Casey’s men too strong for de­pleted Coolkenno

Bray People - - SPORT -


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

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