The Heath 1-14 Arles-Kilcruise 0-10
Laois Shopping Centre SFC Round 1
Having been involved in relegation games in three of the past five years, The Heath can breathe a sigh of relief this evening following a well-earned win over Arles-Kilcruise in Stradbally this evening.
Their senior status is secure and after this seven-point win they can look to go on a run in this championship. They now play Graiguecullen in their Round 2 game on the weekend after next.
And there was no denying their superiority as they led from start to finish and were beginning to pull well clear even by the time Daithi Carroll got the game’s first goal in the 43rd minute.
Teenager Conor Booth was impressive for The Heath as he finished with six while Liam Kinsella shone in midfield and Daithi Carroll, Dylan Kavanagh, Neil Keane and James Phelan were to the fore too with Denis Booth doing a good defensive job on Ross Munnelly.
Kilcruise, who were without Chris Conway for one of the rare occasions in their history, were disappointing and could well find themselves in relegation bother themselves. They play their neighbours Arles-Killeen in the Round 2 losers section with the losers of that set to be knocked out of the championship and into the relegation playoffs.
Daithi Carroll and James Phelan got the first two points of the game for The Heath and though David Conway replied for Arles-Kilcruise, Conor Booth pointed twice (once from a free to stretch) The Heath into a 0-4 to 0-1 lead. It was an encouraging start for them.
Conway and Munnelly added frees to pull it back to one but The Heath hit the next four points – two from Booth and one each from James Phelan and Robbie Ging. Liam Whelan pulled one back but at half time The Heath led 0-8 to 0-4.
Neil Keane and David Conway (free) swapped points early in the second before sub Chris Bergin and two more frees from Booth had The Heath seven up.
And The Heath put the contest beyond doubt when Carroll goaled after a fine passing move.
Arles-Kilcruise did pull back points from Fran Egan and Munnelly but they never looked like closing the gap.
SCORERS – The Heath: Conor Booth 0-6 (three frees), Daithi Carroll 1-1, James Phelan 0-2, Robbie Ging 0-1, Dylan Kavanagh 0-1, Conor Bergin 0-1, Leon Holland 0-1, Neil Keane 0-1. Arles-Kilcruise: David Conway 0-3 (two frees), Ross Munnelly 0-3 (one free), Liam Whelan 0-1, Fran Egan 0-1, Brendan Conway 0-1, Chris O’Donovan 0-1
THE HEATH: Joe Walshe; Gary Smith, Denis Booth, Alan Whelan; Mark Dowling, Ciaran Booth, Robbie Dowling; Liam Kinsella, Jimmy Nerney; Dylan Kavanagh, James Phelan, Neil Keane; Robbie Ging, Conor Booth, Daithi Carroll. Subs: Chris Bergin for Ging (35), PJ Daly for Carroll (43), Leon Holland Booth (51), Ging for Keane and Carroll for Kavanagh (61)
ARLES-KILCRUISE: Dermot Nolan; Conal Brennan, Ciaran Lawlor, Kevin O’Neill; JP Conway, Sean Meaney, PJ Lawlor; Kevin Meaney, Mark Wall; Fran Egan, David Conway, Caomhan Brennan; Liam Whelan, Ross Munnelly, Dylan Waters. Subs: Chris O’Donovan for PJ Lawlor, Ben Donnelly for Waters and Kevin O’Neill for JP Conway (all 43), Brendan Conway for Brennan (56)
REFEREE: Brendan McCann (Portarlington)