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Pat's early blitz puts away olaf

A STRONG first-half performance helped St Patrick's, Palmerstown get the better of Naomh Olaf by 1-16 to 1-6 in their Dublin Under-21 'C' Hurling Championship quarter-final at Glenaulin Park on Saturday afternoon.

Despite the scoreline, St Pat's didn't have it all their own way and they were indebted to a purple patch which began 10 minutes before the break where they registered 1-6 without reply to effectively finish the game as a contest.

The opening 20 minutes were a cagey affair with Shane Stapleton for the hosts and Colm Kyne-Delaney for the Balally side exchanging frees, and Niall Gallagher's point for Olaf's on 18 minutes had the sides level at 0-3 apiece.

St Pat's, driven on by the impressive Dan Byrne at centre-back, took control for the second quarter with Stapleton and Simon Treacy combining well at midfield, and they raced clear through fine points from Liam Rushe, Stapleton and David Kennedy.


On 28 minutes, they struck for the crucial opening goal when full-forward Ruadhán Ó Finnéadha finished well from close range, and points from Rushe and Stapleton heaped further misery on the visitors as they trailed by nine points (1-10 to 0-4) at half-time.

Things improved slightly for Naomh Olaf upon the resumption with Kyne-Delaney, Simon Hickey, William Byrne and centre-back Feargal Máirtín all playing their part, and they briefly reduced their deficit with two frees from the tireless Kyne-Delaney.

Despite greater levels of possession, Olaf's couldn't get past a resolute St Pat's full-back line, where Chris Mooney and namesake Darren were particularly impressive, and Stapleton, who scored 10 points over the hour, continued to keep their scoreboard ticking over with points from play and placed balls.

Substitute Conor Murphy's goal for Olaf's with 10 minutes remaining was just reward for their brave efforts but Rushe and Stapleton points in the final few minutes ensured St Pat's comfortable progression to the semi-final stages by 10 points.