Sunday 19 November 2017

O'Connor strike galvanises superior Lachtain's

There was another black and amber success at Croke Park on Saturday as St Lachtain's ruthlessly dismissed St Gall's.

With a dynamic display that married substance with style, the Freshford outfit dominated the second half, and the statistics were revealing.

St Gall's were restricted to one point from play by a stingy defence that was marshalled superbly by the decorated Michael Kavanagh.

Further out the field the range of Lachtain's game was evident as both midfielders and all six forwards managed to land scores, the crucial one being Ollie O'Connor's opportunistic goal at the end of the opening period.

Manager Mick McCarthy acknowledged that O'Connor's intervention was significant.

"St Gall's gave us a very hard challenge in the first half, but we were lucky in the sense that we took a few scores early on, and the goal we got came at a very good time. That put the little bit of distance that we required between the teams.

"We got a superb start to the second half and we just drove on."

Lachtain's increased their advantage to 10 points by the end of the third quarter as captain Eoin Guinan and Robbie Dowling demonstrated their ability by hitting a raft of splendid points.

Wing forward John Fitzpatrick then assumed centre stage, bagging two goals in five minutes as Lachtain's scorched clear.

Making an impact in the Kilkenny senior championship is now the mission. "We have to see what we can achieve at senior level now," said McCarthy. "This year will probably be tough with it being our first year there, but we will prepare for that."

Scorers -- St Lachtain's: J Fitzpatrick 2-1, E Guinan 0-6 (0- 3fs), O O'Connor 1-1, R Dowling 0-3, N Hickey, B Beckett 0-2 each, N McGree, D Brennan 0-1 each. St Gall's: C McGourty 0-7 (0-7fs), A Gallagher, J Flynn (0-1 sideline), K Stewart (0-1f) 0-1 each.

St Lachtain's -- T Delaney; M Cormack, M Kavanagh, G Dalton; S Hayes, J Costelloe, N Phelan; N McGee, N Hickey; J Fitzpatrick, D Brennan, R Dowling; O O'Connor, B Beckett, E Guinan. Subs: B Kennedy for Phelan (55-56), P Mullan for O'Connor (58), B Kennedy for Fitzpatrick (60).

St Gall's: C Austin; D Sheehan, T Austin, S Morrisson; J McDaniel, K McGourty, A Healy; J Flynn, K Stewart; S Burke, K McDonald, C Gallagher; C McGourty, A Gallagher, S McAreavey. Subs: S O'Hara for C Gallagher (36), C O'Grady for Burke (37), A Hannaway for McDonald (55), E Cooke for Sheehan (55), A Gough for C McGourty (58).

Ref: D Copps (Cork).

Irish Independent

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