Stradbally 3-13 Killeshin 1-11
ACFL Division 1B Round 1
Garry Comerford was in top form as Stradbally claimed victory over Killeshin in Bill Delaney Park this evening.
Greg Ramsbottom’s charges got on top of their opponents in the second half and turned a two point deficit into an eight point win.
With games against Arles-Killeen and Arles-Kilcruise to come, the win puts Stradbally in pole position to claim a semi final spot.
They made a brilliant start to the game too as Eoin Buggie won the throw in and charged through the defence before picking out Keiran Delaney who rattled the net.
Christy Bolger’s Killeshin had a new look midfield pairing of Cathal Byrne and Louth native Adam O’Connor – with the former settling in with two frees before Mark McDermott levelled the game after five minutes.
And the visitors took the lead soon after when Cathal Byrne and Evan Lowry combined to set up Colin Dunne for a simple finish past Wayne Comerford in the Stradbally goal.
The home side regained their composure though as Garry Comerford (2), Eoin Buggie and Jody Dillon all raised white flags to go 1-4 to 1-3 ahead at the water break.
Killeshin had the better of the proceedings in the second quarter. 2020 Laois minor midfielder Conor Heffernan kicked them level on his adult debut with Evan Lowry putting them ahead before almost having a goal only for his shot to come back off the post.
Liam Knowles, Garry Comerford and Benny Lawlor pointed in this period for Stradbally but Killeshin were firmly in the ascendancy.
Byrne, Eoin Lowry and Adam Derring registered efforts to give them a 1-9 to 1-7 half time lead.
Killeshin failed to score from play in the second half and only managed to add two points to their overall tally.
Garry Comerford and Eoin Lowry traded frees on the resumption before Stradbally re-took the lead for the final time after 38 minutes.
Killeshin had just brought on substitute keeper Sean Dollard when Stradbally were awarded a free kick around half way. Colm Kelly hoisted it in and a mighty scramble ensued with the ball breaking off the new keeper where Garry Comerford was on hand to tuck it home.
Lowry and Eoin Buggie traded efforts before Benny Lawlor’s second point of the evening left Stradbally 2-10 to 1-11 ahead at the second water break.
Comerford kicked another free when play resumed and the game was over five minutes from the end when Stradbally were awarded a penalty.
Referee Clifford Ward spotted a foul by David McDermott on Colm Kelly off the ball and gave a spot kick. Comerford whipped a shot into the top corner and the gap was six.
Stradbally then finished the game with a free and a mark from veteran Colm Kelly.
SCORERS – Stradbally: Garry Comerford 2-5 (1-0pen, four frees), Keiran Delaney 1-0, Colm Kelly (one mark and one free), Benny Lawlor and Eoin Buggie 0-2 each, Jody Dillon and Liam Knowles 0-1 each Killeshin: Cathal Byrne 0-4 (three frees), Eoin Lowry 0-3 (two frees), Colin Dunne 1-0, Mark McDermott, Conor Heffernan, Evan Lowry (free) and Adam Deering 0-1 each
STRADBALLY: Wayne Comerford; Liam Clancy, Eamon Conlon, Justin Lalor; Kilian Mcgannon, Liam Knowles, Ciaran O’Neill; Darren Maher, Eoin Buggie; Podge Fitzpatrick, Colm Kelly, Jody Dillon; Benny Lawlor, Keiran Delaney, Garry Comerford. Subs: John Clancy for Fitzpatrick (29), Sean McDonald for Maher and Tadhg Murray for Clancy (both 58)
KILLESHIN: Cillian Roche; Brendan McDonald, Kevin Ryan, Simon Attride; Eoin Scully, David McDermott, Mark McDermott; Cathal Byrne, Adam O’Connor; Conor Heffernan, Adam Deering, Evan Lowry; Paddy Walsh, Eoin Lowry, Colin Dunne. Subs: Arnie Mahon for Ryan (22), Paddy Doyle for Dunne (33), Sean Dollard for Roche (38), Kealan Galligan for Byrne (45)
Referee: Clifford Ward (Portarlington)