Casey’s men too strong for depleted Coolkenno
ST PATRICK’S COOLKENNO 2-15 1-04
ST PAT’S eased their way into the quarter-finals of the Renault Ireland Senior Football Championship with a comprehensive win over a depleted Coolkenno team in Aughrim on Friday night.
Last year’s beaten finalists left their opponents frustrated in defence and attack and had that extra guile that marks them out as a contender every year. Coolkenno, shorn of several key figures including the Rossiters and the Walkers, just can’t cope with key losses like that.
Bryan Doyle opened the scoring for Pat’s in the third minute after a quick free from Conor Ffrench found the wing forward in some space before the same combination linked again from the kick out with the added influence of Shane Doyle to give Bryan a second point.
Coolkenno missed four frees early on from score-able positions and dropped Eoghan Dolan further back to try eliminate some of the threat posed by the Wicklow town side.
The Coolkenno defence battled hard at every Pat’s opportunity and when a Tommy Kelly shot rebounded back out off the crossbar, two great blocks by the Coolkenno defence thwarted the threat.
At midfield for Pat’s, county footballer Dean Healy was putting on a show worth the admittance fee and his pin point passing was a joy to behold, setting up dangerous attacks for his side and picking his time to attack himself. Coolkenno struggled to get the ball out of their own half at times and on one such instance a clearance found its way back to Tommy Kelly who curled over a fine score for Pat’s for the first score in 15 minutes.
Bryan Doyle added another for his side after a fine catch by Paudge McWalter in midfield before Coolkenno opened their account through a Don Jackman free after David Tompkins was adjudged to have been fouled.
Pat’s responded with a score from Jordan Petticrew after John Corcoran saved impressively from Kelly and further scores from John Crowe, Doyle and McWalter.
At centre-half back, Padraig Higgins was having a good battle with Don Jackman and the Pat’s man made a key interception set up the good score from McWalter. Behind Higgins, in the number three jersey, James Kavanagh was dealing with everything that crossed his path.
However, lively corner-forward David Tompkins for Coolkenno was earning his side a number of fouls and scoring chances and he played his hand in finding Conor Doyle unmarked on the edge of the square after a long ball from Jackman, which allowed the Coolkenno midfielder the opportunity to fire home on the stroke of half-time leaving the score line 1-1 to 0-8.
Petticrew opened Pat’s account within 20 seconds of the restart before Tompkins scored a point himself for Coolkenno and earned another foul for Jackman to convert shortly after.
With the gap down to three and a slight swagger starting to appear among Coolkenno’s players, Dean Healy took about rectifying the situation for Pat’s. Two tremendous catches in the midfield resulted in two goal chances for his side.
The first eventually found its way to Petticrew whose effort rebounded off the crossbar and the second eventually found its way back to himself and he drove at the Coolkenno backs and fired home a thunderbolt into the roof of the net. McWalter added another point for Pat’s after being set up by Healy shortly after and Tommy Kelly added another after receiving a lay-off from Donal Fitzgerald.
Fitzgerald, Kelly and Petticrew were making excellent runs in the full-forward line and were able to link up with oncoming runners at almost every opportunity making it an easier target for the lads passing in.
Kelly grabbed another for himself before John Crowe scored a second of the night after a cross field pass from Healy. Conor Doyle added Coolkenno’s final score after tough grafting from Eoghan Dolan to reduce the gap to nine but with 12 minutes to go the game was over.
Tommy Kelly was fouled on the stand side and while a Coolkenno man argued and pleaded his case to the heavens, Conor Ffrench slipped in behind him and received a quick free from Kelly. While running at goal, his pass from around 22 yards popped over a Coolkenno defender and into the arms of Bryan Doyle who fired home low to the bottom corner while the Coolkenno defence were still stuck flat footed.
Pat’s closed out the contest with further points from Kelly, Crowe and McWalter and will be waiting anxiously for the quarter-final pairings once the other groups are settled.
Coolkenno must regroup and prepare to try maintain their Senior status for 2018.
Scorers: St Pat’s – Bryan Doyle 1-4 (1f), Tommy Kelly 0-4, John Crowe, Patrick McWalter, 0-3 each, Dean Healy 1-0, Jordan Petticrew 0-2.
Coolkenno – Conor Doyle 1-1, Don Jackman 0-2 (2f), David Tompkins 0-1.
St. Pat’s: Colm Byrne; Wayne Doyle, James Kavanagh, Ciaran Doyle; Shane Murley, Padraig Higgins, John Crowe; Dean Healy, Shane Doyle; Bryan Doyle, Patrick McWalter, Conor Ffrench; Donal Fitzgerald, Jordan Petticrew, Thomas Kelly. Subs: Emmett Cullen for W Doyle, Conor O’Brien for Fitzgerald, Paul O’Brien for Ffrench, Ffrench for Kelly.
Coolkenno: John Corcoran; Paul Keogh, James Gregan, Daniel O’Neill; Jim Cushe, Philip Timmons, Robert Keogh; Conor Doyle, Paddy Dalton; John Kavanagh, Don Jackman, Paul Murphy; Eoghan Dolan, John Gregan, David Tompkins.
Referee: Garrett Whelan