St Patrick’s dig deep to edge out Ashford
ST PATRICK’S 1-10 ASHFORD 2-6
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.