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Strong second half sees Joseph’s past the Gaels

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Liam Kealy had a fine game for Joseph's this afternoon
Liam Kealy had a fine game for Joseph's this afternoon

St Joseph’s 1-12 Clonaslee-St Manman’s Gaels 0-7

Laois Shopping Centre Senior Football Championship Round 1

A strong second half performance was enough for St Joseph’s to get past the challenge of Clonaslee Gaels this afternoon.

It wasn’t one of the more memorable games of Round 1 but Joseph’s won’t care as they go into the winners section for tonight’s draw.

This was a game littered with missed goal chances and the first one came St Joseph’s way when Brendan Hickey ran down the end line and cut inside only for Conor Gorman to pull off a fine save.

Dan Dunne opened the scoring from a free and St Joseph’s created another goal opportunity in the fifth minute. Brian Daly’s long ball found Jason Campion who released Brendan Hickey again but his goalbound shot was diverted over the bar by the excellent Gorman.

Clonaslee then lost John Molloy to a black card and Brian Daly kicked his first point of senior action for St Joseph’s from the resulting free.

Glen McEvoy finally got Clonaslee off the mark in the 8th minute and they reduced the margin further when Darren Hogan swung one over from in front of the stand.

Dan Dunne re-established with a free but Joseph’s were dropping a lot of men behind the ball and inviting Clonaslee on to them, which resulted in Glen McEvoy leaving one between them.

Clonaslee then should have had a goal after 23 minutes when John Scully raced clear and fed Darren Hogan but his shot was excellently saved by Aaron Cooney.

This seemed to spur St Joseph’s into life. Jason Campion scored their first point for 12 minutes and from the resulting kick-out, Clonaslee made a mess of it and the ball came to Jason Campion who combined with Liam Kealy to set up Brendan Hickey and he rifled the ball to the top corner.

The Gaels ended the half with a James Miller point, as he became the first Annanough man to score a championship point for Clonaslee, to leave the score reading 1-5 to 0-4 at half time.

St Joseph’s began the second half with points from Brendan Hickey and Dylan Doyle to establish a six point lead by the 37th minute.

James Miller and Dan Dunne swapped points before both sides were reduced to 14 men with a quarter of the game to go.

Darren Hogan picked up a second yellow card and Cian Maher received a straight red after both sides became involved in front of the stand.

Glen McEvoy and Dan Dunne exchanged points before the latter kicked two more to move St Joseph’s seven clear as we entered the final ten minutes.

The Gaels needed goals now but instead it was Peter Kealy who got the next point of the game for Joseph’s.

The Gaels kept plugging away and Donal Miller grabbed a point before the end but Joseph’s finished with a Dylan Doyle effort to leave eight in it again.

SCORERS – ST JOSEPH’S: Dan Dunne 0-5 (0-5 frees), Brian Daly 0-1 frees Brendan Hickey 1-2, Jason Campion 0-1, Dylan Doyle 0-2, Peter Kealy 0-1 (0-1 free) CLONASLEE-ST MANMAN’S GAELS: Glen McEvoy 0-2 (0-2 frees), Darren Hogan 0-1, James Miller 0-2, Donal Miller 0-1

ST JOSEPH’S: Aaron Cooney; Donal Ramsbottom, Tom Dunne, Aidan Brennan; James Kelly, Cathal Fleming, Dan Dunne; Brian Daly, James Smith; Liam Kealy, Paddy Hickey, Dylan Doyle; Jason Campion, Brendan Hickey, Ian Donnelly. Subs: Cian Maher for P Hickey (18mins, inj), Peter Kealy for Daly (41mins), Paddy Hickey for Doyle (61mins, inj)

CLONASLEE ST MANMAN’S GAELS: Conor Gorman; John Molloy, Mark McEvoy, Ger Reilly; Ger Dunne, John Scully, Willie Young; Seamus Rosney, Donal Miller; Rory Stapleton, Glen McEvoy, Diarmuid Conroy; Niall Hogan, Darren Hogan, James Miller. Subs: John Rowney for Stapleton (42mins), Marty Stapleton for Rosney (52mins), Shane Stapleton for M McEvoy (52mins), Paddy Hyland for N Hogan (52mins), Elliott Scully for Dunne (61mins)

Referee: Maurice Deegan (Stradbally)