Mary's remain unbeaten

St. Mary's (Maudlintown) 2-10 Bannow-Ballymitty 0-10

David Medcalf

The Bannow-Ballymitty footballers were given the run-around at Killurin by a Maudlintown side which had two goals to spare at the end of a Saturday evening Amber Springs/Ashdown Park Hotels Intermediate championship Group B fixture played in perfect conditions.

The winners continued their unbeaten run through the preliminary stages with an impressive brand of slick passing and relentless teamwork.

Bannow-Ballymitty's more direct methods were found wanting on a day when they had only three players on the scoresheet and they posted just four points in open play.

Yet they must reflect that the outcome might have been very different but for a great display between the posts by St. Mary's goalkeeper Paul Dempsey.

The number one kept a clean sheet by producing three brilliant saves, as well as blocking one more goalbound shot more or less by accident.

Dempsey's opposite number, Jack Farragher, was picking the ball out of the net within three minutes of the start after being left cruelly exposed by his defence, with Eddie Pitman unmarked and free to pick his spot.

As Dermot Flood directed operation from his free-ranging berth in or around the half-forward line, the townies continued to extend their advantage throughout the first-half.

They experienced some turbulence in the closing stages of the period, however, with Dempsey going full stretch to tip a Niall Harney rocket over his own bar and shortly afterwards advancing smartly off his line to thwart the rampaging Gary Morton.

Then they countered at the other end, with Donal O'Leary rolling the ball past the luckless Farragher after Martin O'Connor's initial shot had been blocked.

The leaders were 2-5 to 0-6 ahead at the interval and then spent the second-half frustrating the opposition with some well-organised defensive work.

At the heart of the web in which the south coast side became entangled was Gary Murphy, always available for the pass and excellent with his distribution until he shipped a shoulder injury towards the end.

The winners showed themselves capable too of attacking on the break, with Eddie Pitman the lynch-pin of their enterprising forward play.

Shortly before the end, Paul Dempsey produced yet another reminder of his excellence, this time thwarting Richie Walsh.

The sometimes brilliant Niall Harney converted the resultant '45 to finish top scorer on the night with eight points, but his side was overall a long way second.

St. Mary's (Maudlintown): Paul Dempsey; Gary Murphy, Alan Lynch, Mark Doyle; Ross Lynch, Alex Lynch, Gavin Cullen (0-1); Rob Kenny, Graham Carty; Eddie Pitman (1-3), Dermot Flood (0-2, 1 free), Jason Swords; Martin O'Connor, Donal O'Leary (1-1), Pierce Dooley (0-1). Subs. - Jamie Thomas (0-1) for Cullen (42), Richie Kehoe (0-1) for O'Connor (47).

Bannow-Ballymitty: Jack Farragher; John Mernagh, Conor Furlong, Clem Rossiter; Nicky Doyle, Arthur Sweetman, Conor Neville; Micheál Murphy (0-1), Mark Wallace; Richie Walsh, Niall Harney (0-8, 3 frees, 3 '45s), Gary Morton (0-1); Alan Barden, John O'Leary, David White. Subs. - Conor Anglim for Barden (25), Philip Murphy for White (36).

Referee: Brendan Holohan (Rathgarogue-Cushinstown).

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