Big win for Balto

Goals from Robin Far­rell and Stephen Quinn the dif­fer­ence

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - SPORT -

GOALS from Robin Far­rell and Stephen Quinn set Balt­in­glass up for an eight-point vic­tory in their open­ing Fitzger­ald’s Kitchens Ju­nior ‘A’ Foot­ball Cham­pi­onship clash on Fri­day night against a St Pat’s side who fin­ished the game with 14 men.

Af­ter both sides hav­ing de­cent league cam­paigns un­der their belts, they both knew that this would be a good battle from start to fin­ish.

St Pat’s were dealt a huge blow 90 sec­onds into the game as they con­ceded a poor goal on their part. Stephen Quinn fin­ished off a lovely move that in­volved Brian Lord and Lee Fur­long. Pat’s keeper Ian Mur­phy would have been dis­ap­pointed to have not kept out the strike on goal.

The open­ing stages showed that the Pat’s defenders were in for a long evening in Round­wood as the Balt­in­glass for­wards were quick on the at­tack with some swift hand pass­ing.

A breeze blow­ing across the pitch caused the game to slow up in stages as the wind was not help­ing ei­ther side. A few poor ef­forts from both sides proved this.

Brian Lord and Robin Far­rell added scores to the Balt­in­glass tally be­fore Ro­nan Mur­ray stuck the first over for the Wick­low Town side.

Af­ter their first score, Pat’s be­gan to stretch their legs and grow into the game. Mur­ray and Luca Ram­per­saud were more than will­ing to run in be­tween the lines. James Ka­vanagh and Ea­mon Wolfe pointed to bring the game to within a goal in­side ten min­utes of the clash.

Both sides were strug­gling to fully an­tic­i­pate the bounce of the ball, with loose balls fail­ing to be gathered up all around the park.

The fight­ing and tus­sling be­gan mid­way through the half as Ea­mon Wolfe and David Gethings were both booked for an off the ball in­ci­dent.

All three Balt­in­glass full for­wards, Lord (free), Far­rell and Fur­long (free) scored con­sec­u­tive points as they be­gan to pull away.

Tommy Mur­phy be­gan to find a lot of free space as the Pat’s defenders were more con­cen­trated on other for­wards. Tommy Cullen was also pop­ping up ev­ery­where with his bun­dles of en­ergy. Balto were show­ing class fur­ther for­ward with a lot of good of­fload­ing but un­for­tu­nately, they couldn’t con­vert as many op­por­tu­ni­ties as they had hoped.

Some­what against the run of play, Pat’s had a goal chance, as Cian O’Brien crashed his shot against the cross­bar. A lucky es­cape for Balt­in­glass.

De­spite Balt­in­glass dom­i­nat­ing the game, their op­po­nents were keep­ing their dis­tance, as 2 scores from James Ka­vanagh, in­clud­ing a nice free, brought them back to within three points be­fore half-time.

With the scores sat at 1-7 to 0-7 at half-time, the early Quinn goal proved piv­otal to the bal­ance of the game.

Pat’s were un­doubt­edly still in the game and an early Ruairi Mar­ron point may have been what they needed to kick on, but un­for­tu­nately, they didn’t as they didn’t reg­is­ter a score un­til the last minute of in­jury time.

Balt­in­glass should have been out of sight ear­lier in the sec­ond half but sev­eral poor wides kept the encounter more in­ter­est­ing.

The net was rat­tled for the sec­ond time in the 39th minute. Robin Far­rell ran from the 65yard line, ball in hand, and beat five defenders to then fire the ball past Ian Mur­phy in the Pat’s goal. This sig­nalled game over for the Wick­low side.

Pat’s didn’t of­fer a lot in an at­tack­ing sense in the sec­ond half in or­der to come back from this deficit as the Balt­in­glass defenders held firm.

A few nig­gly bat­tles con­tin­ued around the field and this even­tu­ally led to more, with sev­eral re­tal­i­a­tions from Pat’s play­ers lead­ing to a few book­ings.

This def­i­nitely was not the end of the hand­bags.

Tadgh O’Toole stuck over a tasty free for the first score of the game in 7 min­utes.

Things be­gan to heat up fur­ther, as Ea­mon Wolfe was in­volved in an­other al­ter­ca­tion lead­ing to a larger brawl.

He was right­fully shown his sec­ond yel­low card and ref­eree Chris Cana­van gave him his march­ing orders.

This pretty much ru­ined the game as it ended up as a very drab encounter. A Tadgh O’Toole free and a nice score from the left boot of Brian Lord fin­ished off the scor­ing for Balt­in­glass be­fore Ro­nan Mur­ray scored a con­so­la­tion point for Pat’s in in­jury time.

A fine open­ing vic­tory for Balt­in­glass but Pat’s will be look­ing to re­gather them­selves if they are to sur­vive in the cham­pi­onship.

Fi­nal Score: Balt­in­glass 2-11; St Pat’s 0-9

Scorers: Balt­in­glass: Robin Far­rell 1-3, Brian Lord 0-4 (2f), Stephen Quinn 1-0, Tadgh O’Toole 0-3 (2f), Lee Fur­long 0-1.

St Pat’s: James Ka­vanagh 0-4 (1f), Ro­nan Mur­ray 0-2 (1f), Ea­mon Wolfe 0-1, Jack Dunne 0-1, Ruairi Mar­ron 0-1.

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