Home Gaelic Football Club Football End of the road for Park-Ratheniska as remarkable 2021 comes to a...

End of the road for Park-Ratheniska as remarkable 2021 comes to a close against Crossabeg-Ballymurn

Park-Ratheniska 2021

Park-Ratheniska 0-5 Crossabeg-Ballymurn (Wexford) 1-8
Leinster Club IFC Quarter-final

The Park-Ratheniska footballer’s remarkable 2021 journey was brought to an end in O’Moore Park this afternoon by Crossabeg-Ballymurn.

The Wexford side brought a level of intensity to the game that Park-Ratheniska just couldn’t live with – holding them to just five points overall and scoreless for a 32 minute period in the middle of the game.

While Kieran Kelly’s charges will undoubtedly be disappointed that their season is at an end – it will still go down as one of their most successful ever as they won Laois Junior and Intermediate titles in a matter of months.

Park-Ratheniska played against the breeze in the first half and found it tough going early on.

Crossabeg-Ballymurn took the lead through an Andrew Butler free and then extended it via Paudie Foley.

But Park-Ratheniska soon clicked into gear as two points in quick succession via Kieran Delaney drew them level.

Crossabeg then forced Park-Ratheniska keeper Jamie Downey into two great saves in quick succession.

The first was at point blank range from Seamus Carroll and the second came from the resulting 45 when Bill Eviston won it and shot but Downey pulled off another great save to keep it 0-2 apiece at the water break.

But the Wexford side were well on top now and they dominated the second quarter.

They smothered Park on their own kick-out and pressed them into turning over possession both in attack and defence.

Scores followed with Andrew Butler adding a brace of frees and Oisin Foley a brace from play.

Cian Kinlough then curled one over off his left to leave it 0-7 to 0-2 at half time in their favour.

Butler’s fourth free put six in it when play resumed before Park had a golden opportunity to get back into the game.

Brian Dunne’s pinpoint pass split the defence and it came to James Connolly who quickly transferred it to Kieran Delaney but his shot cannoned off the post.

Park-Ratheniska went 32 minutes without a score before Kieran Delaney landed his third of the day from a free in the 43rd minute.

Neither team scored again after that as we headed for the second water break with Crossabeg leading 0-8 to 0-3.

A long range James Connolly from made it a four point game with 51 minutes on the clock.

But all hope was extinguished a minute later when Mark O’Connor deflected shot founds it way to the back of the net after a searing run by Robert Murphy.

Oisin Foley was sent off for Crossabeg-Ballymurn in the 56th minute following a second yellow card but it mattered little in the end.

SCORERS – Park-Ratheniska: Kieran Delaney 0-3 (one free), James Connolly 0-1 (free), Mark G Delany 0-1 Crossabeg-Ballymurn: Andrew Butler 0-4 (four frees), Mark O’Connor 1-0, Oisin Foley 0-2, Paudie Foley 0-1, Cian Kinlough 0-1

PARK-RATHENISKA: Jamie Downey; Josh Mulhall, Mark Delaney, Benny Greene; Richie Hitchcock, Colm Brennan, Jem Kavanagh; Podge Dunne, Simon Fingleton; Bryan Fingleton, Kieran Delaney, Marc Ramsbottom; James Connolly, Sean Tynan, Brian Dunne. Subs: Mark G Delany for Flanagan (41), Stephen Knowles for Tynan (43), David McEvoy for Mark Delaney (52, inj), DJ O’Connell for K Delaney (56), Noah Fingleton for Ramsbottom (58)

CROSSABEG-BALLYMURN: Ben Turner; Martin Redmond, David Kehoe, Conor Barlow; Robert Murphy, Ronan Devereux, Seamus Carroll; Oisin Foley, Paudie Foley; Eoin O’Connor, Conor Devereux, Mark O’Connor; Cian Kinlough, Bill Eviston, Andrew Butler. Subs: Matthew Sludds for Barlow (40), Conor Bernard for Eviston (43), Joe Kelly for Kinlough (51), Aaron Cummins for E O’Connor (58), Evan Kinlough for M O’Connor (62)

Referee: Marius Stones (Offaly)

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Stradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016.