St Joseph’s 2-11 Graiguecullen 1-14
ACFL Division 1A
St Joseph’s wait to confirm their league final place will go on for another week after they required two points in injury time to salvage a draw against Graiguecullen tonight.
The Kellyville outfit were facing just their second defeat of the season when Ross Hennessy put Graiguecullen two clear as the game ticked into injury time but St Joseph’s had other ideas.
Graiguecullen played with the aid of the breeze in Kellyville in the first half and they kicked five of the first six scores via Jimmy Bolton, Danny Bolger, Ross Hennessy, Brian Byrne and Ian Fleming.
Brendan Hickey scored St Joseph’s only point of the opening quarter but they were awarded a penalty after 18 minutes when Conor Kealy was fouled en route to goal.
Jason Campion took it and despite Graiguecullen keeper Danny Bolger getting a hand to his effort, the ball still found the back of the net for the game’s first goal.
Ross Hennessy landed a brace of points to settle Graiguecullen after the concession of that goal while Aaron Forbes also grabbed one from long range.
St Joseph’s had Dan Dunne and Matty Campion on the score sheet also though to leave them trailing by 0-8 to 1-3 at half time.
Graiguecullen turned to play into the breeze in the second half but they made an incredible start as Brian Byrne bundled in a goal from Wayne Humphries’ inviting ball with their first attack.
The same player then kicked a free and all of a sudden there was six between the teams.
But back came St Joseph’s. Jason Campion and Hennessy traded points before the home team kicked three in a row courtesy of Jason, Dan Dunne and Matty Campion to leave three between them as we entered the final quarter.
Dunne slotted another free but Aaron Forbes kicked a brace to move Graiguecullen four clear with ten minutes to play.
However, St Joseph’s were level five minutes later. Jason Campion’s long range effort came back off the upright and wing back Murtagh Condron reacted quickest to slot the ball beyong Danny Bolger in the Graiguecullen goal.
Liam Kealy then kicked St Joseph’s level and it looked like they would go on to win. But Graiguecullen summoned the energy to get up the pitch and when Ross Hennessy kicked a brace, they were now two clear again with the game in added time.
Dan Dunne slotted his fourth free to make it a one point game and from the resulting kick out, keeper Danny Bolger slipped as he kicked it and the ball went straight to Liam Kealy who found substitute Paddy Hickey and he curled over the equaliser.
St Joseph’s are now five points clear of Portlaoise with three games to go and they know that if they avoid defeat against The Town when they clash next week, they will be in the league final.
There is still an outside chance that Graiguecullen could be dragged into the relegation battle but if Pádraig Clancy’s men pick up just one more point from their remaining games, they will be safe and they face O’Dempsey’s next.
SCORERS – ST JOSEPH’S: Jason Campion 1-2, Dan Dunne 0-4 frees, Murtagh Condron 1-0, Matty Campion 0-2, Brendan Hickey, Paddy Hickey and Liam Kealy 0-1 each GRAIGUECULLEN: Ross Hennessy 0-6 (0-2 frees), Brian Byrne 1-2 (0-1 free), Aaron Forbes 0-3, Danny Bolger, Jimmy Bolton and Ian Fleming 0-1 each
ST JOSEPH’S: Aaron Cooney; Aidan Brennan, Tom Dunne, Cian Maher; Willie McDonald, Dan Dunne, Murtagh Condron; James Smith, Cathal Fleming; Conor Kealy, Jason Campion, Liam Kealy; Matty Campion, Brendan Hickey, Colin Campion. Subs: Paddy Hickey for Kealy (44mins), Peter Kealy for McDonald (55mins)
GRAIGUECULLEN: Danny Bolger; Seán Farrell, Bobby Doyle, Eoin Alsybury; Wayne Humphries, Jimmy Bolton, Luke Alsybury; Ian Fleming, Paul Mulready; Ross Hennessy, Danny O’Reilly, Chris Hurley; Brian Byrne, Aaron Forbes, Danny Alsybury.
Referee: Michael Tarpey (Kilcavan)