THE minor hurlers from St Patrick’s (Ballyragget) got one over their near-neighbours Conahy Shamrocks when the sides met in a preliminary round of the Roinn B championship.
Although Shamrocks were first off the mark at Parc Lactain, opening their account with Joe Keoghane’s fifth minute point, they didn’t score again until John Mullen grabbed their second point 23 minutes later. In that gap St Patrick’s took over, with scores from Kevin Kelly (3), David Kelly (four frees) and Eoin Bergin (2) leaving them eight points clear (0-9 to 0-1) after 27 minutes. After Mullen’s point, Kevin Kelly restored St Patrick’s eight-point advantage with a fine point from midfield.
Conahy were smartly out of the blocks in the second half and upped their game considerably. Peter Vickery hit two frees in quick succession before the lively Conor Buggy reduced arrears even further when he grabbed another point in the 35th minute.
Two more scores from Peter Vickery from placed balls left just three points between the sides as the Conahy challenge gained momentum. The excellent Eoin Bergin settled the Ballyragget side with a point in the 47th minute, a score which gave the winners a renewed charge. Two further points from frees by the outstanding Kevin Kelly and one from play by the hard trying Sean Gleeson left St Patrick’s seven clear (0-14 to 0-7) and on their way to victory.
John Mullen reduced the arrears to six points but a good point from wing forward Jack Ryan negated that score. Conahy did have a point in injury time from Phil Cass but by this stage the game as a contest was over as the Ballyragget lads set up a game with Piltown in the next round.
This was a workmanlike performance from the winners, who had strong showings from Billy Morrissey, Lorcan Price, Robert Healy, Kevin and David Kelly and Eoin Bergin. Conahy had good displays from Eoin Coogan, Eoin Carroll, Liam Cass, Joe Keoghane ,John Mullen and Conor Buggy, while Peter Vickery was accurate from placed balls.
St Patrick’s - Brendan Morrissey, Niall Brophy, Paddy McEvoy, Billy Butler, Mark Staunton, Lorcan Price, Robert Healy, Kevin Kelly (0-5, 0-1 free, 0-1 65), Conor Bolger, Jack Ryan (0-1), David Kelly (0-5, frees), Brendan Brophy, Sean Gleeson (0-1), Eoin Bergin (0-3), Ciaran George. Sub: Tony Boyd for A. George.
Conahy Shamrocks - Padraig Delaney, Eoin Coogan, Nicky Feehan, Liam Cass, James Delaney, Eoin Carroll, Phil Cass (0-1), John Mullen (0-2, 0-1 free), Gearoid Whelan, Ollie Feehan, Peter Vickery (0-5, 0-3 frees, 0-2 65s), Joe Keoghane (0-1), Nicky Mullally, Gary Delaney, Conor Buggy. Sub: Stephen Brennan for Mullally.
Referee - Gavin Quilty (Slieverue).