O'Dempsey's inflict first league defeat on St Joseph's

O'Dempsey's 2-12, St Joseph's 2-6

Andrew Egan

Reporter:

Andrew Egan

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sport@leinsterexpress.ie

O'Dempsey's inflict first league defeat on St Joseph's

Conor Meredith scored a penalty for O'Dempsey's.

St Joseph’s came into Saturday evening with a near perfect record in Division 1A, the only blip a draw the week before against The Heath. However, they’re unbeaten run came to an end, as O’Dempsey’s moved up to second place in Division 1A with a six point victory in the Old Pound.

O’Dempsey’s started the better team, amazingly going up 1-5 to 0-0 in the space of the first fifteen minutes, with St Joseph’s caught napping. Michael Finlay began the scoring, with full forward Eoin Finlay adding on another a minute later.

The two combined once again to stretch the home sides lead out to four, as St Joseph’s were struggling to get on the ball. We had to wait another five minutes for the next score, and wing back’s Barry Kelly’s point was followed with the first goal of the game.

Robbie Kehoe delivered a fine ball into the hands of Michael Finlay, who opened up the St Joseph’s defence, and delivered a shot that was saved by Ray Kealy, but Eoin Finlay was on hand to tap in the rebound from five yards out.

This seemed to finally wake St Joseph’s up, as Brendan Hickey finally got them up and running with a point, before they got back into the game with a goal from the same man. The full forward received a hand pass, made his way into the square, and unleashed a powerful strike into the roof of the net.

O’Dempsey’s responded with a point through Darren Fitzpatrick, but St Joseph’s would finish the half with 1-2. A Matthew Campion point and a Dan Dunne placed ball was sandwiched between a Dylan Doyle goal, as he made space for himself in the box and finished brilliantly. Despite O’Dempsey’s early dominance, the sides went in with nothing between them.

St Joseph’s carried on where they left off with early scores in the second half from Brendan Hickey and Dan Dunne (free), but those scores would be the last for another 26 minutes, as O’Dempsey’s would regain the lead, and not relinquish it this time.

A Matthew Finlay point was the first score of the second half for the home side, and this was followed with their second goal. Eoin Finlay was brought down inside the box by goalkeeper Ray Kealy, and Conor Meredith stepped up to dispatch the resulting penalty.

O’Dempsey’s relentlessly carried on, knocking over the next three points through Brian Nugent (2) and Barry Kelly. St Joseph’s were then hit with the final nail in the coffin as Aidan Brennan received his marching orders, with Eddie Kinsella not taking any stick.

Brian Nugent extended O’Dempsey’s lead out to six, before the sides traded points in the last few minutes, with O’Dempsey's walking out with the two points on offer.

O’Dempsey's

Scorers: Eoin Finlay 1-2, Conor Meredith 1-0 (pen), Michael Finlay Brian Nugent 0-3(0-1f) each, Matthew Finlay 0-2, Barry Kelly and Darren Fitzpatrick 0-1 each.

Team: Padraig Bannon; Thomas Kehoe, Peter O’Leary, Cormac O’Hora; Robbie Kehoe, Conor Meredith, Barry Kelly; Rory Bracken, Brian Nugent; Michael Finlay, Johnny Kelly, Matthew Finlay; Stephen O’Leary, Eoin Finlay, Darren Fitzpatrick. Subs: Darren Finlay for Bracken (6 mins, inj), Eugene Nolan for S O’Leary (40 mins).

St Joseph’s

Scorers: Brendan Hickey 1-2, Dylan Doyle 1-0, Dan Dunne, 0-3 (frees), Matthew Campion 0-1.

Team: Ray Kealy, Donal Ramsbottom, Thomas Dunne, Aidan Brennan, Cian Maher, Cathal Fleming, Murtagh Condron, Ian Donnelly, James Smith, Liam Kealy, Dan Dunne, Dylan Doyle, Matthew Campion, Brendan Hickey, Michael Keogh.

Referee: Eddie Kinsella (Courtwood)