Saturday 24 February 2018

Commanding performance sees brilliant Baltinglass blitz St Patrick's

Baltinglass turned in their strongest performance yet in the Junior A Championship to stop unbeaten St Patrick's in a one-sided match played at Aughrim on Sunday.

Conditions on the day clearly did not suit the town side and they never really got into their stride.

Baltinglass had first use of a very strong wind and went on the attack from the start.

They put the St. Pat's defense under pressure and the openings soon began to show, Baltinglass took an early lead. Brian Lord had a point almost from the throw in.

Paudie Swinborne, who was to prove a big thorn in the side of St Pats throughout had the next two points from frees; Paul Fleming got on the scoreboard and at the end of the first quarter Baltinglass were five points clear while St. Patrick's had yet to mount anything that could be called a real attack.

The pattern continued. Mikey English added a long range point and Paudie Swinborne converted another free, Swinborne had his fifth point of the match in the 22nd minute but by that time St. Pat's had managed to test the Baltinglass defence on a few occasions.

However, the experience of players like Thomas Furlong, Mark Shoughnessy and Brian Nolan was telling and they found few chances to even get a shot at a goal.

They did kick a couple of points before midfielder James Kavanagh moved up to show his forwards how it should be done and sent over a point in the 25th minute but with Swinborne sending over another point from play, Baltinglass went in leading by 0-9 to 0-1 at half time.

The Wicklow town side were turning over to play with that wind but the question was could the make it tell in their favour?

St Pats did rally on the restart but were finding the going difficult. Full forward Johnny Carton sent over a point but that was after 9 minutes had passed, which was never going to be good enough if they were to get back into this game.

While they were pinning Baltinglass fairly much in their own half of the field they were not reaping the reward and their only other score came in the 44th minute when Carton scored from a free. With players like Mark Shoughnessy, Thomas Furlong, David Faulkner and John Doyle blocking the way to Patsy Keoghs goal the effort soon faded out.

Baltinglass finished with a brace of points scored by Shane Wall and Swinborne and they march on to the knock out stages.

Balto showed their strength in depth by being able to bring in players like Tony Kealy, Padraig McGrath and Adam Fleming who have got in a lot of Senior experience this year.

Unless they lose players to Senior ranks they will certainly take some stopping in this championship.

St. Pats are also a very talented side and while the result will come as a setback - or possibly a wakeup call - they still remain very live contenders for the knock out stages of this championship.

Scorers - Baltinglass - Paudie Swinborne 0-7; Paul Fleming, Mikey English, Shane Wall and Brian Lord 0-1 each.

St Patricks - Johnny Carton 0-2; James Kavanagh 0-1.

Wicklow People

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