Balto run amok at home to Pats
Murphy and Mcgrath return
ONE CLUB celebrating the return of the prodigal sons at the weekend was Baltinglass. With an in-form Kevin Murphy and Mark Staines back from duty with the county team and John McGrath making the starting 15 for the first time after his long lay off through injury, 'Dino' Heaslip's team was looking a bit more like what we can expect to see come championship time.
St Patrick’s were unlucky to be the first team to feel the full force of the new formation.
The Wicklow town side made a good enough start and were leading by 0-2 to 0-1 after five minutes. It did not take the home side long to find their feet and players like Joey Kelly, John McGrath band Henry Sinnott were soon sending over the points from frees and from play.
There was a hunger and drive about the the Slaneysiders that was lacking in the Town side and they were not flattered to lead by 1-8 to 0-3 at half time, the only goal of the match scored by midfielder James Sheerin.
It was expected that Gail Dunne and Gavin Wynne would manage to lift St Pat’s during the interval but it was Baltinglass that continued to set the pace. More points by Joey Kelly, Henry Sinnott and John McGrath kept them comfortable in front. Sub Stephen Duffy pointed a couple of frees but the Wicklow side suffered another set-back when another substitute Gary Duffy was sent to the line. Nothing much changed in the last quarter; John McGrath was having a great game at centre forward and sent over some great points. Time may be against him but on this form Harry could do with him back on the '40’ for the Leinster Championship.
Tommy Murphy looks to be the answer to Baltinglass' long term full back problem while Brian Nolan is settling in well in the corner.
The home side were short of players like Rory Nolan and John Flynn while the Wicklow town side had no Paul Earls or Paudge McWalter. Ciaran Doyle also failed a late fitness test and took no part in this match.
So the points to Baltinglass and 13 extra scores to boost their score difference should it come down to that.
In fact, it turns out that the boost in score difference is what has the Slaneysiders back on top of the Division 1 table this week. Certainly this was a big step up on their last performance against Rathnew.
St Pat’s trainer Gavin Wynne was not too worried about the result.
“Baltinglass were up for it this time and we just were not',” he said after the game. “They showed far more hunger and were chasing everything. We were short a few players alright but the 15 we had on the field should have been good enough to make a match of it. Our display was disappointing,” he admitted.
Scorers -Balltinglass - James Sheerin 1-0; Joey Kelly 0-7; John McGrath 0-4; Henry Sinnott 0-3; Sean O'Brien 0-2; Adam Fleming 0-1.
St Pats - Stephen Duffy and Mattie Byrne 0-2 each; Brian Coen, Rory Marron and Dean Healy 0-1 each
Willie Hanlon; Brian Nolan,Tommy Murphy, Mark Staines; Eoin Sweeney, Ian Sheeran, Billy Cullen; Kevin Murphy, James Sheerin; Joey Kelly, John McGrath, Jason Kennedy; Sean O'Brien, Adam Fleming, Henry Sinnott.
SUBS: SUBS: Shane Wall, Lee Furlong, Paudie Swinburne, Tommy Cullen, John Murray, Stephen Heislip
Simon Alexander; James Kavanagh, Padraig Higgins, Ronan Connolly; Shan Murley, Dean Healy, John Crowe; Darragh McEvoy, Richard Murphy; Rory Marron, Brian Coen, Simon Boucher; Darragh O'Sullivan, Jonathan Delahunt, Mathew Byrne. SUBS: Stephen Duffy, Garry Duffy and Lorcan Smullen. VENUE: Baltinglass
REFEREE: Damien Byrne (Kiltegan)
Darragh McEvoy for St. Pat’s is outnumbered during the SFL Division 1 game in Baltinglass. Photo: Joe Byrne.