Michael Keogh put two goals past O' Dempsey's last night
O’Dempsey’s travelled to Tony Byrne Park on Thursday evening knowing a win would most likely ensure them their place in the Division 1A league final. Eoin Kearns side would have been confident after their excellent victory over county champions Portarlington in the previous round.
St Joseph’s, on the other hand, lost to Graiguecullen in the opening round. However, the home team were much improved in this encounter and kept their hopes of a league final spot alive with a victory over O’Dempsey’s.
St Joseph's 5-10
The away side were on the front foot early on here. Matthew Finlay fired over the opening score of the contest before midfielder Mark Barry doubled O’Dempsey’s advantage. However, St Joseph’s hit back with the first of their five goals.
Matthew Campion was on hand to flick in a well-forked St Joseph’s team goal to get his side up and running. Things got even better for St Joseph’s soon after. Campion was alleged to have been brought down in the square by referee Clifford Ward, and Brian Daly dispatched the resulting penalty.
St Joseph’s appeared to have had found their groove now and popped over a few points. Eoghan O’Flaherty, who was a livewire throughout for St Joseph’s, placed over their opening point, with Josh Lacey adding another.
O’Dempsey’s responded strongly to those early goals though, as they found their groove again. Their forward line were playing off each other nicely, with Matthew Finlay and Mark Barry involved heavily in a lot of scores before half-time.
Brian Nugent, Jack Lennon, and Eoin Finlay all raised white flags for O’Dempsey’s, before they grabbed a crucial goal to nudge themselves in front before half-time. Matthew Finlay was unsurprisingly central to a move that ended with Jack Lennon fisting to the net.
While St Joseph’s landed the last couple of scores through Eoghan O’Flaherty and Josh Lacey, they trailed narrowly on a score of 2-5 to 1-9 at half-time. They would enjoy the elements of the breeze in the second half though.
Matthew Finlay opened the scoring for O’Dempsey’s at the start of the second half, but St Joseph’s took the initiative once more following a third goal. Michael Keogh, who had been well-tracked by Lennon in the first half, found room to fire in the third goal.
St Joseph’s now held a slender one-point advantage, but they increased that not long after with a fourth goal. Laois U-20 player, Oisin Hooney, skilfully carved his way through the O’Dempsey’s rearguard before blasting one past Padraig Bannon in the net.
While O’Dempsey’s hit back through the magnificent Matthew Finlay, as he scored their second goal, St Joseph’s finished the match on top to make sure of the points. They scored their fifth and final goal as we entered the final ten minutes, with Michael Keogh showing flashy footwork before crashing in his second goal.
St Joseph’s substitute, Dylan Doyle, came off the bench to kick a few nice points to put the icing on the cake. St Joseph’s now face Portarlington in the final round, while O’Dempsey’s must find a way to defeat high-flying Graiguecullen to give themselves a chance of reaching the league final.
Scorers: Michael Keogh 2-0, Eoghan O'Flaherty 0-5 (0-3 frees), Matthew Campion 1-1, Oisin Hooney and Brian Daly 1-0 each, Dylan Doyle and Josh Lacey 0-2 each
Team: Aaron Cooney; Jamie Kelly, Adam Campion, Tom Dunne; Dean Brophy, Jack Lacey, Cormac Murphy; Gearoid Lynch, Mikie Dempsey; Michael Keogh, Eoghan O'Flaherty, Josh Lacey; Matthew Campion, Brian Daly, Oisin Hooney. Subs: Aidan Brennan for Dunne (HT), Dylan Doyle for Josh Lacey (40 mins)
Scorers: Matthew Finlay 1-4, Mark Barry (0-1 free) and Eoin Finlay 0-4 each, Jack Lennon 1-1, Brian Nugent 0-1
Team: Padraig Bannon; Johnny Kelly, Cormac O'Hora, Keith Kavanagh; Jack Lennon, Eoghan Fitzpatrick, Stephen Lennon; Barry Kelly, Mark Barry; Sam Molloy, Brian Nugent, Daithi Howlin; Derek Dunne, Eoin Finlay, Matthew Finlay. Subs: Barry Howlin for Molloy (HT), John Cahill for D Howlin (48 mins), Matthew Cassidy for Kavanagh (50 mins), Ben McMahon for O'Hora (54 mins)
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