Saints alive - Pat's are best in gripping battle

Gillian Mooney

Reporter:

Gillian Mooney

Email:

sport@kilkennypeople.ie

Photo Micheal Brophy

James Maher (St. Lachtain's) clears his lines as Robbie Healy (St. Patricks ) attempts to block him down

St Patrick’s (Ballyragget) got the better of St Lachtain’s (Freshford) in this gripping battle of the saints.

St Pat’s had two points to spare in an entertaining and competitive first round intermediate hurling league/championship game at Ballyragget on Friday.

The Ballyragget side had the assistance of the fresh breeze in the opening half.

The scores were level three times by the 10th minute at 0-3 each.

The St Pat’s scores came from Michael Brennan (play and a free) while Joe Brennan added the third one. St Lachtain’s hit back through Liam Hickey (free), plus one each from Noel McGree and James Maher.

During the next 15 minutes or so St Lachtain’s hit a golden spell, and they made hay.

Brian Kennedy drove them on from wing back as they went six points ahead.

Shane Donnelly, Liam Hickey (free) and John Campion added points before Michael Brennan (2) and Hickey exchanged pointed frees.

Both sides were guilty of missing some good scoring opportunities, with the Freshford side the more error prone.

In the 26th minute St Lachtain’s grabbed their goal when Liam Hickey fired in a great shot which was well saved by goalie Michael Gannon. However, the rebounding ball fell kindly for Shane Donnelly, who duly crashed it into the net.

This was added to quickly by the hard working McGree, who raised a white flag to give his side a six point lead, 1-8 to 0-5.

Michael Brennan replied with two pointed frees for St Patrick’s to leave his side four adrift at the break, 1-8 to 0-7.

During the early stages of the new half it was all St Patrick’s.

Conor Delaney snapped up an early point and then Michael Brennan converted four frees into points as St Lachtain’s felt the heat and were guilty of conceding some needless frees.

In the 44th minute disaster struck for St Lachtain’s. A short puck-out was turned over and Paddy Brennan was on hand to fire home a goal to leave St Patrick’s four points in front, 1-12 to 1-8.

Hickey and Brennan exchanged pointed frees before St Lachtain’s missed a great opportunity to reduce the score to the minimum.

Two pointed frees by Liam Hickey kept his side in touch before Michael Brennan replied with a point from play.

A pointed sideline and a point from play from Hickey left his side one adrift with time running out.

On the call of time Michael Brennan converted a free from out on the side to give St Pat’s a two point victory.

SCORERS: St Patrick’s - Michael Brennan (0-13, eleven frees); Paddy Brennan (1-0); Joe Brennan, Conor Delaney (0-1 each). St Lachtain’s -Liam Hickey (0-8, six frees ); Shane Donnelly (1-1); Noel McGree (0-2); James Maher, John Campion (0-1 each).

St Patrick’s – Michael Gannon; John Mooney, James Gannon, Mark Staunton; Joey Glennon, Stephen Staunton, Sean Mooney; Robbie Healy, Geoff Brennan; Paddy Brennan, Seoirse Kenny, Michael Brennan; Conor Delaney, Ger Staunton, Joe Brennan. Subs: Geoff Morrissey, Jack Ryan.

St Lachtain’s - Darren Brennan; Harry Burke, Criomhthann Bergin, Shane Dawson; Simon Rafter, James Maher, Brian Kennedy; John Fitzpatrick, Paul White; Brendan Quinn, Liam Hickey, Noel McGree; John Campion, Shane Donnelly, Patrick Killeen. Subs: Michael Farrell, Denis Lennon.

Referee - Maurice Flynn (Mooncoin).