Stradbally 0-19 Graiguecullen 2-8
ACFL Division 1A
Stradbally inflicted a third straight defeat upon Graiguecullen and picked up a second successive win for themselves this evening in Bill Delaney Park.
Martin Murphy’s men racked up an impressive tally of nineteen points in this one and, despite conceding two goals, that was too much firepower for Graiguecullen to cope with.
The home side started well with Tom Shiel kicking the first of his six frees but Graiguecullen hit back via frees from Danny Bolger and Ambrose Doran.
John Donohue and Liam Knowles both saw long range efforts sail over before we had the game’s first goal after thirteen minutes. Trevor Collins charged down the wing before popping the ball to Ross Hennessy who cut inside and fired the ball into the roof of the net.
But instead of feeling sorry for themselves, Stradbally recovered from that set-back excellently. Colm Begley, Eoin Buggie and Podge Fitzpatrick all kicked points from play to put Stradbally 0-6 to 1-2 in front by the midpoint of the half.
Mark Timmons squared the game but Stradbally finished the half strongly with Tom Shiel (2), Colm Begley, Eoin Buggie and Conor Delaney all raising white flags to leave Stradbally ahead by 0-10 to 1-3 at the break.
Graiguecullen emerged from the interval positively and they kicked the next two points, both from Ambrose Doran, to reduce the arrears to two points.
But Stradbally, who dominated much of the midfield battle after Shane O’Neill was forced off through injury, grabbed the next three points thanks to Podge Fitzpatrick, Shiel and Eoin Buggie.
Mark Timmons replied for Graiguecullen but Stradbally kicked two more via John Donohue and Shiel to go six clear with ten minutes to play.
The Barrowsiders almost had a second goal but Stradbally keeper Wayne Comerford did brilliantly to deny Brian Byrne from point blank range.
The sides traded points with Ross Hennessy seeing his brace of frees for Graiguecullen cancelled out by one each from Tom Shiel and Eoin Buggie for Stradbally.
Ambrose Doran threatened to set up a tense final few minutes when he finished off a jinky solo run with a low shot which nestled in the bottom corner but Stradbally were not about to throw away this win.
They settled things down from the resulting kick out and ended the game with a point each from Liam Knowles and Podge Fitzpatrick to win by five in the end.
Both sides will enjoy a week off before they are in action again. Stradbally face Arles-Killeen in a game that will have massive implications at both ends of the table while Graiguecullen host bottom side Ballyroan-Abbey where they will hope to arrest their current bad run.
SCORERS – Stradbally: Tom Shiel 0-6frees, Eoin Buggie 0-4, Podge Fitzpatrick 0-3 John Donohue 0-2, Liam Knowles 0-2, Colm Begley and Conor Delaney 0-1free each Graiguecullen: Ambrose Doran 1-3 (0-2free), Ross Hennessy 1-2 (0-2free), Mark Timmons 0-2, Danny Bolger 0-1 free
STRADBALLY: Wayne Comerford; Jack Langton, Eamon Conlon, Jamie Kavanagh; Damien Murphy, Liam Knowles, John Donohue; Eoin Buggie, Colm Begley; Justin Lalor, Tom Shiel, Podge Fitzpatrick; Cormac Delaney, Conor Delaney, Podge Langton. Subs: Colin Beale for Lalor (49mins)
GRAIGUECULLEN: Danny Bolger; Martin Doyle, Ross Alcock, Seán Farrell; Luke Alsybury, Liam Kearney, Trevor Collins; Shane O’Neill, Danny O’Reilly; Ross Hennessy, Mark Timmons, Brian Byrne; Danny Alsybury, Aaron Forbes, Ambrose Doran. Subs: James Doogue for O’Neill (12mins, inj) Wayne Humphries for Collins (23mins, black card)
Referee: Seamus Mulhare (The Heath)