Home Sport GAA The Heath topple County Champions Stradbally

The Heath topple County Champions Stradbally

The Heath

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Stradbally 1-12 The Heath 3-10 

Laois Shopping Centre Senior Football Championship Round 1

The weekend saved the biggest shock for last as County Champions Stradbally were beaten by The Heath this evening.

Martin Murphy’s charges were sluggish from the start and The Heath punished them with three goals.

The Heath’s full forward Eoin Delaney was excellent and he had a hand in all three of the goals.

It took eight minutes for the game’s first score. Both teams were guilty of kicking a number of wides before The Heath got a goal.

Eoin Delaney won a long ball and flicked it over his head to onrushing James Phelan who shot low between keeper Wayne Comerford’s legs.

Delaney then set up Colin Nestor to score his first point and The Heath found themselves 1-1 to no score in front after ten minutes.

It took the champions eleven minutes to open their account and they did so from a Jody Dillon free.

And by the midpoint of the half, the gap was back to two as Dillon converted a second free from a very acute angle.

But the Heath went back down the other end and a flowing move involving Brian Ging and Denis Booth resulted in Alan Whelan scoring from the angle.

Stradbally continued to kick wides and had wracked up eight misses by the twentieth minute as Daithi Carroll landed The Heath’s first free.

Colm Begley replied with a free for Stradbally and they then sent for Garry Comerford and Tom Shiel off the bench in a bid to turn their fortunes around.

And it paid dividends before half time. Eoin Buggie played a low ball into Tom Shiel who played it off to Garry Comerford and he placed it into the bottom corner of the net.

This left it level at 1-3 apiece at half time but Stradbally took the lead for the first time 16 seconds into the new half via Tom Shiel before Comerford added another.

But Stradbally’s rearguard was breached again in the 33rd minute. Chris Bergin threw a dummy that sent two Stradbally defenders flying before finishing low past Wayne Comerford.

Podge Whelan then kicked a point to put The Heath 2-4 to 1-5 ahead after 36 minutes.

And The Heath had a third goal a minute later. Eoin Delaney was the architect as his crossfield ball picked out Robbie Dowling who found Brian Ging and he shot low to the bottom corner.

Colm Kelly and Jody Dillon replied for Stradbally but a bad turnover in their defence allowed Daithi Carroll to chance to put four in it with 20 minutes to play.

Brian Ging and Colm Kelly traded points and the margin still remained at four as we entered the final quarter.

Dillon landed his fourth free but Colin Nestor kept The Heath two scores ahead with ten minutes to play as he scored from a tight angle.

Tom Shiel and Brian Ging then traded points before Jody Dillon made it a three point game as we entered the last five minutes.

Daithi Carroll and Eoin Buggie swapped points but the goal that Stradbally needed never came.

Instead, The Heath made the game safe with a late Chris Bergin point to seal a fine win.

SCORERS – STRADBALLY: Garry Comerford 1-1, Jody Dillon 0-5 (0-4 frees), Colm Begley 0-1 (0-1 free), Tom Shiel 0-2, Colm Kelly 0-2 (0-1 frees), Eoin Buggie 0-1 THE HEATH: James Phelan 1-0, Colin Nestor 0-2, Alan Whelan 0-1, Daithi Carroll 0-3 (0-2 frees), Chris Bergin 1-1, Podge Whelan 0-1, Brian Ging 1-2

STRADBALLY: Wayne Comerford; Colin Beale, Liam Knowles, Eamon Conlon; Podge Fitzpatrick, Eoin Buggie, Damien Murphy; Jack Deegan, Colm Begley; Cormac Delaney, Greg Ramsbottom, John Donohue; Colm Kelly, Jody Dillon, Benny Lawlor Subs: Garry Comerford for Donohue (25mins), Tom Shiel for Murphy (26mins, inj), Stephen Lawlor for B Lawlor (47mins), Conor Delaney for Cormac Delaney (55mins)

THE HEATH: Joe Walshe; Gary Roe Smith, Aidan Bergin, Alan Whelan; Ciarán Booth, Denis Booth, James Phelan; Robbie Dowling, Colin Nestor; JP Nerney, Chris Bergin, Brian Ging; Daithi Carroll, Podge Whelan, Eoin Delaney. Subs: Mark Dunne for Nerney (41mins), Andrew Booth for P. Whelan (55mins)

Referee: Joe Brennan (Crettyard)


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Stradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016.