Michael Kehoe and Colin Beale battle the rain in Stradbally. Pic: Denis Byrne
St Joseph’s are sitting pretty at the top of the League table with two wins from two following their narrow two point win over Stradbally in Bill Delaney Park on Saturday evening.
St Joseph's 0-11
Stradbally on the other hand sit second from the bottom with the opening two rounds played, as they are yet to pick up points in this year’s campaign following defeats to Portarlingon and now neighbours St Joseph’s.
Stradbally were first out of the blocks with Tom Shiel and Eoin Buggie combining to see John Clancy open the scoring with two minutes played, before Buggie and Shiel combined again to see the latter notch Stradbally’s second as they took an early lead.
Michael Keogh opened the St Joseph’s account with a superb piercing run before calmly splitting the posts as the game reached the ten minute mark. And the same man almost had a goal shortly after had it not been for the spectacular fingertips save from Wayne Comerford in the Stradbally goals.
St Joseph’s got back on level terms with thirteen minutes played when stand-in goalkeeper, Dan Dunne, pointed a free which was quickly followed by a Brian Daly free to edge them in front for the first time.
Colm Kelly wiped the slate clean with his first of the day, leaving Jack Deegan and Clancy to complete a clever one-two to see the former push Stradbally back into the lead.
Brian Daly briefly interrupted the Stradbally scoring with a free, but a Colm Kelly brace had the home side in control entering the final five minutes of the half.
A late flurry of points from Brendan Hickey, Keogh and Dylan Doyle had Joseph’s primed for a lead at the break - but a late Podge Fitzpatrick point ensured the sides remained level at seven points apiece at the half-time whistle.
The second half restarted with a bite, Stradbally went on the attack from the throw-in and were very nearly rewarded when Colm Begley set off on a cunning run down the end line before being denied by Dan Dunne.
St Joseph’s quickly rattled off two points in the space of a minute through a Matty Campion free and a Keogh single as they re-took the lead. Stradbally wasted no time in narrowing the gap and did so through a Kelly free to close the gap to the minimum, but a fisted point from Brendan Hickey restored the visitors two point cushion with forty-one minutes played.
Tom Shiel kicked a forty-five straight over the black spot to bring them back to within one, but Hickey’s second fisted point in a row gave St Joseph’s the two point margin which they would hold for the final ten minutes.
The final minutes of the game threw up a melee in the corner, resulting in a straight red card for Stradbally substitute Podge Langton, as well as a black card for Colm Kelly, in an otherwise sporting clash.
Scorers: Colm Kelly 0-4 (0-2 frees); Tom Shiel 0-2 (0-1 ’45); John Clancy, Podge Fitzpatrick and Jack Deegan 0-1 each.
Team: Wayne Comerford; Colin Beale, Liam Knowles, Eamon Conlon; Eoin Buggie, Jamie Kavanagh, Jack Langton; Jack Deegan, Darren Maher; Podge Fitzpatrick, Conor Delaney, John Clancy; Colm Begley, Tom Shiel, Colm Kelly. Subs: Podge Langton for Knowles (38 mins); Charlie O’Brien for Clancy (49 mins); Cormac Deegan for Kelly (BC, 60 mins).
Scorers: Brendan Hickey and Michael Keogh 0-3 each; Brian Daly 0-2 (frees), Matty Campion (free), Dylan Doyle and Dan Dunne (’45) 0-1 each.
Team: Dan Dunne; Adam Campion, Tom Dunne, Donal Ramsbottom; Murtagh Condron, Aidan Brennan, Cian Maher; Matty Campion, Cathal Fleming; Peter Kealy, Michael Keogh, Tom Kelly; Brian Daly, Brendan Hickey, Dylan Doyle. Subs: James Kelly for Maher (11 mins); Dean Brophy for Kealy (39 mins).
Referee: Seamus Mulhare (The Heath)