arrived after 15 minutes.
Jack Langton burst down the right wing but his looping shot rebounded off the post where Podge Fitzpatrick won it before being fouled in the area. Jody Dillon stepped up and fired the ball into the roof of the net.
O’Dempsey’s replied with a goal of their own through Eoin Finlay but there was some controversy about the build up. Robbie Kehoe won a mark and stopped to take the free kick. However, he kicked the ball to himself and as Stradbally protested, he played the ball to Finlay who beat the advancing Derek Beale.
Nevertheless, Stradbally responded well to the set back and kicked the final three points of the half thanks to a Tom Shiel brace and another from Dillon to go 1-6 to 1-3 ahead at the break.
Brian Nugent and Podge Langton swapped points on the resumption of play but O’Dempsey’s then kicked three in a row via Barry Kelly, Nugent and Eoin Finlay to level the tie with 43 minutes on the clock.
Tom Shiel put Stradbally back in front with a 45 but O’Dempsey’s scored their second goal with ten minutes to go. Michael Finaly’s shot forced substitute keeper Wayne Comerford into a stunning save but as the ball looped into the air, Eoin Finlay rose highest to fist it into the net.
Johnny Kelly added a point to move O’Dempsey’s three clear with eight minutes to play. The sides swapped points as Langton and Cormac Delaney reduced the arrears for Stradbally but Nugent and Conor Meredith kept the margin at three as we entered injury time.
Nevertheless, Stradbally got level when Podge Fitzpatrick’s high ball into the O’Dempsey’s square was broken down by Shiel into the path of Podge Langton who placed it into the bottom corner.
Stradbally won the resulting kick-out and Derek Beale played a one-two with Tom Shiel before the latter rifled over the bar to give the Little Town the lead.
O’Dempsey’s had a late chance to snatch a draw but Brian Nugent’s shot tailed wide and Stradbally held on for the points.
SCORERS – Stradbally: Jody Dillon 1-3, Podge Langton 1-2, Tom Shiel 0-5, Cormac Delaney 0-1 O’Dempsey’s: Eoin Finlay 2-1, Brian Nugent 0-5, Johnny Kelly 0-2, Barry Kelly and Conor Meredith 0-1 each
STRADBALLY: Derek Beale; Colin Beale, Eamon Conlon, Jamie Kavanagh; Damien Murphy, John Donohue, Jack Langton; Liam Knowles, Conor Delaney; Podge Fitzpatrick, Tom Shiel, Cormac Delaney; Podge Langton, Jody Dillon, Colm Kelly. Subs: Wayne Comerford for Dillon (34mins), Charlie O’Brien for Donohue (59mins, black card)
O’DEMPSEY’S: Shane Hanlon; Eugene Nolan, Peter O’Leary, Cormac O’Hora; Barry Kelly, Shane Nerney, Robbie Kehoe; Rory Bracken, Conor Meredith; Michael Finlay, Brian Nugent, Matthew Finlay; Johnny Kelly, Eoin Finlay, Darren Fitzpatrick. Subs: Stephen O’Leary for M. Finlay (20mins), Daithi Howlin for Fitzpatrick (58mins)
Referee: David Moore (St Joseph’s)