Conahy Shamrocks 4-5
St Patrick’s 2-7
The OLD adage that goals win games proved to be true when Conahy Shamrocks won this battle against neighbours St Patrick’s (Ballyragget) in the sixth round of the intermediate football league on Friday.
Played in cool but dry conditions at Jenkinstown, Conahy set out their stall early in the game when their centre-forward Declan Buggy had the ball in the Ballyragget net after two minutes to give his side a lead they never subsequently relinquished. Kieran Delaney, who had a fine game at midfield for the Ballyragget side, replied with point from a 30 metre free in the seventh minute.
Full-forward Barry Murphy, who caused the St Patrick’s defence all sorts of problems, then set up Kieran Mooney for a point to keep Conahy three points clear. Ian Kavanagh extended Conahy’s lead to four points as the first quarter drew to a close.
Then in the 18th minute St Pat’s midfielder Sean Mooney kicked the ball across the face of the Conahy goalmouth with pinpoint accuracy. Wing-forward Alan Ruth was waiting at the edge of the square and punched the ball to the Conahy net to bring his side right back into the match (Conahy 1-2, St Patrick’s 1-1).
However, the St Pat’s joy was shortlived. Three minutes later Declan Buggy, who scored Conahy’s first goal, turned provider to set up Barry Murphy up for Conahy’s second big score. That goal came at a crucial time, helping the hosts take a 2-4 to 1-2 lead in at half-time.
The second half was only two minutes old when the excellent Barry Murphy had his second goal to give Conahy an eight point cushion. St Pat’s battled on, with Sean Mooney kicking a fine point in the 37th minute, but they were rattled again 60 seconds later when Seamus Og Brennan set Tom (Mossy) Nolan up for Conahy’s fourth goal.
The visitors refused to give in, but St Pat’s substitute Conor Foley was foiled by a fine save by Conahy ’keeper Ciaran Muldowney. The Ballyragget side tried desperately to get back into the game, but looked to have an uphill task when a point by Conahy sub Paddy Mullen left the Shamrocks 11 points clear (4-5 to 1-3) with 45 minutes on the clock.
However, that was to be their last score of the game as the Ballyragget men, buoyed by a Conor Foley goal in the 46th minute stormed back into the game. The Saints were on top for the final quarter, but poor finishing was to cost them dearly. They did grab some points through Kieran Delaney (two frees) Donal Brennan and John Holland to close the gap to four points, but Conahy’s unyielding defence held on for a deserved victory.
SCORERS: Conahy Shamrocks - Barry Murphy (2-2); Declan Buggy, Tom Nolan (1-0 each); Ian Kavanagh, Kieran Mooney, Paddy Mullen (0-1 each). St Patrick’s - Kieran Delaney (0-4, frees); Alan Ruth, Conor Foley (1-0); Sean Mooney, John Holland, Donal Brennan (0-1 each).
Conahy Shamrocks - C. Muldowney, D. Baldwin, P. Dollard, S. Og Brennan, M. Bergin, P. Harding, Thomas Nolan, I. Kavanagh, G. Kavanagh, E. Byrne, D. Buggy, Tommy Nolan, G. Byrne, B. Murphy, K. Mooney.
Subs: C. Buggy for G. Kavanagh, C. Brennan for Tommy Nolan, P. Mullen for Byrne.
St Patrick’s - J.J. O’Sullivan, L. Brennan, G. Morrissey, J. Mooney, E. Thornton, S. Kenny, P. Cahill, K. Delaney, S. Mooney, J. Holland, J. Phelan, A. Ruth, M. Staunton, L. Bergin, E. Delaney. Subs: C. Foley for Staunton, D. Brennan for Morrissey, T. McGrath for Brennan.
Referee - Eugene Ryan (Fenians).