Valleymount Byrne St Pat’s
Stephen stars in big win
VALLEYMOUNT ST PATRICK’S 1-09 0-05
VALLEYMOUNT’S hunt for Junior A football championship honours gathered serious momentum last Sunday evening when they dispatched the challenge of St Pat’s in a very effective manner in Joule Park, Aughrim.
In many ways St Pat’s were the creators of their own demise and the Wicklow town men were a team who never really emerged from the dressing rooms aside from a period in the second quarter, but it was the Valleymount men who embraced the challenge and with the very impressive Stephen Byrne leading the attack from the edge of the square they never once looked like they would be beaten.
The men from the west form a team that has plenty of leaders on board and what has been very noticeable in their fine championship run to date has been the fact that there’s no one man dominating proceedings, no one ‘star’ which the ball must go through. For Valleymount, it’s very much a team effort and an off day for one player won’t result in a catastrophe because there’s usually a colleague to step up to the plate.
They got a dream start to this game on Sunday, the third encounter of the day on the Aughrim pitch. A high ball from Shane Flynn into the St Pat’s square was broken and then won superbly by Stephen Byrne who fired home a screamer past Ian Murphy. It was a real statement of intent.
In the early stages it was all Valleymount. Pat’s had their first wide after nine minutes, that from the boot of Johnny Carton. By that time Valleymount had already registered their opening point, that from the boot of James Fitzpatrick from a free.
Valleymount were moving well all over the field and Stephen Flanagan fired wide on 10 minutes after a sumptuous move up the field and the possibility of a second defeat of the day for the St Pat’s club was looming very real on the horizon.
Points from Stephen Byrne and Stephen Flanagan had Valleymount up by 1-03 to no score after 15 minutes while Pat’s were still stuttering and faltering with a long searching ball for Carton going harmlessly wide.
Not long after the overcarrying rule, a rule that was to the forefront of Wicklow club referees last weekend for some reason, came to the aid of St Pat’s and Mark Carroll’s transgression was punished by Johnny Carton who pointed the free to get the Wicklow town side off the mark.
The aforementioned Carton collected a yellow card shortly afterwards while Stephen Byrne pointed superbly at the other end.
The last five minutes of the first half were the best of the game for St Pat’s. Carton pointed another free on 25 minutes and this was followed by a converted 45 from Matthew Traynor, another pointed free from carton after a foul on the busy Aidan Dunne and a sweet effort from Ciaran McGettigan to make it 1-04 to 0-05 in favour of Valleymount.
Pat’s would end the half with McGettigan dropping a free short and things weren’t looking as gloomy as the clouds on the horizon as they had been for the Wicklow town men.
Shooting was to be the enemy for St Pat’s in the second half. When your trusted freetaker fires wide from 21 yards in front of goal you know it’s just not meant to be your day.
Valleymount took hold of the game in the early stages of the second half. Stephen Byrne pointed after good work from Shay Geoghegan, Declan Cahill swung over a beauty, Byrne pounced on a loose ball with eight gone in the second before Jack Slattery added to frees towards the end.
It was a tough day for the Pat’s men. They had just watched their Senior brethren bow out at the hands of Blessington and they limped to their own demise with wides and generally poor play and they ended with 14 just to add insult to their injury.
Valleymount progress to the semi-finals. They will face a tougher task in the last four, of that there’s no doubt. But they’ve been building nicely and playing a very pleasing brand of football and they will take some stopping.
Scorers – Valleymount: Stephen Byrne 1-04, Jack Slattery 0-02 (2f), James Fitzpatrick 0-01 (f), Stephen Flanagan 0-01, Declan Cahill 0-01.
St Patrick’s: Johnny Carton 0-03 (3f), Matthew Traynor 0-01 (45), Ciaran McGettigan 0-01.
Paul Miley; Mark Carroll, Steven Cahill, Darragh Browne; Brian Miley, Brian Flynn, William Kavanagh; Declan Cahill, Stephen Flanagan; Shane Flynn, Jack Slattery, Liam Miley; Shay Geoghegan, Stephen Byrne, James Fitzpatrick. Subs: Shane Hughes for S Flynn, Derek Reid for S Flanagan, Shane Browne for M Carroll.
Ian Murphy; Chris Kavanagh, Lorcan Smullen, Shane O’Dwyer; Shay Dunne, Aidan Dunne, Ronan Connolly; Matthew Traynor, Billy McHugh; Bosco Guinan, Ciaran McGettigan, Simon Bouchier; Anthony Franey, Joe Quinn, Johnny Carton. Subs: John Connors for B Guinan, Brendan Cox for S Bouchier, Barry Fitzgerald for S Dwyer, Reese Kelly for S Dunne.