A STRONG breeze proved decisive as St Patrick’s (Ballyragget) got the better of Piltown in the third round of the intermediate football league on Saturday.
Played in cool but dry conditions at Ballyragget the hosts opened with a stiff breeze at their backs. They dominated much of the opening 20 minutes, running up a 0-5 to 0-0 lead despite missing a number of good chances.
Piltown were also guilty of poor finishing and were held scoreless until the 22nd minute when Richie McCarthy pointed a free. Nicky Kenny added their second point from play in the 25th minute as the Southerners gradually began to get to grips with the hard-running home side. However St Patrick’s had the final say of the first half when Kieran Delaney pointed a free to leave St Patrick’s four to the good at the interval (0-6 to 0-2).
Kieran Delaney began the second half as he ended the first, pointing a free to stretch the Patrick’s advantage to five. Piltown pushed on, and were presented with a golden opportunity to get right back into the game when they were awarded a penalty on 37 minutes, but Andrew McCarthy’s well-struck shot was saved by St Patrick’s inter-county goalkeeper J.J. O’Sullivan.
McCarthy made amends for that miss in the 38th minute when he pointed to leave just three points between the sides, but by the 50th minute the Ballyragget side had stretched their lead to six points (0-10 to 0-4) and looked set for a comfortable victory.
Shane Kinsella reduced the arrears with a well-taken point in the 56th minute, but within a matter of seconds Kieran Delaney restored St Patrick’s six point lead.
Piltown never gave up and finished strongly with points from Nicky Kenny and Richie McCarthy, but St Patrick’s had done enough to hold on for a hard earned but deserved victory.
St Patrick’s - J.J. O’Sullivan, Dermot Brophy, Geoff Morrissey, John Mooney, Bill Staunton, Seoirse Kenny, Paddy Cahill, Kieran Delaney (0-6, 0-3 frees), Sean Mooney (0-2), John Holland (0-2), James Morrissey, Alan Ruth, Mark Staunton, Tony McGrath, Eoin Delaney (0-1). Subs: Liam Bergin, Eddie Thornton, Donal Brennan, Bill Staunton, Sean McGrath.
Piltown - Denis Lawlor, Stephen Cummins, Pa Connolly, Brian McCarthy, Neil Kelly, John Brophy, Peter McCarthy, Shane Kinsella (0-1), Kevin Brophy, Richie McCarthy (0-3, 0-1 free), Andy McCarthy (0-1), Niall Kinsella, Jack Cahill, Nicky Kenny (0-2), J.P. Burke. Subs: James Norris, Fran Duggan.
Referee - John Guinan (St Lachtain’s).