Rathdowney-Errill 4-16 St Rynagh’s 0-10
AIB Leinster Club SHC Quarter-final
Rathdowney-Errill have bucked the poor record of Laois clubs in the Leinster championship thanks to an impressive win over Offaly champions St Rynagh’s in O’Moore Park this afternoon.
The Laois clubs have failed to take a scalp since Castletown in the early part of the 2000s and it was Rathdowney-Errill’s first significant win in the competition having fallen previously to some of the great club sides of the province.
And they could well have a chance of making the Leinster final after Carlow champions St Mullin’s shocked two-time All Ireland champions Cuala of Dublin in the other quarter-final. Rathdowney-Errill will now play St Mullins in two weeks time.
This win was built on the foundations of solid performances from veterans John Purcell, Brian Campion, Shane Dollard and Joe Fitzpatrick, captain Paddy Purcell as well as 1-10 from Mark Kavanagh and two brilliant second-half goals from Ross King.
Rathdowney-Errill led for almost all of the first half.
Mark Kavanagh and Aidan Treacy swapped points early on but Paddy Purcell put Rathdowney-Errill into a lead they would hold for the remainder of the half.
Kavanagh (free) and Garry Conneely exchanged points before Rathdowney-Errill hit three in a row – all from Kavanagh, two of them delightfully judged sideline cuts from either side of the field.
Treacy pulled back a couple for the Banagher men but Rathdowney-Errill were still four up late in the half after a couple more Kavanagh frees and a fine effort from distance from the experienced Joe Fitzpatrick.
Treacy struck a couple of frees but at half time Rathdowney-Errill led 0-9 to 0-6.
Sub Brandon McGinley nudged Rathdowney-Errill further in front early in the second half and though St Rynagh’s did their best to keep in touch, Rathdowney-Errill powered on.
Shane Dollard and James Ryan added crucial points at an important stage and a Ross King goal midway through the half set them free.
Mark Kavanagh added a penalty shortly after and St Rynagh’s bad day was made worse with the sending off of wing-back Paul Quirke for an incident with Paddy McCane.
James Ryan and Ross King struck for two more late goals as Rathdowney-Errill eased to a scarcely believable 18-point win in the end.
SCORERS – Rathdowney-Errill: Mark Kavanagh 1-10 (1-0 penalty, 0-7 frees, 0-2 sideline cuts, 0-1 ’65), James Ryan 1-1, Ross King 2-0, Paddy Purcell 0-2, Brandon McGinley 0-1 Shane Dollard 0-1, Joe Fitzpatrick 0-1. St Rynagh’s: Aidan Treacy 0-6 (five frees), Gary Conneely 0-1, Sean Dolan 0-1, Oisin Hickey 0-1, Ger Scales 0-1
RATHDOWNEY-ERRILL: Damian Madden; Jimmy Corrigan, Brian Campion, John Purcell; Joe Fitzpatrick, Jack Kelly, Eric Killeen; Paddy Purcell, John Keane; Eoin Bourke, Shane Dollard, James Ryan; Paddy McCane, Ross King, Mark Kavanagh. Subs: Brandon McGinley for Bourke (HT), Shane Madden for McCane (47), Ray Bowe for Dollard (55), Kevin O’Dea for Corrigan (55)
ST RYNAGH’S: Conor Clancy; Stephen Wynne, Conor Hernon, Dermot Shortt; Matthew Moloney, Ben Conneely, Paul Quirke; Gary Kelly, Joe O’Connor; Sean Dolan, Ciaran Flannery, Stephen Quirke; Aidan Treacy, Gary Conneely, Aaron Kenny. Subs: Luke O’Connor for Flannery (42), Oisin Hickey for S Quirke (50), Ger Scales for Treacy (55)
REFEREE: Gearoid McGrath (Wexford)