PAT’S POWER TO FI­NAL

Wick­low side will face stiffer task in de­cider

Bray People - - SPORT - MICK HA­GAN At Dun­bur Park

ST. PATRICK'S jour­ney in the Le­in­ster Club Hurl­ing League Di­vi­sion 3 con­tin­ued when they played host to Ring­town of West­meath in the semi-fi­nal. The game was played in ex­cel­lent con­di­tions at Dun­bur Park on Satur­day evening last.

The Wick­low town side came through their sec­tion un­de­feated af­ter they scored vic­to­ries over Clan Na Gael Fon­toneys, Kill, and Saint Fechins, and this re­sulted in James Quirk's side qual­i­fy­ing for a quar­ter-fi­nal clash with Eire Og Grey­stones and af­ter a bat­tle, St. Patrick's emerged win­ners to set up a meet­ing with Ring­town.

The end re­sult saw the Wick­low town side emerge vic­to­ri­ous with an eleven point win­ning mar­gin af­ter they dom­i­nated from the start to fin­ish against a dis­ap­point­ing Ring­town side who failed to put up any chal­lenge to the win­ners dur­ing the en­tire 60 min­utes.

The home side won the toss and team cap­tain, Andy O'Brien elected to play against a strong breeze which was blow­ing away from the town goal.

St. Patrick's got off to a dream start which saw Jack Mount­gomery force a save from goal­keeper Pat Burke in the open­ing min­utes which re­sulted in a 65 and top marks­man Andy O'Brien opened the scor­ing with a point.

The win­ners went on to lay siege in the vis­i­tor's half of the field but they failed to con­vert their dom­i­nance in to scores and they hit six wides in a row from frees and gen­eral play in a 10 minute spell with­out a score.

Andy O'Brien scored two points in a row the, both from frees, af­ter Shane Doyle was fouled when he split the Ring­town de­fence twice.

An­other at­tack was launched and af­ter a move­ment in­volv­ing John Con­nors and Brian Coen, John Dee O'Brien scored the open­ing goal while the vis­i­tors re­sponded with their first score with a point from a free by Em­mett Cor­ri­gan. The win­ners lead 1-03 to 0-01 at the end of the first quar­ter.

St. Patrick's con­tin­ued to keep the pres­sure on and were dom­i­nant in most sec­tors of the field with John and Michael Con­nors giv­ing pol­ished dis­plays on the left wing of the de­fence and it was only a mat­ter of time that scores would come.

John Dee O'Brien landed a point while ace free taker, Andy O'Brien, struck two frees over the bar to give the win­ners a lead of 1-06 to 0-01 af­ter 22 min- utes.

Ring­town were find­ing hard to get through for scores against a solid de­fence and af­ter a brief at­tack Em­mett Cor­ri­gan scored his sec­ond point from a free and, af­ter both sides missed scor­ing chances, Andy O'Brien and Conor Maxwell ex­changed points to leave the win­ners leading 1-07 to 0-03 at half time.

Em­mett Cor­ri­gan re­duced the deficit with his third point on the re­sump­tion fol­low­ing a foul on half time sub­sti­tute, Antony Nea, at this stage St. Patrick's upped the tempo once more and went on to take con­trol in ev­ery sec­tor of the field and they started to use the open spa­ces of the park with some de­light­ful hurl­ing be­ing played which re­sulted in the win­ners ex­tend­ing their lead through Andy O'Brien with two points from frees. Out­stand­ing wing back, John Con­nors, added a point from play while mid­fielder, Conor Maxwell, replied with a point which left St. Patrick's leading on a score of 1- 10 to 0-05 with 12 min­utes left to play.

The win­ners could have be­ing fur­ther ahead were it not for a dou­ble su­per save by im­pres­sive goal­keeper, Pat Burke, from Andy O'Brien and Brian Coen.

With the home de­fence putting up the shut­ters and mid­field pair­ing of Brain Coen and Shane Doyle show­ing great work rate and with the for­wards work­ing as a unit they went on to add six points through Andy O'Brien (three frees) and sin­gles from John Dee O'Brien, Michael Con­nors and Mick O'Brien which gave the home side a com­mand­ing lead of 1-16 to 0-06.

At this stage a brief melee took place which re­sulted in ref­eree, Justin Hef­fer­nan, tak­ing ac­tion and St. Patrick's' Gerry Con­nors and Ring­town's top scorer, Em­mett Cor­ri­gan, both be­ing shown red cards.

Ring­town, with time al­most up, scored a goal through half time sub­sti­tute, Kevin Nea, af­ter a mix up in the home de­fence while it was only fit­ting that Andy O'Brien should close the scor­ing with a point deep into in­jury time which saw St. Patrick's run out con­vinc­ing win­ners and they should be happy hav­ing reached this year's fi­nal af­ter be­ing beaten by Ballyboden St. Enda's at the semi-fi­nal stage last year.

On the ba­sis of this dis­play the win­ners should not get car­ried away af­ter this easy vic­tory as the op­po­si­tion was poor and they would be well ad­vised to take noth­ing for granted in the fi­nal as a stern test lies ahead when they face Na Fianna from Dublin.

Scor­ers for St. Patrick's: Andy O'Brien 0-11 (7f), John Dee O'Brien 1-02, Michael Con­nors 0-02, John Con­nors 0-01, Mick O'Brien 0-01.

Ring­town: Kevin Nea 1-00, Em­mett Cor­ri­gan 0-04 (all frees), Conor Maxwell 0-02,

ST. PATRICK’S

Michael Mul­lane; Sean Cal­laghan, Tom Berry, Michael Con­nors; John Con­nors, Gerry Con­nors, Andrew Con­way; Brian Coen, Shane Doyle; Jack Mount­gormey, John Dee O'Brien, James O'Brien; Mick O'Brien, Andy O'Brien, John O'Brien. SUBS: Andy O'Brien for James O'Brien, Robin Mooney for Jack Mount­gormey, Myles O'Brien for John O'Brien, Chris Ka­vanagh for John Dee O'Brien, Gra­ham O'Brien for Mick O'Brien.

RING­TOWN

Pat Burke; Frankie Boy­han, John Macken, To­mas Daniels; Matthew Hur­ley, Paul Smith, Brian Bro­phy; James Boy­lan, Conor Maxwell; Em­met Cor­ri­gan, Keith Melia, Ai­den Grady; David Hara, Damian Mo­ran, Conor Grady. SUBS Antony Nea for David O'Hara, Kevin Nea for Damian Mo­ran. VENUE: Dun­bur Park

REF­EREE: Justin Hef­fer­nan (Wex­ford)

Ring­town's Paul Smith tries to halt the progress of St Pat's Andy O'Brien dur­ing the Le­in­ster hurl­ing league semi-fi­nal. Pic­ture: Garry O'Neill

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