St Joseph's pull off the great escape
St Joseph's pulled off the great escape, winning their first game of the championship season in Tagoat on Saturday evening last to remain in the Ashdown Park/Amber Springs Hotel Intermediate Football championship at the expense of Kilmore.
St Joseph's 0-9 Kilmore 0-7
There was always likely to be one big performance in the Bishopswater boys and they saved it for the perfect time, edging their way past their district rivals but not without a couple of late scares.
Leading by two in injury time, Paddy Byrne's high-ball into the goalmouth was punched onto the post by brother Tom. Seconds later, laying siege to the Joey's goal, Alan Jones shot onto the metalwork. Somehow St Joseph's survived.
Earlier, Martin Lynch's side welcomed Wexford Youths' Shane Dempsey back into the team and he was to prove vital.
However, it was Aaron Goff who opened the score for Kilmore in the second minute. Gary Byrne responded for St Joseph's before Dempsey kicked his first free. Dathai Moore levelled the game at 0-2 each at the end of the opening quarter as the tone was clearly set for a tight relegation decider.
While Dempsey's second over put St Joseph's ahead, raised white flags from Goff and Tom Byrne gave Kilmore a second, and what would turn out to be their last, lead of the afternoon.
Dempsey nailed a '45 into the wind with four minutes of the first half remaining. Then, after one of the best moves of the match, Decky Downes clipped over the last point of the period to give the Wexford Town club a 0-5 to 0-4 interval lead.
Moore levelled the game for the fifth and final time within a minute of the restart.
St Joseph's then put their best run of the afternoon together, with Byrne picking off a brace and Dempsey adding another '45 to open a 0-8 to 0-5 lead.
Tom Byrne's second point cut the deficit to two at the end of the third quarter.
Dempsey's long-range dead-ball in the 46th minute would prove to be his team's final score.
Kilmore could only manage a Byrne minor in the time remaining, despite rattling the woodwork twice in added-time.
St Joseph's finished with 14 men after Eddie Lawlor was sent off for striking, less than ten minutes after coming on.
Kilmore will now drop back to Intermediate A and look to bounce back straight away while St Joseph's will hope to make a better fist of the second season as a second tier club.
ST JOSEPH'S: Jamie McMahon; Eddie Byrne, Paddy King (capt), Paddy Harnett; Andy Moore, Derek Bergin, Seamus King; Decky Downes (0-1), Lee Wadding-Byrne; Kyle Dempsey, Gary Byrne (0-3), Shane Dempsey (0-5, 3 frees, 2 '45s); Dean Roche, John Fenlon, Wayne Carty. Subs. - Shane Barnes for E. Byrne, Ciaran Walsh for Roche, Eddie Lawlor for K. Dempsey.
KILMORE: Kevin Casey; Peter Shannon, Stevie Cousins, Martin Frayne; William Carley, Denis Kenny, Aaron Kielthy; Paddy Byrne, Kevin Keating; Shane Goff, Dathai Moore (0-2), Derek Miskella; Alan Jones, Aaron Goff (0-2), Tom Byrne (0-3, 1 free). Subs. - Conor Moore for Keating, Liam Shannon for A. Goff.
REFEREE: Pat Kehoe.