James Stephens reeled off three points in 'lost time' to score a somewhat flattering win over 13-man St Patrick's (Ballyragget) in the Kilkenny senior hurling league at wet Canon Kearns Park this evening.
In a five minute spell betweeen the 43rd and 48th minute the losers had two players dismissed, one on a straight red card and the other a red after being shown a second yellow. They were 0-14 to 1-7 behind at the time, but they simply never gave in.
The gap rose to six points before St Pat's hit back for a 56th minute point from Jason Phelan, which was followed by a goal from Michael Brennan. This blast from the losers left The Village looking vulnerable as the gap was down to 0-16 to 2-8.
However, the winners kept their cool. They produced late points by Niall Mullins, Eoin Larkin and Luke Scanlon to dig out a hard-earn win, which leaves them in the hunt for a place in the League final.
Rain fell during most of the game, and the conditions were extremely challenging for the players. There was nothing between them during the opening 20 minutes, but then 'Stephens had three scores in-a-row from Tadgh O'Dwyer, Matt Ruth and David Walton (free) to get a grip on the game against opponents who were badly hit by injuries.
James Stephens led by by 0-8 to 0-5 at the break. When they resumed with quick points from Jamie Byrne and Walton at the double from frees the game was theirs to lose.
A St Pat's goal from Joe Brennan revived their fortunes (0-13 to 1-6), but not long after they were reduced to 13 men. They never threw in the towel, and for a few moments after they bagged a second goal there was the thought that maybe, just maybe.
The Village hit back smartly, but their late hat trick of scores did exaggerate the gap between the teams.
SCORERS: James Stephens - David Walton (0-10); Luke Scanlon, Jamie Byrne, Eoin Larkin (0-2 each); Tadgh O'Dwyer, Matt Ruth, Niall Mullins (0-1 each). St Patrick's - Joe Brennan (2-1); Michael Brennan (0-4); Brian 'Brook' Phelan, Paddy Brennan, Jason Phelan (0-1 each).
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