The Heath 1-12 Park-Ratheniska/Spink 3-3
Laois Shopping Centre Under-20 B Football Championship Semi-Final
A late, late goal from Aaron Thornton and an outstanding free-taking display from Conor Booth proved to be the difference as The Heath booked their place in the Under-20 B Football Final with a three point win over Park-Ratheniska/Spink in Timahoe this afternoon.
It was cruel on Park-Rathdniska-Spink who battled well throughout but The Heath advance to take on Clonaslee-St Manman’s in the final.
The Heath first got off the mark when PJ Daly was brought down when through on goal, and Conor Booth made no mistake from the resulting free, and from another two minutes later.
Following an off the ball altercation, Booth made it three from three with the frees to leave the men in black and amber in front by three after twelve minutes.
The Heath could’ve extended that lead, when Daly and Dylan Kavanagh both saw their long-range attempts drop short, but Booth converted another four frees and a neat turn before firing over from outside the 21 to take his and The Heath’s tally to eight approaching twenty-five minutes.
Park-Ratheniska/Spink managed to get their first score when David Brennan got inside The Heath defence and fired one past Ali Rasool right on the stroke of half-time to leave The Heath ahead by five at half-time, 0-8 to 1-0.
Brennan had a chance to close in on that lead with a free just after the restart, but his shot sail to the right and wide.
Booth extended The Heath’s lead to six with another free, before Brennan raised Park-Ratheniska/Spink’s first white flag of the day from a free and Mark Kehoe pointed a minute later cut the deficit down to four.
Booth converted his ninth free of the day to push it back to five, that lead was down to the two again when James Connolly palmed one to the net a minute later, 0-10 to 2-2 entering the final ten minutes. A well-taken point from Dylan Kavanagh and another free from Booth extended the Heath’s lead to four.
Connolly converted from a free to cut the deficit down the three within the final five minutes, and he could’ve reduced it down to two with another one a minute later, but his attempt went to the left and wide.
Park-Ratheniska/Spink managed to make it a level game when Alex Renehan raised their third green flag, with two minutes left to play.
But The Heath never panicked, and with the very last play, a high ball in from Dylan Kavanagh resulted in Aaron Thornton leaping above Park-Ratheniska/Spink goalkeeper Ruadhri Neavyn and punching it to the net to secure the win and a place in the Final.
SCORERS – The Heath: Conor Booth 0-11 (ten frees), Aaron Thornton 1-0, Dylan Kavanagh 0-1 Park-Ratheniska/Spink: David Brennan and James Connolly 1-1 each, Alex Renehan 1-0, Mark Kehoe 0-1
THE HEATH: Ali Rasool, James Whelan, Conor Fitzpatrick, Jordan Ratcliffe, Dylan Kavanagh, Gareth O’Brien, Jack Reddy, PJ Daly, Liam Kinsella, Jake Ratcliffe, Neil Keane, William Conroy, Aaron Thornton, Conor Hyland, Conor Booth
PARK-RATHENISKA/SPINK: Ruadhri Neavyn, Peter Conroy, Eoin Sims, James Hennessy, Marc Ramsbottom, Josh Mulhall, Stephen Hitchcock, Stephen McCabe, Brian Fingleton, James Connolly, Mark Kehoe, Alex Renehan, Enda Kehoe, Brian Dunne, David Brennan
Referee: Clifford Ward (Portarlington)