Rathnew rule roost in derby
Rathnew 1-10 St. Patrick’s 1-7
COUNTY CHAMPIONS Rathnew chalked up their second win from three starts in Division 1 of the leagues on Saturday, having previously beaten Tinahely.
Derby matches between these parish neighbours are invariably hard-fought affairs and this encounter was no exception to the norm.
St. Patrick’s will feel that they should have at least taken a share of the league points from the game, paying the penalty for six squandered chances in a dominant opening quarter and then gifting Rathnew a crucial goal in the third quarter.
There is a buzz in the Wicklow town camp this year, the arrival of Mayo man Austin O’Malley and injured players starting to return to match action sparking hopes they just might wrest the Miley Cup from their near neighbours and fierce rivals in 2011.
And the band of supporters and subs who travelled with the team to the lions den at Rathnew was a clear sign of their intent to take the scalp of the champions on Saturday to add to earlier league wins over Bray Emmets and Kiltegan.
Even though they were still short a number of regulars along with county stars, St. Patrick’s shaped up as if they were going to overrun Rathnew in the first quarter, but their shooting let them down as they posted six wides before Seán Duffy had the first point after fifteen minutes.
But Rathnew did not win over 30 titles by being fainthearted or folding at the first wave of pressure. After centreforward, Nicky Mernagh kicked two fine points, the first after Richard Dignam had forced a super save from Robert Hollingsworth, Tommy Gill showed his accuracy from frees and the champions went on to lead by 0-6 to 0-4 at the break.
Play was held up for a considerable period late in the first half as we waited for a ambulance for Rathnew’s Jody Merrigan who went over on his knee, and just on the break Donal Fitzgerald of St. Patrick’s had to retire as a result of injuring an ankle.
In the third quarter St. Patrick’s were awarded a penalty and Tommy Kelly, who was playing at midfield, dispatched the spot-kick to the net to bring the sides level at 1-4 to 07.
It was all to play for with Ciarán Doyle marshalling the St. Patrick’s defence in the number six shirt and Seán Tobin, Seán Duffy, Wayne Doyle all showing.
But then disaster struck. Rathnew applied pressure and, in an attempt to clear the ball to safety, a St. Patrick’s defender punched to his own net. The village were ahead 1-9 to 1-5.
St. Patrick’s did not show the white feather either. After Tommy Gill had pointed for Rathnew from another free, Matty Byrne responded like wise for St. Patrick’s, Trevor Jameson chipped in with another point, and at the finish Dave Condren had a goal attempt blocked after a great run by Dara McEvoy.
Rathnew: Johnny Byrne, Alan Clarke, Damien Power, Dean Franey, Stephen Byrne, Stephen Canavan, Enan Glynn, Edward T. Doyle, Richard Dignam, Edward S Doyle, Nicky Mernagh (0-2), Jody Merrigan, Barry Mernagh (0-1), Mark Doyle (0-2), Tommy Gill (0-5). Subs: Paul Ellis for J. Merrigan, Chris Healy for S. Byrne, Stephen Newsome for Edward S. Doyle.
St. Patrick’s: Robert Hollingsworth, Wayne Doyle, Lorcan Smullen, Wayne Farrell, Dave Condren (0-1), Ciarán Doyle, Andy Jameson, Dara McEvoy, Tommy Kelly (1-1), Seán Tobin, Matty Byrne (0-2), Richard Murphy (0-1), Seán Duffy (0-1), Donal Fitzgerald, Bosco Guinan. Subs: Trevor Jameson (0-1) for D. Fitzgerald, Barry Fitzgerald for B. Guinan, Thomas Dunne for L. Smullen, Shane Doyle for S. Duffy.
Referee: Kieran Kenny (Tinahely).
Dunlavin 1-8 Ballymanus 0-11
DUNLAVIN AND Ballymanus played an exciting draw in Division 1 of the SFL at 'The Gap' on Sunday evening.
Little separated the sides at any stage; Ballymanus got off to a good start and went two points up in the early stages.
Dunlavin lifted their game in the second quarter and went in leading by 0-6 to 0-5 at half-time.
The game was level again in the third quarter but Stevie Carty got the only goal of the match and Dunlavin looked set for victory.
The Billies staged a late rally and Paddy Byrne kicked the equalizer in the closing minutes.
Balymanus: Brendan Doyle; Glen Farrer, Patrick Byrne, Shane Whelan; Colm Coogan, Seamus Coogan, Sean O'Neill; Mark Kenny, Brendan.Whelan()-1); Liam.Byrne, Michael.Stapleton, Ciaran Whelan (0-1); Kevin Byrne (0-3), Paddy Byrne (0-5), Darragh O'Keeffe (0-1). Subs: R. Stapleton and J. Fleming.
Dunlavin: G. Carroll; Ronan Byrne, Conor Miley, Sean Phelan; Thomas Kelly, Trevor Birchall, Henry Coleborne; Kevin Miley, Justin Birchall,: Shane Carty(1-0), Alan Bowens, Shane Corrigan (0-1); Jimmy Kelly (0-2), Mark Regley(0-4), Ray O'Brien(0-1) - Ref Declan Peppard, Hollywood.