St Pat’s more composed
A little more composure in front of goal saw St. Patrick’s edge out Clara Gaels in an entertaining affair at Avondale last Sunday morning.
Shorn of Saoirse Kearon and Oisin McGraynor, Clara were always going to be up against it, but they never lacked effort and endeavour against a well-drilled Wicklow town side marshalled from the sideline by county star Dean Healy.
It was nip and tuck in the opening exchanges with the first six points shared before Pat’s got a grip around the middle of the park.
It was at this stage Patrick O’Keane came into the game and he drove the county town men on from center back.
Pats corner-forward Jack Dunne who was lively throughout clipped a fine score before Jack Kelly showed a clean pair of heels to the Avondale defence and got his own point.
O’Keane showing great energy drove upfield and as the defence closed in on him he offloaded to Dunne who showed great composure to slot beyond Steven Lee in the Clara goal.
The goal seemed to awaken Clara and with Conor Byrne getting more into the contest they struck the final three scores of the half with James Murphy unfortunate that his thunderbolt of shot was six inches over the bar instead of under.
The Clara management shrewdly moved Byrne closer to goal in the second period and this decision yielded results immediately with the senior star rocketing a goal that gave keeper Patrick Sammon no chance.
The Pat’s response was emphatic and immediate with wing forward James Byrne placing corner forward Cian O’Brien in on goal and his daisy-cutter nestled in Lee’s goal.
Conor Byrne pointed and when he turned provided for David Miley the scores were tied up again.
However, with O’Keane mopping up breaking ball Pats struck for home. Dunne pointed them into the lead, Kelly extended it and when O’Brien got his second goal of the day Clara had no way back. The last four points of the game were shared but Clara could not get the goal their hopes required.
A good contest between two well matched teams.
The loses of Kearon and McGraynor were too much for a young Clara side. Their best performers were full-back Conor Sheehan, James Murphy, David Miley and the excellent Conor Byrne.
For Pat’s, Rossa Marron was a colossus at full-back, Luca Rampersaud was industrious at centre forward and Jack Dunne lively on the inside line.
However, man of the match was O’Keane who stood up when Clara were on top and his leadership spurred St Patrick’s to victory.
Scorers - St. Pats: Cian O’Brien 2-1, Jack Dunne 1-2, James Byrne 0-2, Jack Kelly 0-2, Ronan Murray 0-1, Luca Rampersaud 0-1.
Clara Gaels: Conor Byrne 1-2, James Murphy 0-4, David Miley 0-3, Eric Olohan 0-1.
ST. PATRICKS: Patrick Sammon; Ken O’Grady, Rossa Marron, Eli Graham; Rob Moffitt, Patrick O’Keane, Hugh Humby; Matthew Traynor, Ronan Murray; James Byrne, Lucas Rampersaud, Dylan Byrne; Cian O’Brien, Jack Kelly, Jack Dunne. Subs: Reese Kelly, Sean Fitzpatrick, Ciaran Byrne.
CLARA GAELS: Steven Lee; Darragh Owens, Conor Sheehan, Connor Penn; Ryan Kenny, Kieran Penn, Mikey O’Dea; Jack Manley, Conor Byrne; Eric Olohan, James Murphy, David Miley; Kevin Kinsella, Donal McGraynor, Ross Merry. Subs: Dan Marley. REFEREE: Kieron Kenny (Tinahely)