Baltinglass see off Eire Og in lacklustre affair
BALTINGLASS 2-14 ÉIRE ÓG 0-9
WITH nothing at stake here other than deciding who would play either Kiltegan or Hollywood in their relegation games next day out, this Senior football encounter played at Aughrim on Sunday last never rose to any level of intensity.
Early pressure from Baltinglass led to two pointed frees from Johnny Keogh in the opening few minutes.
The Slaneysiders were playing into the town end and had the advantage of a breeze as well. Éire Óg were slow off the mark and it took five minutes for their opening point to come from a Darren Hayden free.
Baltinglass half-back Tom Burke struck a huge blow in the eighth minute when he carried the ball straight through the heart of the Eire Og defence with a pacey solo run and was up ended just as he pulled the trigger inside the large penalty area.
The other wing half-back, Stephen Heaslip, dispatched the kick to leave the Slaneysiders ahead 1-2 to 0-1 at this stage.
They continued to pressurise the Greystones defence using Peader Burke at full-forward as a target man. Burke was fouled a number of times and was also laying off ball to hungry forwards. Johnny Keogh pointed a free and Kevin Murphy, Adam McHugh and John McGrath added points over the next ten minutes.
McGrath’s score was a beauty off the outside of his right foot. Éire Óg were beginning to get forward more at this stage through the combined efforts of Fintan O’Shea, Anthony Byrne, Darren Hayden, James Cranley and Daniel Keane.
However, their inside penetration was limited and invariably the Baltinglass defence were breaking up their attacks and counter attacking at pace. Dan Keane got Éire Óg’s second point after 18 minutes, but Johnny Keogh pointed a free and Adam McHugh fisted over a point to leave Baltinglass leading by 1-8 to 0-2 with 20 minutes gone.
Darren Hayden pointed another free as Éire Óg put on more sustained pressure. Dan Kelly came back with a Baltinglass free second off his left. James Cranley and Gavin O’Shea shot two quick Éire Óg points to bring their tally to 0-5 and a Darren Hayden free as the time added period arrived left the score line a little more manageable for the second half.
However, Tom Burke knocked the stuffing out of their prospects when he buried the second goal for Baltinglass just on the call of half-time. Baltinglass led now by 2-9 to 0-6.
The second half was an even more lacklustre affair when it quickly became apparent that Éire Óg were unable to mount a comeback. Scores were scarce and slow to come as Baltinglass played a containing game and did just enough to maintain their comfortable lead and were pulling back players whenever danger threatened.
They scored five points in this half with Johnny Keogh pointing three frees and Adam McHugh and substitute Chris Heaslip getting the other two scores.
Darren Hayden provided the only response for the Greystones men, pointing three frees, the last of which came just on the final whistle.
Unusually, Baltinglass goalkeeper Mark Jackson had only one shot at goal and that came only two minutes from full-time.
The outcome of the game means that Baltinglass will now play Hollywood while Éire Óg take on Kiltegan.
Scorers - Baltinglass: Johnny Keogh 0-7, Adam McHugh 0-3, Stephan Heaslip 1-0, Tom Burke 1-0, Kevin Murphy, John McGrath, Dan Kelly and Chris Heaslip 0-1 each.
Éire Óg: Darren Hayden 0-6, Dan Keane, James Cranley and Gavin O’Shea 0-1 each.
BALTINGLASS: Mark Jackson; Paddy Kirwan, Ian Sheerin, Billy Cullen; Stephan Heaslip, Pat Burke, Tom Burke; Kevin Murphy, Paddy Whelan; Cian Lee, Johnny Keogh, Daniel Kelly; Adam McHugh, Peader Burke, John McGrath. Subs: Jordan Deans, John Murray, Chris Heaslip, Darragh Doyle, Sean O’Brien and Chris Grimes.
EIRE OG: Conor Browne; Liam Maguire, Daire Devine, Conall Deeney; Darragh Shiels, Michael Cannon, Fintan O’Shea, Matt Maguire, Anthony Byrne; James Cranley, Darren Hayden, Peter Keane; Daniel Keane, Craig Smullen, Gavin O’Shea. Subs: Sean Lawless, Dominic O’Brien, Shaun Cranley, James Wood, Cian O’Flaherty. REFEREE: Ian Culbert (Rathnew)
Johnny Keogh of Baltinglass is chased by Conall Deeney of Eire Og.