Redmond's goal the difference
Starlights 2-10 Buffers Alley 1-10
The Starlights second string booked their place in the quarter-finals of the Enniscorthy Farm Systems Junior football championship when they registered their third Group B win from four games with a battling 2-10 to 1-10 victory over Buffers Alley in Saturday's tussle in Monageer.
Despite Dale Galway kicking the Bellefield crew into the lead less than a minute in, the early exchanges were otherwise monotonous until Paul O'Leary conjured up a brilliant levelling point on nine minutes.
The sides then shared the next four points evenly before Ben Edwards' point attempt was misjudged by Buffers Alley's Darren O'Brien as it dipped into the net for a 1-3 to 0-3 lead after 17 minutes.
O'Leary and John Farrell were the Alley's only scorers in the opening half, and they notched a point each before the break, while Lee Murphy hit three at the other end, including two frees, as Starlights held sway by 1-6 to 0-5 at the interval.
Buffers Alley resumed with renewed intent though as a point from Colm Og Doran preceded Farrell setting up Seán Murphy for a close-range goal to restore parity two minutes into the new half.
However, luck deserted them ten minutes later when Robert O'Leary's rasper struck the underside of the crossbar and Doran couldn't quite apply the finishing touch to the rebound.
And Starlights proceeded to advance up field, where veteran Tomás Mahon deftly flicked Mark Redmond's tee-up to the net for the goal that proved the difference in the end, guaranteeing themselves a second place finish in the group.
Starlights: Gary Murphy; Ryan Hadley, Daniel O'Brien, Chris Doyle; Ben Edwards (1-0), Ed Tobin, Wayne Breen; Kevin Ryan, Lenny Connolly; Dale Galway (0-1), Eoin Quigley, Mark Redmond (0-1); Tomás Mahon (1-1), Tom Ryan (capt.), Lee Murphy (0-7, 2 frees). Subs. - John Daly for Quigley, Joe Cullen for K. Ryan, John Peare for Connolly.
Buffers Alley: Darren O'Brien; Gearóid O'Connor, Ross Donohoe, Alan Doyle; Ciarán Murphy, Shane Grannell (capt.), Domhnall McArdle; Seán Murphy (1-0), Paudie Reidy; Paul O'Leary (0-3), John Farrell (0-6, 4 frees, 1 '45), Seán Og Whelan; John Furlong, Colm Og Doran (0-1), Robert O'Leary. Subs. - Aaron Redmond for Grannell, inj., Jack Butler for Doran, inj., Cian Fortune for Furlong.
Referee: Pádraig McMahon (Shelmaliers).