St Pa­trick’s dig deep to edge out Ash­ford

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - SPORT - MICK HA­GAN at Mer­rymeet­ings, Rath­new


ASH­FORD and St Pa­trick’s made the short trip to their neigh­bours Rath­new grounds on Satur­day evening last for round three of the Fitzger­ald Kitchens Ju­nior A foot­ball cham­pi­onship group 2.

Both sides en­tered the con­test on level par hav­ing drew one game each and also lost one each

So, it was vi­tal for both teams to record a win to keep their cham­pi­onship hopes alive. And also move away from the rel­e­ga­tion zone.

Both sides were locked on the bot­tom half of the ta­ble on one point each hav­ing failed to win a match in their pre­vi­ous out­ings, so it was im­por­tant for ei­ther team to carve out a vic­tory.

Af­ter what was a hard fought game it was St Pa­trick’s that was suc­ceeded when a point deep into in­jury time scored by Jack Dunne which saw the win­ners emerge with a one point vic­tory to main­tain the Wick­low town in­ter­est in the cham­pi­onship cam­paign af­ter se­cur­ing vi­tal points and also the brag­ging rights to keep their cham­pi­onship hopes alive

Both teams en­tered this game hop­ing to get their cham­pi­onship back on track and af­ter great bat­tle it was St Pa­trick’s that came up trumps af­ter they held of a strong chal­lenge by Ash­ford and in do­ing so moved up the ta­ble which proved to a vi­tal win over their near neigh­bours.

With the aid of a strong breeze in the open­ing half the win­ners set the pace from early on when play­ing into the vil­lage goal and af­ter a move and af­ter a move which re­sulted in free which saw ace free-taker James Ka­vanagh open the scor­ing af­ter four min­utes.

A quick re­sponse from the men in black and am­ber saw a move which re­sulted in free which Bren­dan Man­ning pointed to bring the sides level.

The win­ners, play­ing with the strong breeze, needed to build up a big lead. That they did, as they took the game to their op­po­nents and they went on to add three points in a row and with cor­ner-for­ward James Ka­vanagh, who has made a wel­come re­turn to the St Pa­trick’s, play­ing havoc in the Ash­ford de­fence which saw the num­ber 13 score all three points (two frees) to give the win­ners a 0-4 to 0-1 lead at the end of the first quar­ter.

The run­ners up set up a cou­ple at­tacks but found Ian Mur­phy in St Pa­trick’s goal a hard nut to crack and were un­able to break through for much-needed scor­ers.

Fol­low­ing a move that was started in their own de­fence af­ter good work by Cor­mac Byrne, Niall Ear­les and Cian Brien, Jack Dunne scored the first of his two points, while dual player Chris Ka­vanagh also got his name on the score sheet which saw the score read 0-6 to 0-1.

The win­ners went on to dom­i­nate and were given a morale boost which saw dual player Matthew Traynor split the Ash­ford de­fence be­fore he crashed home his side only goal to give the win­ners a com­mand­ing lead af­ter both sides ex­changes two wides each also they ex­changed a point each from free tak­ers Cor­mac Doyle and James Ka­vanagh.

The win­ners were left to rue a missed chance when James Ka­vanagh found him­self in­side the Ash­ford de­fence and with a goal at his mercy but his shot when wide which saw the half-time score read­ing 1-7 to 0-2.

Ash­ford set about re­duc­ing the deficit and went in search of scores which re­sulted in a 45 which Cor­mac Doyle pointed.

Not for the first time in the game, St Pa­trick’s upped the tempo which saw wing for­ward Cian O’Brien score point from play.

At this stage there was a Ash­ford re­vival and af­ter good work by Dean Healy and Cor­mac Doyle re­sulted in a penalty which left the St Pa­trick’s back­room team un­happy with the de­ci­sion.

How­ever, Bren­dan Man­ning had other ideas when he slot­ted home a goal to give his side a glim­mer of hope.

A blun­der by the win­ners’ de­fence saw Gavin Weir score an­other Ash­ford goal to put the Ash­ford men well into the hunt which left just two points be­tween the sides, 1-9 to 2-4 and all to play for.

At­tack­ing cor­ner-back Rian Dwyer found him­self in a scor­ing po­si­tion and he took the op­por­tu­nity with ease as he split the posts to leave a sin­gle point be­tween the sides, 1-9 to 2-5.

A Bren­dan Man­ning free brought the sides level af­ter 56 min­utes and sud­denly the win­ners, who had dom­i­nated the game for the pre­vi­ous quar­ters of the hour, found them­selves with a bat­tle on their hands to carve out a vic­tory.

How­ever, it must be said that the win­ners dug deep and launched two at­tacks be­fore good work by Rory Mar­row and Niall Earls who set up Jack Dunne who split the Ash­ford de­fence and held his nerve be­fore he kicked the last point off the game to se­cure vic­tory for St Pa­trick’s which they de­served af­ter dom­i­nat­ing the con­test for so long.

The result means that St Pa­trick’s are back in the hunt in this cam­paign while Ash­ford find them­selves locked in the rel­e­ga­tion zone and with two rounds left to play which are vi­tal for both sides go­ing for­ward.

The Rath­new club de­serve credit for the man­ner they pre­sented the grounds in what was an ideal venue for the oc­ca­sion be­tween these lo­cal sides.

Scor­ers - St Pa­trick’s: Matthew Traynor 1-0, James Ka­vanagh 0-5 (3f), Jack Dunne 0-2, Chris Ka­vanagh 0-1, Cian O’Brien 0-1, Niall Earls 0-1 (f).

Ash­ford: Bren­dan Man­ning 1-3 (p, 2f), Gavin Weir 1-0, Cor­mac Doyle 0-2 (1f), Rian Dwyer 0-1.

ST PA­TRICKS: Ian Mur­phy; Barry Fitzger­ald, Ross Mar­ron, Conor Byrne; Wayne Far­rell, Mathew Traynor, Ro­nan Mur­ray; Jack Dunne, Chris Ka­vanagh; Cian O’Brien, James Ka­vanagh, Matthew Byrne; Niall Earls. Subs Adam Quinn for Barry Fitzger­ald, Reece Kelly for Cian 0 Brien,

ASH­FORD: Wil­liam Hen­der Phillips; Rian Dwyer, Michael Dick­en­son, Robert Clark­son; Iarla O’Don­nell, Daniel Ka­vanagh, Niall Mooney; Joseph Doyle, David Nolan; Ross Quinn, Bren­dan Man­ning, Dean Mooney; Gavin Weir, Cor­mac Doyle, Colm Doyle. Subs: Conor Di­a­mond, Brian Shan­non, Trevor Con­yard.

REF­EREE: Ian Cul­bert (Rath­new)

Ac­tion from the meet­ing of Bless­ing­ton and Aughrim in the Ju­nior ‘A’ foot­ball cham­pi­onship.

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