Big win for Balto
Goals from Robin Farrell and Stephen Quinn the difference
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.