Stratford comfortably book their place in semi-final
Stratford 0-12, Shillelagh 0-6: Stratford qualified for the semi-final of the Junior C football championship with a clear-cut win over Shillelagh at Baltinglass on Sunday evening, writes Peter Keogh.
JCFC Anthony Freehill and Paddy Byrne had early points for Stratford to set the pattern of the of the game. This pair tested and tormented the Shillelagh defence throughout and got most of the scores
Paddy Kavanagh opened the scoring for Shillelagh but the Coollattin men did not score again for 20 minutes.
In between Freehill and Byrne kept picking off the points and had Stratford leading by 0-6 to 0-1 at one stage. Coming up to half-time Shillelagh found the range and points by Richard Doyle, and Brian Byrne (2) put respectability on the scoreboard.
A Mervyn O’Neill point left Stratford leading by 0-7 to 0-4 at half-time.
Stratford had a great chance to sow up this match when Paddy Twyford was grounded in the box and referee John White pointed to the spot.
However, Shillelagh’s man of the match Dermot Nolan brought off a great save from Paddy Byrne’s penalty
Shillelagh had enough of the play but their shooting let them down and they were reduced to 13 men when they had two players sent off. However, a brief fracas near the end went unpunished as the referee and his linesmen decided that taking names would a futile exercise.
The Slaneysiders led by 0-7 to 0-4 at halftime and stayed in control throughout the second-half and in the end were clear-cut and deserving winners.
The other quarter final in that section – Avoca and Rathnew was called off because of two deaths in Rathnew.
Stratford: Ultan Rooney; Pat Dunne, Declan Bollard, Paul Sleator; James Fanning, Alan Kealy, Nigel O’Neill; James Barrett, Mervyn O’Neill (0-1); Derek Phelan, Anthony Freehill (05), Patrick Twyford; Seán Kelly, Shane O’Neill, Patrick Byrne (0-5). Subs. – Michael Byrne for Twyford; Phillip Phelan (0-1) for S. O’Neill; George Manley for Kelly.
Shillelagh: Derek Nolan; JP Lyons, Mick Byrne, Keith Collins; Gavin Hennessy, Mark Collins, Cathal Quinn; Willie Carroll, Paddy O’Brien Francis Byrne, Brian Byrne (0-3), Jim O’Brien; Johnny Gahan, Richard Doyle (0-2), Pat Kavanagh (0-1). Subs. – Richard Lambert and David Breen.
Referee: John White (Donard/Glen).