Peter’s bow out af­ter sec­ond-half surge from Marist

Wexford People - - SPORT - BREN­DAN FUR­LONG in Athy

ST. PETER’S Col­lege were com­pletely over­turned by Marist of Athlone in a dom­i­nant sec­ond-half dis­play in this Top Oil Le­in­ster Post-Pri­mary Schools Se­nior foot­ball ‘A’ cham­pi­onship game in Athy on Fri­day.

St. Peter’s needed a vic­tory by the min­i­mum of a three-point mar­gin to safely ne­go­ti­ate their way out of the group into the knockout stages. And while they played with a first-half breeze, their seven-point in­ter­val lead still did not look suf­fi­cient as Marist de­liv­ered most of the qual­ity foot­ball.

To their credit, the Wex­ford town col­lege did show their po­ten­tial dur­ing pas­sages of the open­ing half, but it was never go­ing to be enough to con­tain the mid­lan­ders given the amount of pos­ses­sion they en­joyed dur­ing that first pe­riod.

Marist may have trailed by seven points at the break hav­ing played into the breeze, but this was mainly from their lack of ac­cu­racy as they kicked a suc­ces­sion of wides, ten in to­tal, com­pared to their op­po­nents’ four.

It was a case of the even­tual win­ners need­ing to find their ac­cu­racy to turn their pos­ses­sion into scores, and they man­aged to do this in a dom­i­nant sec­ond-half dis­play.

They took com­plete con­trol of the out­field ex­changes, with the Peter’s de­fence com­ing un­der in­ces­sant pres­sure as a re­sult.

While it may have taken Marist un­til the end of the third quar­ter to get level (1-6 each), they turned in a crack­ing fi­nal quar­ter as they tore the op­pos­ing de­fence to shreds, now man­ag­ing to find the tar­get with some long-range points.

St. Peter’s may have got the bet­ter start but they needed to de­liver a knockout blow dur­ing a pe­riod when Marist were find­ing so much dif­fi­culty with their fin­ish­ing.

It was a strong per­for­mance from their mid­field pair­ing of Paul Deeny and Con­all Clancy that pushed them for­ward in search of scores, but though they were seven points to the good at the break, it still did not look suf­fi­cient.

Marist kicked two wides in the open­ing min­utes be­fore big mid­fielder Kieran Colclough pointed a 35-me­tre free into the breeze.

Once they set­tled, St. Peter’s be­gan to build more at­tack­ing moves from deep in de­fence, and cen­tre-back Sam Aud­s­ley, one of their bet­ter play­ers, kicked the lev­el­ling point af­ter seven min­utes.

Ben Stafford added a fur­ther point be­fore they got a huge twelfth-minute break­through. Diar­muid Barry floated over a high side­line ball that was flicked on by cen­tre-for­ward Jack O’Leary, with Conor Ke­hoe avail­ing of hes­i­tancy in the op­pos­ing de­fence to fin­ish to the net from close range, giv­ing his side a 1-2 to 0-1 lead.

While Marist could only man­age a fur­ther point be­fore the in­ter­val, a Ciarán Su­grue 15th-minute ef­fort, they went on to kick a suc­ces­sion of wides.

At the op­po­site end Peter’s kicked some fine long-range points from less pos­ses­sion through James O’Leary, Diar­muid Barry (two) and Paul Deeny to lead by 1-6 to 0-2 at the in­ter­val.

It was a res­o­lute open­ing 30 min­utes from Peter’s, but one felt they would come un­der even more pres­sure on the re­sump­tion as Marist set about turn­ing the game around with a Colin Mur­phy point af­ter 32 min­utes.

They had re­duced the deficit to 1-6 to 0-5 when they got the break­through for their open­ing goal at the end of the third quar­ter when a high Kieran Colclough ball broke into the path of Ciarán Su­grue who fin­ished to the net, leav­ing the min­i­mum sep­a­rat­ing the sides.

There was no short­age of qual­ity foot­ball, but Marist drove for­ward at ev­ery op­por­tu­nity, pick­ing off some ex­cel­lent points be­fore they closed out the game with an Eoghan Derwin goal six min­utes from the end.

While Peter’s bat­tled to get back into the game, they were un­able to prise open a now dom­i­nant Marist de­fence, with their soli­tary sec­ond-half score be­ing a Sam Aud­s­ley point.

Af­ter a tremen­dous run from half­way, his ris­ing shot struck the bar be­fore go­ing over for a point, but the losers can have few com­plaints with the end re­sult.

St. Peter’s: David Pet­tit (Our Lady’s Is­land); Ryan Fur­long (Sars­fields), Barry Ryan (Glynn-Barn­town), Aaron Doyle (Shel­maliers); Zac Fir­man (St. Martin’s), Sam Aud­s­ley (St. Martin’s, 0-2), James O’Leary (Our Lady’s Is­land, 0-1); Paul Deeny (Vol­un­teers, 0-1), Con­all Clancy (Sars­fields); Ben Stafford (St. Martin’s, 0-1), Jack O’Leary (St. Fin­tan’s), Ross Banville (Shel­maliers); Shane Pet­tit (St. Fin­tan’s), Conor Ke­hoe (Sars­fields, 1-0), Diar­muid Barry (St. Martin’s, 0-2, 1 free). Subs. - Jack For­tune (Cross­abeg-Bal­ly­murn) for Jack O’Leary, Jake Nobbs (Black­wa­ter) for Deeny, Tomás Mur­phy (Black­wa­ter) for Ke­hoe, Garb­han MacCor­mack (Glynn-Barn­town) for Fir­man.

Marist (Athlone): Ea­monn Martin; Kieran Quinn, Pearse Frost, Conor Rushe; Ian O’Rourke, Shane Allen (0-4), Paul McGrath (0-1); Kieran Colclough (0-2, 1 free), Shane Cun­nane; Stephen O’Con­nor, Colin Mur­phy (0-2), Eoghan Derwin (1-0); Ben O’Car­roll, Shane Reid, Ciarán Su­grue (1-3). Subs. - Ed­die McDon­ald for Reid, Daryl Pren­der­gast for O’Con­nor, Ro­nan Smith for Derwin, O’Con­nor for Mur­phy.

Ref­eree: Ea­monn O’Con­nor (Of­faly).

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