Cobwebs shaken off with South Leinster win
St. Peter's warmed up for Wednesday's Masita All-Ireland semi-final with a powerful second-half performance to beat Patrician (Newbridge) to the South Leinster Senior football 'A' league title in Graguecullen on Monday of last week.
St. Peter's College 3-13 Patrician College 0-9
The Leinster champions were a little rusty in the first period and went in down by a point (0-5 to 0-4). However, they came out after the change-around with the bit between their teeth and dismantled their Kildare opponents.
Patrician were leading by 0-2 to nil in the ninth minute until corner-forwards Cathal Devereux and Ben Moore popped over a couple of quick points. Dylan Furlong put his school ahead for the first time at the start of the second quarter and was then blocked down by Mark Dempsey when a goal looked to be in the offing.
The first flashpoint in an edgy game came in the 24th minute when Shane Doyle was fortunate to receive only a black card after a neutral umpire gave his observations to referee Pat Moran following an incident with St. Peter's full-back Ben Maddock.
Losing Doyle certainly weakened the Newbridge side, although they did add a trio of points to move one ahead at the interval. The lead lasted just seconds after the re-start and was obliterated inside four minutes.
Devereux flipped over a pair of points and Rory O'Connor also registered inside two minutes. Then, Brian Deeny fought hard to win possession close to the Patrician goal and fed the onrushing Furlong, with the Sarsfields forward rattling the net.
When Barry O'Connor kicked his second score, after a patient Peter's build-up, the Wexford school had scored 1-4 in under four minutes and had built a six-point lead.
From that point on there was really only one winner. That was further emphasised when Cian Costigan received a straight red after a brawl he started, by kneeing an opponent in the back off the ball.
Mark McDermott added four second-half frees but it was all about how much St. Peter's wanted to win by. David Gouldson kicked a classy point and Barry O'Connor added a brace. The St. Martin's man was more than a little hard done by when his goal was ruled out for a square-ball in the 48th minute.
Leading by 1-11 to 0-8, St. Peter's added minors from Furlong and Adam Cantwell. In the last minute of normal time, Dylan Lyne forced the ball to the net after David Sutton fumbled a Devereux effort that had dipped under the crossbar.
With Newbridge well beaten, Quinn Saunders fed Finn O'Driscoll flying through the centre. His initial shot was saved but the ball pinged up off Sutton, hit O'Driscoll in the midriff and rolled over the line to complete a comprehensive St. Peter's win.
St. Peter's: Richard Ryan; Eoin O'Leary, Ben Maddock, David O'Keeffe; Finn O'Driscoll (1-0), Conor Firman (capt.), Quinn Saunders; Brian Deeny, Rory O'Connor (0-1); David Gouldson (0-1), Dylan Furlong (1-2), Peter Barry; Ben Moore (0-1), Barry O'Connor (0-4), Cathal Devereux (0-3). Subs. - Patrick Glover for O'Leary (43), Dylan Lyne (1-0) for Barry (43), Cian Meyler for Maddock (49), Cormac Rowe for Deeny (49), Adam Cantwell (0-1) for B. O'Connor, black card (50), Mark Power for R. O'Connor (60).
Patrician: David Sutton; Adam Donoghue, Mark Dempsey, Stephen Hughes; Cillian De Barra, Johnny McKenna, Kalum Ennis (0-1); Cian Costigan (capt., 0-1), Kevin Byrne; Jordan McGrath, Mark McDermott (0-5, 4 frees), Adam Sweeney; Niall O'Connor, Shane Doyle (0-1), Mark Browne. Subs. - Conor McHugh for Doyle, black card (24), Colm Harnett (0-1) for Browne (24), Evan O'Brien for McGrath (53), Ross O'Toole for Hughes (53), Seán McDonald for Sweeney (58), Dylan Cosgrave for De Barra (58).
Referee: Pat Moran (Laois).