Stradbally picked up a valuable three points against league leaders Derry Rovers on Sunday morning and in doing so inflicted a first league defeat on the Edenderry men.
Derry Rovers had won seven and drawn one of thier previous ten league games which had given them a comfortable cushion at the top of the league.
However as they travelled back to Offaly on Sunday, their lead at the top of the table was cut to three points ahead of Ballinahown with Stradbally just another two points behind that mark.
In tough weather conditions, both teams have to be complimented on the quality of the game with some excellent football over the 90 minutes.
Jody Dillon had the home side in front on six minutes when he latched onto a loose ball in the Derry Rovers area and finished from 16 yards. Stradbally dominated the first 25 minutes and Jake Byrne nearly made it two on 17 minutes at the near post.
However the league leaders showed their quality when on 29 minutes they were level with a fine individual effort from 20 yards low to the Stradbally net.
Derry Rovers went in from from a corner on the stroke of half-time leaving them ahead 2-1 at the break.
Stradbally showed great character in the second half. Podge Fitzpatrick was sprung from the bench on 60 minutes and he made an impact down the left with Jody Dillion and he crossed low and hard across the 6 yard box on 72 minutes which, unfortunately for Rovers, was turned into their own net by a defender. That made it 2-2 and it was game on.
With Stradbally pushing on, Derry Rovers still looked dangerous on the counter and Alan Delaney had to be on his toes at the back.
The winner did come for the home side on 85 minutes when Podge Fitzpatrick latched on to a through ball and made no mistake from eight yards out.
Derry threatened to equalise late on but the Stradbally defence stood firm and deserved they’re hard fought three points. Credit to both teams for such a tough fair game in testing conditions.
Stradbally had Robbie Moore in good form in goal, Conor Brady was solid in defence, Damien Murphy and Stephen Buggy were tireless in midfield while Jody Dillon was excellent up front in an overall very good Team Performance.
The result has given Stradbally a timely boost as the season enters the second-half and they are right in the hunt for the title and another win away to fourth placed Gallen next weekend would further strengthen their push for honours
Stradbally: Robbie Moore, David Power, Ger Byrne, Alan Delaney, Conor Brady, Stephen Buggy, Damien Murphy, Justin Cookie Lalor, Jake Byrne,Derek O Gorman and Jody Dillon. Subs: Padraig Fitzpatrick for J byrne, Patrick Robbins for Dillon, John Hayden, Benny Gannon and Mark Gannon. Also out today were C Beale,Daniel Dunne and Ray Mullally