Adamstown make the drop
Adamstown's twenty-year stay in the Tom Doyle Supplies Senior football championship is over after falling to Starlights in the relegation final at St. Patrick's Park on Friday.
Starlights 3-10 Adamstown 1-11
The New Ross District side have been an ever-present since winning the 1996 Intermediate championship but they couldn't blunt their Enniscorthy opponents' eye for goal in this clash.
It was arguably the Bellefield boys' best performance of the season as they matched Adamstown's intensity and will to win from the first whistle until the last.
Starlights started with blistering pace and were twice denied a first-minute major when both Eamonn Furlong and Tomás Mahon saw shots blocked. Darragh Pepper did open the scoring with a point with less than 70 seconds on the clock.
The early pressure did produce a major reward in the third minute when a driving Dillon Redmond run ended with him finding Mahon. The experienced attacker fed the ball over to Furlong who shot low to Alan Bradley's net.
Furlong had another brace of points on the board (1-3 to 0-1) by the time Adamstown started to find their feet. Paudie Barden was a focal point of their revival, and their long-ball gameplan, as his side edged their way back into the game.
Barden and Conor Hickey both had a pair of points on the board by the 26th minute (1-4 to 0-4), but the half didn't end well for their side. After Alan Tobin pointed a free, Liam Ryan broke through the centre of the defence in added-time, after a costly turnover in midfield, and buried past Bradley.
Trailing by 2-5 to 0-4, Adamstown had a mountain to climb after the changearound. They went about it in the right way, scoring three of the first four points in the half, including a classy Johnny Connors effort.
However, they could get no closer than five points as the game ticked into the last ten minutes.
Starlights made the game safe six minutes from time when Ryan Mahon and Alan Tobin combined, with the latter passing across the face of goal for Tomás Mahon to fist to the net.
It would have been understandable for Adamstown to throw in the towel at this stage (3-9 to 0-10), but they continued to give their all. It was hardly a reward but, deep into added-time, a Hickey converted penalty, after Barden was fouled when shooting, left a fairer reflection on the scoreboard.
Starlights: Lee Murphy; Rory O'Connor, Tom Wall, Mel Doyle; Ben Edwards (0-1), Jack Kelly (0-1), Dillon Redmond; Liam Ryan (1-0), Pa Doyle; Alan Tobin (0-3 frees), Jason Russell (capt.), Kevin Foley; Darragh Pepper (0-1), Eamonn Furlong (1-2), Tomás Mahon (1-2). Subs. - Anthony Roche for Wall, black card (37), Kevin Courtney for Furlong (40), Ryan Mahon for Russell (44), Tommy Foley for Pepper (56), Conor Farrell for T. Mahon, inj. (60).
Adamstown: Alan Bradley; Tomás Harrington, Lorcan French, Michael Boland; Seán Barden, Johnny Connors (0-1), Barry Power (capt., 0-1); Shane O'Gorman, Michael Furlong (0-1 free); Paudie Barden (0-2), Tony French, Liam Stafford; Conor Hickey (1-6, 0-5 frees, 1-0 pen.), Eric Bradley, Ian Bradley. Subs. - Kieron Finn for T. French (31), Harry Cosgrave for Stafford (43), James Breen for E. Bradley (54).
Referee: David Jenkins (Gusserane).