Home Sport GAA Strong finish sees 14-man Graiguecullen past The Heath

Strong finish sees 14-man Graiguecullen past The Heath

Photo Paul Dargan

Graiguecullen 0-11 The Heath 0-8
Laois Shopping Centre SFC Round 2

Graiguecullen held their nerve in the closing minutes to see off The Heath and book their place in the quarter-finals of the Laois Shopping Centre SFC after a closely fought game on Friday night.

The win was all the more impressive as Graiguecullen had to play the final 15 minutes or so with 14 players, after Chris Hurley’s dismissal for a second yellow card. They managed to kick on from that setback, however, as they scored the final four points of the game without reply to claim the victory.

The Heath will certainly feel like they left this one behind, having overcome a poor first half to play some fine football early in the second half to open up a two point lead. Unfortunately for them they just couldn’t keep it up, as Graiguecullen proved that bit better in the closing stages to see out the game.

The first half had been poor fare, with only two points registered in the opening 18 minutes. The first went to Graiguecullen, as Brian Byrne cut in from the right wing for a nice score, and The Heath eventually drew level through James Phelan.

Neither side would add anything to those scores until the 19th minute, although Graiguecullen were creating more chances and were thwarted by a mixture of poor shooting and good defending from The Heath.

Ross Hennessy and Byrne then put them two ahead before they thought they had a goal, but Danny O’Reilly’s effort was ruled out for a square ball. The Heath made the most of the reprieve with a pointed free from Chris Bergin to get within one, but Graigue hit back with interest.

Lee Timmons and Danny Alsybury rounded off good moves to make it 0-5 to 0-2, although another free from Bergin saw The Heath two behind at the break.

They emerged the better side on the restart, with Jimmy Nerney kicking a point within seconds of the throw in. Robbie Dowling then levelled it up when he finished off a good counterattack, and then they took the lead for the first time thanks to Robbie Ging.

Chris Hurley quickly hit back for Graigue but the momentum was with The Heath now. Sub PJ Daly kicked a fine score from the right wing to put them back in front and then another from James Phelan had hem two up at the second water break.

Graiguecullen needed to respond and they duly did, holding The Heath scoreless from the rest of the game. Danny Bolger hit a free before Hurley was given his marching orders, but it only resulted in a more focused display from Graigue.

Lee Timmons levelled the game from close range and then another Bolger free put them ahead. Ross Hennessy then added a free and as The Heath went looking for the goal they needed, Ross Alcock wrapped up the win with a fisted point in the seventh minute of injury time.

SCORERS – Graiguecullen: Lee Timmons 0-2, Brian Byrne 0-2, Danny Bolger 0-2 (frees), Ross Hennessy 0-2 (0-1 free), Danny Alsybury, Chris Hurley, Ross Alcock 0-1. The Heath: Chris Bergin 0-2 (frees), James Phelan 0-2, Jimmy Nerney 0-1, Robbie Dowling 0-1, Robbie Ging 0-1, PJ Daly 0-1.

GRAIGUECULLEN: Danny Bolger; Martin Doyle, Mark Timmons, Eoin Alsybury; Luke Alsybury, Trevor Collins, Danny Alsybury; Jamie Sheehan, Danny O’Reilly; Chris Hurley, Paul Mulready, Brian Byrne; Ross Alcock, Lee Timmons, Ross Hennessy. Subs: James Doogue for Mulready (62 mins), Michael Hand for L Timmons (65 mins).

THE HEATH: Joe Walshe; Gary Roe Smith, Denis Booth, Alan Whelan; Mark Dowling, Ciarán Booth, Robbie Dowling; Neil Keane, Liam Kinsella; Dylan Kavanagh, James Phelan, Jimmy Nerney; Robbie Ging, Conor Booth, Daithí Carroll. Subs: PJ Daly for Kavanagh (15 mins, inj), Chris Bergin for Conor Booth (25 mins), Leon Holland for Ging (51 mins).

Referee: Clifford Ward (Portarlington)

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