AGB 2-10 St. Patrick's 1-7
The men of AGB and St. Pat’s took to the field of Avondale in what can only be described as ideal footballing conditions, with no wind and a hard sod underfoot it had the making of a great game.
Arklow got off to the ideal start with a goal inside the opening two minutes when they gathered the ball from the throw up and played the ball around through the hands and when Tommy New came off the shoulder of Liam Moore the big midfielder rifled the ball low to the back of the net.
The game took a while to get going with some nerves on show with some poor shot taking in the opening exchanges.
Midway through the half and Arklow started to stretch their lead with three quickfire points, two of which came from placed balls before Liam Moore kicked a sweet point from distance after the Arklow forwards overturned the ball as the Wicklow men were trying to work it out from the back.
St. Pat’s replied instantly with their opening point when Aaron Lynch pounced on to a breaking ball in the middle of the field and played a neat low ball in front of Jack Dunne who found Paul Earls in space and the St. Pat’s forward made no mistake.
The point seemed to settle St. Pat’s a bit, who were really starting to get into the game and they quickly followed this with another point, this time from Adam Cox from a placed ball.
The teams would exchange points but Arklow would register another major as the opening half was coming to the closing stages and it was again Tommy New who gathered the ball off Philip Gleeson and tore straight through the heart of the St. Pat’s defence to bury the ball low and hard to the back of the net.
The half-time score was AGB 2-5, St. Pat’s 0-3.
St. Pat’s got out of the blocks the quickest in the second half and a sweet ball from Adam Cox into George O’Brien was gathered and Jack Dunne looped off his shoulder to kick a point from distance.
It wouldn’t take long for Arklow to get their scoring up and running and two points from their midfielders allowed them to regain control of the game.
Then came the lifeline that the Wicklow men required - a goal chance for Matthew Harbourne was knocked around the post but the resulting ‘45 was launched in towards the goal mouth, a flick on from Paul Earls and the ball found its way into the back of the net.
As the St. Pat’s lads had their tails up and were pushing to try and reduce the lead they were dealt another blow when Aaron Lynch was sent off for a second bookable offence. Cool heads were now required for Arklow and that’s exactly what happened when Darragh Culleton decided to take a ‘45 short out to the unmarked Shane McBride and he composed himself to kick a neat point off his right.
St. Pat’s tagged on two quick frees to keep themselves in touching distance coming into the closing stages but that was as good as they could get it as Liam Moore scored a point to close out the scoring in added time to seal victory for the men from Arklow.
AGB: Kyle O’Connor; Daire Furlong, Corey Mills, Tadgh O’Callaghan; Ben Fennell, Conor Gahan, Kyle Dowling; Tommy New (2-1), Patrick O’Holloran (0-1); Shane McBride (0-1), Liam Moore (0-3), Gary Fennell; Darragh Culleton (0-1), Philip Gleeson (0-2), Garrett Kenny (0-1). Sub used: Ross McBride.
St. Patrick’s: Pat Sammon; Mark Evans, Aaron Lynch, Rossa Marron; Mark Whelan, Andy O’Brien, Finn Barron; Matthew Harbourne, Ruari Marron; Bill O’Brien, Paul Earls (1-3), Adam Cox (0-2); Reece Kelly, George O’Brien, Jack Dunne (0-2). Subs used: Shane Murley, Wayen Farrell, Chris Kavanagh, John O’Brien.
Referee: Brendan Furlong.