MARKER LAID DOWN!

Rath­new van­quish Balt­in­glass in Di­vi­sion 1

Bray People - - SPORT - DANIEL GOR­MAN At Rath­new

BALT­IN­GLASS suf­fered their first league de­feat of the sea­son on Satur­day and it was a very com­pre­hen­sive one, dished out by a young Rath­new side.

Balt­in­glass could boast James Sheerin in their ranks, as well as a cameo from John McGrath.

But they had no an­swer to Rath­new, who’s fluid at­tack­ing and hard-hit­ting rat­tled the vis­i­tors- who only man­aged one point from play through­out the 60 min­utes.

Wick­low man­ager Harry Mur­phy was an in­spected spec­ta­tor in Rath­new and he given per­mis­sion for mid­fielder James Sheerin and cor­ner for­ward John McGrath both to play. McGrath was mak­ing his re­turn from an oper­a­tion and was kept in re­serve un­til half time, when it was de­cided his qual­i­ties were needed to add im­pe­tus.

But his in­tro­duc­tion didn’t ruf­fle any feath­ers for Rath­new, who en­joyed a ten point ad­van­tage mid­way through the sec­ond half.

A late goal from Balt­in­glass’ top scorer Joey Kelly – he was re­spon­si­ble for 1-5 of his side’s 1-6 tally – put a health­ier spin on the tie for the west Wick­low men but there was no deny­ing it was a bad day at the of­fice for last year’s run­ners-up in the cham­pi­onship.

There was a sense of déjà vu in Rath­new on Satur­day af­ter­noon as ref­eree Kieran Kenny of­fi­ci­ated be­tween Rath­new and Balt­in­glass, just as he had when Rath­new claimed the big­gest prize in Wick­low foot­ball last sea­son.

The first point came within the first minute; Nicky Mer­nagh was on the re­ceiv­ing end of a foul and Ed­ward Doyle dropped the con­test’s first free kick over the bar.

A vin­tage Tommy Gill point soon fol­lowed be­fore Kelly got his side off the mark in the fifth minute.

Rath­new cor­ner for­ward Paul El­lis sent a shot float­ing to­wards the cross­bar and it ap­peared to just pass over the cross­bar be­fore full for­ward Mark Doyle made sure by slap­ping it on.

The home mo­men­tum was clearly build­ing and Philip Mur­phy cashed in on that as he bal­looned an ef­fort over from a de­cent dis­tance out.

Ross O’Brien was next off the pro­duc­tion line to make life dif­fi­cult for Balt­in­glass. He burst onto a pass as he bore down on goal an in typ­i­cal, nonon­sense fash­ion, he put his laces through the ball to leave the um­pires in no doubt.

Kelly re­duced the ar­rears to 0-5 0-2 when he notched his sec­ond point af­ter some hard run­ning by Henry Sin­nott had il­le­gally been stopped.

Kelly could chip away at Rath­new’s lead all he wanted, but he never came close to threat­en­ing Rath­new’s grip on this match.

Tommy Gill continues to prove that age is just a num­ber as the 36 year old sent his sec­ond ef­fort sail­ing be­tween the posts.

Balt­in­glass got a sniff of a goal chance in the 26th minute. Sin­nott fed Johnny Flynn who off­loaded it to Billy Cullen but be­fore the cen­tre half back could test Peter Dig­nam, he was wiped out by an almighty shoul­der from Rath­new cor­ner back Dean Franey.

Kelly made up for it slightly as his third suc­cess­ful free left three points be­tween the sides at the break. Three quickly be­came four, and then five, and then six in the first four min­utes of the sec­ond pe­riod.

Theo Smith got things un­der­way as he fisted a point in the 32nd minute and two min­utes later he turfed a fine ef­fort over from dis­tance. In-be­tween the mid­field man’s two ef­forts, Ed­ward Doyle en­gi­neered some shoot­ing space and landed a point to make it nine points to three in Rath­new’s favour.

Kelly con­tin­ued to fight the good fight for Balt­in­glass but Rath­new were re­ally hit­ting a pur­ple patch.

Half-for­ward Gra­ham Mer­ri­gan bombed down the left and hurled in a deep pass/shot that found Gill. He got his fist to it but it was a weak ef­fort and Wil­liam Hanlon safely claimed the ball.

Philip Mur­phy added the next score. His shot ini­tially looked to be head­ing wide but it curled back in to raise the white flags.

Gra­ham Mer­ri­gan then fed Paul El­lis in front of goal and he was de­nied by a fine block from Hanlon. In the en­su­ing scram­ble, Balt­in­glass cen­tre half back Billy Cullen had the mis­for­tune of turn­ing the ball into his own net.

Gill added a free be­fore Adam Flem­ing mus­tered the away side’s one and only point from play.

Balt­in­glass re­stored some pride late on as Kelly found a goal and a point but Tommy Gill had the fi­nal say; his fourth point – the last kick of the game – wrap­ping up an im­pres­sive 1-12 1-6 vic­tory.

Rath­new scor­ers: Tommy Gill 0-4 (2F’s), Own Goal, Ed­ward Doyle 0-2 (1F), Philip Mur­phy 0-2, Theo Smith 0-2, Paul El­lis 0-1, Ross O’Brien 0-1.

Balt­in­glass scor­ers: Joey Kelly 1-5 (5F’s), Adam Flem­ing 0-1.

Rath­new’s Mark Doyle makes a fine catch dur­ing the Di­vi­sion 1 clash with Balt­in­glass in Rath­new. Photo: Bar­bara Flynn

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