St Joseph’s 2-10 Ballyfin Gaels 1-6
Laois Shopping Centre Senior Football Championship Round 3
It wasn’t pretty at times, but St Joseph’s won’t care one bit as they defeated Ballyfin Gaels tonight.
The Kellyville outfit defended brilliantly for much of the game and forced Ballyfin Gaels to shoot from distance – resulting in them wracking up a number of wides.
The game was less than a minute old when we had the opening goal. Colin Campion’s long ball was judged perfectly by Brendan Hickey who charged at goal and beat Robbie Foran from close range.
Ballyfin Gaels responded with a point from wing back Darragh Connolly and a full ten minutes passed before we had the next score which came from a Seán Moore free.
Brian Daly landed a close range free though to leave St Joseph’s 1-1 to 0-2 ahead at the midpoint of the half.
The quality of the first half was particularly low with Ballyfin Gaels hitting wide after wide while St Joseph’s efforts kept dropping short.
However, we had a second goal in the 23rd minute when Brendan Hickey played the ball to Dylan Doyle and, despite fumbling it, he had time to gather it again before firing into the bottom corner.
Dan Dunne then kicked a free before popping up with an excellent one from play which left it 2-3 to 0-2 to St Joseph’s at half time.
And Dunne made it three in a row on the resumption of play with a free before Seán Moore took Ballyfin’s tally to three with his second point.
Brendan Hickey moved St Joseph’s eight clear and the most notable thing that happened in the following ten minutes was the introductions of Adam Campion and Michael Keogh from the bench after their summers in America.
Seán Moore did kick the next two points from frees though to leave it 2-5 to 0-5 at the midpoint of the half.
And the margin was five after 50 minutes when Louis Duff pointed his first but Dylan Doyle brought an almost 20 minute spell without a score for St Joseph’s to an end after finishing a fine run with a point.
And when Brian Daly scored from distance with three minutes to play, it seemed that Ballyfin’s resistance was over.
Brendan Hickey added another but James Finn scored a brilliant goal to set up an interesting final few moments.
But Enda Butler and Cian Maher made it safe with late points and St Joseph’s prevailed.
SCORERS – ST JOSEPH’S: Brendan Hickey 1-2, Dylan Doyle 1-1, Dan Dunne 0-3 (0-2 frees), Brian Daly 0-2 (0-1 free), Enda Butler 0-1, Cian Maher 0-1 BALLYFIN GAELS: Seán Moore 0-4 (0-3 frees), Darragh Connolly 0-1, Louis Duff 0-1, James Finn 1-0
ST JOSEPH’S: Aaron Cooney; Aidan Brennan, Tom Dunne, Donal Ramsbottom; Colin Campion, Cathal Fleming, Dan Dunne; Brian Daly, James Smith; James Doyle, Ian Donnolly, Paddy Hickey; Liam Kealy, Brendan Hickey, Dylan Doyle. Subs: Michael Keogh for D Dunne (36mins), Adam Campion for C Campion (42mins), Enda Butler for Smith (46mins), Danny Hickey for T Dunne (46mins), Cian Maher for Donnolly (57mins)
BALLYFIN GAELS: Robbie Foran; David Connolly, Shane Farrell, Richie Downey; Alan Strong, George Lanham, Darragh Connolly; James Finn, Ricky Quillinan; Nick Cosgrove, Eoin Dunphy, Rob Tyrrell; Seán Moore, Louis Duff, James Moore. Subs: Barry Roche for Strong (ht), Darragh Delaney for Downey (ht), Ben Conroy for Quillinan (45mins), Max Connolly for Dunphy (55mins)
Referee: Pat Moran (Graiguecullen)