Stradbally made it back-to-back wins.
Stradbally have begun to find their feet in Division 1A after they recorded a hard-earned win over O’Dempsey’s in Killenard.
The result could’ve had a very different look had goalkeeper Wayne Comerford not pulled off numerous stunning saves in a man of the match display.
Matthew Finlay tapped over a close range free to kick off proceeding in the Old Pound. Colm Begley replied for Stradbally, as a long run resulted in him fisting over. Eoin Finlay and Tom Shiel (free) swapped points, before O’Dempsey’s Barry Kelly fisted over a point, after Conor Meredith leaped highest to catch goalkeeper Padraig Bannon’s kick out.
Tom Shiel replied for Stradbally to level, but O’Dempsey’s went ahead again thanks to a Matthew Finlay free.
Barry Kelly then landed one of the points of the game, after a brilliant catch and long range effort. However, Stradbally hit 1-3 to take the lead. Points from Tom Shiel and Conor Delaney were followed by the first of Stradbally’s three goals. A defensive mistake from O’Dempsey’s allowed Conor Delaney to tap into an empty net. Damian Murphy got in on the scoring act as well.
Eoin Finlay and Colm Kelly (free) swapped points, before O’Dempsey’s hit back with a goal of the own. Matthew Finlay shot was flicked in by Eoin Finlay, as he brought his tally to 1-2 in the first half. Conor Meredith levelled the game, but Stradbally ended the half with a brilliant goal.
Tom Shiel played a lovely pass into Conor Delaney, and he volleyed it past Padraig Bannon to give Stradbally a 2-7 to 1-7 lead at half-time.
O’Dempsey’s started the second half brightly, with Matthew Finlay and Rory Bracken pointing for the home side. Colm Kelly placed over a free, before Wayne Comerford pulled off the first of his string of saves, denying Daniel McCormack.
Conor Meredith put over a beautiful score, after taking on a number of Stradbally defenders, and curling one from distance. Tom Shiel replied with a free for Stradbally, before Mark Barry’s effort was expertly saved by Comerford.
Matthew Finlay pointed for O’Dempsey’s, after Mark Barry was again denied by Comerford, who got down low to save. Stephen O’Leary placed over a free to level the game. Michael Finlay was then denied by the unbeatable Comerford, but O’Dempsey’s pressure seemed to pay off when Rory Bracken put them into the lead.
However, Stradbally went up the other end to score their third goal. Colm Kelly’s shot came off the post, and into the arms of unmarked Padraig Fitzpatrick, who dispatched past Padraig Bannon for the winning score.
Scorers: Matthew Finlay 0-5 (0-3 frees), Eoin Finlay 1-2, Conor Meredith, Rory Bracken and Barry Kelly 0-2 each, Stephen O’Leary 0-1 free.
Team: Padraig Bannon; Cormac O’Hora, Peter O’Leary, Shane Nerney; Robbie Kehoe, Tommy Kehoe, Tom Kelly; Rory Bracken, Barry Kelly; Michael Finlay, Conor Meredith, Matthew Finlay; Mark Barry, Daniel McCormack, Eoin Finlay. Sub: Stephen O’Leary for O’Hora (44 mins).
Scorers: Conor Delaney 2-1, Tom Shiel 0-5 (0-4 frees), Padraig Fitzpatrick 1-0, Colm Kelly 0-3 (frees), Colm Begley and Damian Murphy 0-1 each.
Team: Wayne Comerford; Colin Beale, Liam Knowles, Jamie Kavanagh; Jack Langton, Eoin Buggie, Charlie O’Brien; Darren Maher, Colm Begley; Padraig Fitzpatrick, Tom Shiel, Conor Delaney; Colm Kelly, Jody Dillon, Damian Murphy. Subs: Eamon Conlon for Beale (14 mins, inj), Jamie Devoy for Knowles (58 mins, inj).
Referee: Darren Bracken (Portarlington)