Saturday 23 March 2019

Wolfe Tones put Pat's to the sword

SFC: Wolfe Tones 1-10 St Patrick's 0-5

St Patrick's could have a real fight on their hands to preserve their senior status following this dispirited display as the SFC recommenced after a three-month break at Skryne last Friday evening.

A paltry five points over the hour, two of which came from placed balls, was all the Stamullen men could manage in a game where they never threatened to cause an upset at any stage.

Overall, the fare produced by the two sides was below par and both teams left themselves with plenty of room for improvement for the tougher tests ahead.

The destination of the points was never in doubt, but the Tones may need some fine-tuning before their clash with unbeaten Ratoath in the next round.

The Stamullen men only managed one point from play in the opening half, while two of Tones' four points in the second half came courtesy of placed balls. Both teams also shot more wides than scores in a game that provided little in ways of entertainment.

Despite their shortcomings, St Patrick's still created a number of goal chances but were unable to take any of them.

Tones were minus the injured Eoghan Harrington, as well as Daniel O'Neill and Thomas O'Reilly, and they only played in fits and starts against their dogged opponents whose lack of cutting edge in attack was all too obvious.

After a few wayward efforts early on Tones settled into the game and by the end of the opening quarter it looked as if they were heading for a runaway victory.

Cian Ward accounted for two of his side's opening three points - Sarán Ó Fionnagáin got the other one. Then when Niall O'Reilly blasted to the net from an Eanna Harrington pass after the evergreen Stephen Corrigan had claimed possession from a kickout, it left Tones leading 1-3 to 0-0 on 14 minutes.

St Patrick's, who had former Tones boss Gordon Ward as part of their management team, shot four wides before Shane Dowling opened their account on 16 minutes.

Cian Ward's converted free restored the six-point advantage and Tones eventually led 1-6 to 0-2 at the break.

Their two remaining points of the half both came from centre back Eanna O'Kelly Lynch, the game's outstanding player.

O'Kelly Lynch produced an excellent display and oozed class all the way through. He managed to link up with his attack to telling effect and was rewarded with a third point, his side's only score in the third quarter.

Conor Sheppard, Eanna Harrington and Shane Glynn also excelled in ensuring that St Patrick's only managed one other opening-half point, from a Niall Whearty free.

The east Meath outfit almost found the net following a goalmouth scramble, but David Stafford was denied by a goal-line block from Glynn on 24 minutes.

Points from Neil O'Flaherty and Donal Landy within five minutes of the restart suggested that St Patrick's might make a game of it, but they only managed one more point after that.

It came from a Niall Mooney free near the finish and at that stage the game was long over as a contest.

The losers were 0-4 to 1-7 in arrears when a promising move ended with a fierce drive across goal from Alan Vickers which unfortunately for St Patrick's flashed the wrong side of the post.

St Patrick's also created another goal opportunity when Donal Landy and Shane Dowling set up David Stafford. However, Tones keeper David Nolan came to his side's rescue, producing a fine block.

Tones went 18 minutes without a score in that second half, but they finished on a high with two pointed frees from Fiachra Ward before Niall O'Reilly hit the best point of the hour in added time.

WOLFE TONES: David Nolan; Stephen Sheppard, Shane Glynn, Conor Sheppard; Niall McLoughlin, Eanna O'Kelly Lynch 0-3, Eanna Harrington; Stephen Corrigan, Alan Callaghan; Gary McFadden, Cian Ward 0-3 (1f), Pauric Diamond; Sarán Ó Fionnagáin 0-1, Fiachra Ward 0-2f, Niall O'Reilly 1-1. Sub: Brughach Ó Fionnagáin for McLoughlin (44).

ST PATRICK'S: Robert McCluskey; Adam Byrne, Kieran Lynch, Ray Russell; John Curtis, Alan Vickers, David McQuillan; Keith Whearty, Niall Mooney 0-1f, Barry Mooney, Shane Dowling 0-1, David Stafford; Donal Landy 0-1, Niall Whearty 0-1f, Neil O'Flaherty 0-1. Subs: Johnny Woods for N Whearty (43), Darren Hagan for K Whearty (44), Ciaran Sullivan for Curtis (51), Padraig Nulty for Stafford (58).

REF: Padraig Coyle (Seneschalstown)

Drogheda Independent