O’Dempsey’s 2-15 St Joseph’s 0-11
Laois Shopping Centre SFC Round 1
Having appeared in their first final last year since 1983, O’Dempsey’s have got this year’s Laois SFC campaign off to a winning start thanks to a ten-point win over St Joseph’s in O’Moore Park this evening.
Goals early in each half made the difference, Dan McCormack with one in the opening minutes of the first and Johnny Kelly with their second just after half time.
Joseph’s competed well for the most part and were very good in the first half. But they were always facing an uphill task when O’Dempsey’s moved seven points ahead by the 40th minute.
O’Dempsey’s got off to a dream start when big Dan McCormack palmed to the net with less than two minutes on the clock following a pass across the square from Mark Barry.
But in a very entertaining first half, St Joseph’s weren’t rattled by that early setback.
Noel Garvan and Josh Lacey hit back immediately with nice points from play but O’Dempsey’s were three up again after a Micheal Finlay point and a Mark Barry effort that could well have been a goal.
Conor Kealy and Matthew Finlay (free) exchanged points before Dylan Doyle hit two in a row to reduce the gap again.
Matthew Finlay (free) and Barry Kelly responded for O’Dempsey’s – but Aidan Brennan hit back for Joseph’s when he came up from defence and fired over an excellent score with the outside of his boot.
McCormack blasted over after a fine one-handed catch but Doyle and Lacey responded again before a Mathew Finlay point from close range (could have been a goal too) sent O’Dempsey’s in at the break leading 1-7 to 0-8.
Matthew Finlay added a point straight from the re-start and then Johnny Kelly got their second goal after a pass from McCormack and good build-up play from Barry Kelly and Peter O’Leary.
Micheal Finlay added another and suddenly O’Dempsey’s were seven up and the game was essentially over.
O’Dempsey’s finished the game with 14 men after Robbie Kehoe picked up a second yellow card but it made little difference as they added a string of nice points from Matthew and Micheal Finlay, Mark Barry and Barry Kelly.
Dylan Doyle finished with five points from play for St Joseph’s but it wasn’t to be their night and they now head for the losers section.
SCORERS – O’Dempsey’s: Matthew Finlay 0-6 (two frees), Dan McCormack 1-1, Johnny Kelly 1-0, Micheal Finlay 0-3, Barry Kelly 0-3, Mark Barry 0-2 St Joseph’s: Dylan Doyle 0-5, Josh Lacey 0-2, Noel Garvan 0-1, James Kelly 0-1 (free), Conor Kealy 0-1, Aidan Brennan 0-1
O’DEMPSEY’S: Padraig Bannon; Keith Kavanagh, Shane Nerney, Cormac O’Hora; Conor Meredith, Robbie Kehoe, Bryan Meredith; Barry Kelly, Rory Bracken; Peter O’Leary, Mark Barry, Matthew Finlay; Micheal Finlay, Dan McCormack, Johnny Kelly. Subs: Brian Nugent for J Kelly (45), Tommy Kehoe for O’Hora (53), Barry Howlin for Nugent (57)
ST JOSEPH’S: Aaron Cooney; Donal Ramsbottom, Cathal Fleming, Tom Dunne; Aidan Brennan, Dean Brophy, Adam Campion; Bernard Wheatley, James Kelly; Mikie Dempsey, Dylan Doyle, Josh Lacey; Conor Kealy, Noel Garvan, Mickey Keogh. Subs: Colin Campion for Ramsbottom (45),
REFEREE: Mick Tarpey (Kilcavan)