Fort Rangers ..................1
St Pat’s Boys ..................2
SAINT Pat’s Boys eased their relegation worries as they held out for three priceless Premier Division points in Wallslough on Sunday morning.
Opponents Fort Rangers saw their bad run continue. They have now lost four of their last five league matches, a run which has seen their league title hopes evaporate.
The Rangers crew were short several players due to injury and other commitments. As a result, they were forced into several changes, which included using regular goalkeeper Jim Nugent at centre-half.
Those changes hurt Fort during the opening half. They trailed 2-0 coming towards half-time, with Pat’s dominating the lion’s share of possession.
The Graiguecullen outfit made the breakthrough in the 20th minute as the lively Colin Price took advantage of slack defending for a well-taken finish.
They doubled their advantage just eight minutes later when scorer Price turned provider. His perfectly pin-pointed corner was met by the head of Adam Flynn, who made no mistake with a bullet-like finish.
Rangers looked to be in real trouble, but just when things seemed grim they gained a real lifeline, pulling a goal back as the interval loomed. Johnny Brett’s corner was deflected over the goal line by John Cahill. Suddenly, it was game on for the second half.
St Pat’s continued to create the better chances during the third quarter, only to be denied excellent goalkeeping by Fort Rangers understudy Davy Buggy.
Buggy thwarted John O’Neill within two minutes of the restart following Ross Townsend’s free-kick, while in the 62nd minute Buggy brilliantly denied Adam Flynn, before Johnny Moore failed to connect on the rebound.
Fort Rangers improved during the second half with the introduction of substitutes Tony Moran and Davy McCormack, but they were let down by poor shooting.
They had a real chance when, in the 67th minute. Pat’s goalkeeper Thomas Coakley spilled Jim Nugent’s long range free-kick, but the hosts weren’t quick enough to follow up on the loose ball.
Fort Rangers were coming strong now. Nicky Kenny was denied by Coakley in the 78th minute, before Tony Moran beat the offside trap as he raced through unmarked towards goal.
Coakley came well off his line, but instead of rounding the goalkeeper, Moran elected to go for the spectacular. However, his lob over the goalkeeper didn’t pay dividends.
The home side should have bagged themselves a share of the spoils in a highly entertaining second half when Moran squared up the unmarked Kenny in front of goal, but he couldn’t capitalise when the chance presented itself.
Fort Rangers: Davy Buggy, Padraig Murphy, Jim Nugent (Brian Nugent, 82 mins), Dermot Ryan, Joe White, John Cahill, David Forristal, Johnny Brett (David McCormack, 68 mins), Padraig Forristal (Tony Moran, 46 mins), John Bambrick, Nicky Kenny.
St Pat’s Boys: Thomas Coakley, Michael Condon, Jamie Carey, Brian Maguire, Liam Byrne, Johnny Dowling (Darragh Harland, 82 mins), Ross Townsend, Johnny Moore, John O’Neill, Colin Price, Adam Flynn.
Referee: Tom Walsh.