As early season fare’s go there was plenty of positives for Crettyard to take from this encounter. The keenness they displayed throughout might suggest that they have stolen a march in early season training.
For Timahoe there were all the signs that players were still dusting off their boots for the season ahead and they never got into the game. The only positives to take was that their performance might well act as a motivator to buckle down over the coming months.
It was Timahoe who registered first when James Brennan pointed but Crettyard had the ball in the back of the Timahoe net within three minutes when Ciaran Hosey was on hand to dispatch after good forward inter-play.
Christoir Maher’s fifteenth minute free gave the away side a deserved 1-3 to 0-1 early lead and Maher was the stand out player throughout the sixty minutes. Timahoe found the back of the net themselves two minutes later when a shot for a point form Robbie Foyle deceived Crettyard’s net minder Darren Kelly who reacted too late to prevent the ball dropping into the net. The goal tied proceedings 1-3 apiece.
It was Crettyard however who took control of the game hitting three unanswered goals between the twenty third and twenty eight minutes, one from Christoir Maher and a brace from Eoin O’Shea ended the game as a contest.
O’Shea’s first was the pick of these involving excellent build up play from Maher and full forward Mark Kelly whose neat overhand flick found an unmarked O’Shea who neatly passed home to the back of Eoin Culleton’s net. This blitz gave Crettyard a deserved 4-6 to 1-4 half time lead.
Crettyard resumed the second as they had finished the first hitting back to back points through Paul Delaney and the impressive Ciaran Hosey.
The thirty fifth minute saw the dubious honour of the first black card in Laois football fall to Timahoe’s Joe Foyle. The uncertainty displayed by some on of the Timahoe bench was evidence that perhaps the new rule isn’t quite as ensconced in the minds of players and management as the GAA hierarchy might like.
Crettyard strolled to the finish the only stumble was Timahoe’s second goal which to Timahoe’s credit was probably the best move of the match.
Timahoe’s Sean Ramsbottom found his centre forward Colm Lalor who dispatched a beautiful pass to black card replacement Matt Stapleton who fired home from ten yards.
That was as good as it got for Timahoe however as Crettyard running out easy victors on a final score line of 4-17 to 2-5.
Scorers: Crettyard: Christoir Maher 1-9 (0-5f), Eoin O’Shea2-0, Ciaran Hosey 1-1, James Brennan, Paul Delaney 0-2 (0-1f) each, Patrick Reiley, Mark Kelly 0-1 each. Timahoe: Ruairi O’Connor 0-3, Sean Ramsbottom 0-2(0-1f), Robbie Foyle, Matt Stapleton 1-0 each.
Crettyard: Darren Kelly; Jack Laight, Jason Dunne, Dominic Buggy; Conor Barry, Patrick Brennan, Aran Murphy; Patrick O’Reiley, James Brennan; Ciaran Hosey, Paul Delaney, Christoir Maher; Michael Walsh, Mark Kelly, Eoin O’Shea. Crettyard: Barry Doyle for P.Delaney (42mins), James Kelly for D.Buggy (48mins), Conor Kelly for D.Kelly (53mins)
Timahoe: Eoin Culleton; Richie Oxley, Conor Lennon, Jeffery Kennedy; Sean Daly, Martin Bergin, Joe Foyle; Michael Kale, Sean Ramsbottom; Jimmy Whelehan, Colm Lalor, Damien O’Connor; Robbie Foyle, Ruairi O’Connor, Conor Whelehan.