Slick Ballyhogue run riot
Ballyhogue 7-17 St. Joseph's 0-12
Ballyhogue are a tough team to figure out. Lose miserably to Maudlintown, tie with Kilanerin and hammer St. Joseph's.
Maybe the draw was a turning point, and maybe they will peak at the right time this season, but there is certainly a lot to like about the way they play the game.
This Amber Springs/Ashdown Park Hotels Intermediate football championship Group B encounter in St. Patrick's Park on Sunday was actually a contest for a while. St. Joseph's came out of the blocks with great intensity but things started to go south soon after referee John Carton correctly black-carded Andy Moore in the 20th minute.
At that stage it was 0-5 to 0-4. Shane Dempsey briefly tied the game with a free but that was the final time the Bishopswater boys were level.
It's easy to blame the mistake that led to the first goal - a calm finish by influential substitute Noel Roche - as the straw that broke the camel's back, but St. Joseph's were still in the game at that stage.
They were still in it too when down by 1-9 to 0-6 at the break and just about in the game when Shane Doyle netted three minutes after the re-start. Things went really sour then as Ballyhogue tore St. Joseph's to pieces.
The old man for the hard road, Robert 'Jim Bob' Levingstone, got the goal that his effort usually deserves in the 40th minute. Just seconds later Shane Doyle made it 4-12 to 0-7 after another defensive blunder by the losers.
Any thoughts that Shane Byrne's dismissal with 13 minutes remaining would change the pattern of the game were quickly dispelled.
Tomás Moriarty sauntered upfield to really rub salt into the wounds with a clinically-taken goal in the 53rd minute.
Seán Ring was next to fire past Jamie McMahon as Ballyhogue's superior workrate and movement produced free men all over the place, despite playing a man light. Substitute Dean Doyle fired to the roof of the net with two minutes remaining to complete the rout.
The victors look to have more than enough quality to make a push at this title in the coming weeks. St. Joseph's, on the other hand, will needed to target a victory in their game against Bannow-Ballymitty to avoid a relegation final.
Ballyhogue: Myles Roche; James Parle, Hughie O'Neill, Tomás Moriarty (1-0); Richard Dunne (0-1), Seán Rochford, Shane Murphy; Shane Byrne (0-2), Syl Byrne (0-2); Conor Byrne, Shane Doyle (2-0), Tony Ryan; Seán Ring (1-4, 0-2 frees), Eddie Galavan (capt., 0-2), Jim Bob Levingstone (1-1). Subs. - Noel Roche (1-4) for Ryan (21), Nick Doyle for C. Byrne (29), Liam Kelly for Rochford (44), Denis Leacy for Levingstone (44), Graham Parker for Murphy (44), Dean Doyle (1-1) for Galavan (54).
St. Joseph's: Jamie McMahon; Philly Leniston, Lee Wadding-Byrne, Seamus King; Eddie Lawlor (0-1), John Fenlon, Paddy Harnett; Kyle Dempsey, Andy Moore; Decky Downes (0-2, 1 free), Jason Murphy (0-1 free), Gary Byrne (0-1); Derek Bergin, Paul Murphy (0-2), Shane Dempsey (0-5 frees). Subs. - Ashley Haughton for Moore, black card (20), Dean Roche for Leniston (48).
Referee: John Carton (Monageer-Boolavogue).