Stapleton steers Pat's to victory

Rnn Mac Lochlainn

ST PATRICK'S, PALMERSTOWN 2-12, BALLINTEER ST JOHN'S 1-12 - Pat's of Palmerstown produced a powerful finish to account for St John's in this Dublin SHC 'A' Group A tie at O'Toole Park last night.

St Pat's were boosted by a third minute goal from Liam Rushe, whose long range free deceived Louis O'Flaherty in the Ballinteer goal but St John's drew level by the ninth minute through points from Gavin Ó Broin, Oisín Power and Ciarán Lane.

It was nip and tuck until the end of the half with Glenn Whelan's fortuitous goal in the 27th minute handed the Marlay Park men a narrow 1-7 to 1-6 interval lead.

Although the impressive Aidan Glennon restored parity within a minute of the restart, St John's resumed in fine style with Aodhán Clabby landing two excellent points in addition to scores from Whelan and James Gilligan.

However, another defensive error allowed Shane Stapleton to level the tie with a 44th minute goal and despite the best efforts of Cormac O'Brien, St John's succumbed to three points from Dublin senior, Stapleton, and a sublime Peter Keaney score.

SCORERS - St Patrick's Palmerstown: S Stapleton 1-6 (0-3f, 0-1 '65'), L Rushe 1-1 (1-0f), D O'Hanlon 0-2, B O'Hanlon, A Glennon, P Keaney 0-1 each. Ballinteer St John's: O Power 0-5 (0-4f, 0-1 '65'), G Whelan 1-1, A Clabby 0-3, G Ó Broin, C Lane, James Gilligan 0-1 each.

ST PAT'S, PALMERSTOWN: D Gallagher; G Dunne, D Byrne, G Kelly; K Ward, P Keaney, B O'Hanlon; L Rushe, A Glennon; C Dolan, L Dunne, N Sweeney; S Stapleton, D Rushe, D O'Hanlon. Subs: C O'Toole for Dolan (50), B Gilbert for B O'Hanlon (62).

BALLINTEER ST JOHN'S: L O'Flaherty; R Collins, C O'Brien, M Ó Meachair; Jack Gilligan, K Nolan, G Ó Broin; G Whelan, K Davis; O Power, James Gilligan, C Lane; F Clabby, A Clabby, J Maher. Subs: S Lane for F Clabby (52), C Dolan for Maher (54).

REF: B O'Shea (St Mark's).