Doyle earns a draw for Pat's
Crucial point in added time
John Doyle kicked the equalising point, over his shoulder going away from goal, three minutes into added time in St. Patrick's Park on Thursday to give St. Patrick's a reasonable chance of progressing to the last eight of the Joyces Expert Intermediate 'A' football championship.
Duffry Rovers 0-8 St. Patrick's 1-5
The Ballyoughter boys were heading for defeat when Johnny Flynn-O'Connor kicked Duffry Rovers ahead in the 59th minute, that was until Doyle won a free close to goal deep into injury-time.
After missing two long-range efforts earlier, Richie Flood stepped up to the 20-metre free, just to the left of goal. His connection was far from ideal but the short kick broke perfectly for Doyle, running away from goal, and he gave the Gorey District club a share of the spoils.
A draw was probably a fair result overall. The Duffry, already qualified for the quarters, played like a team with nothing on the line, never reaching the heights of previous rounds.
The danger of flying through the first three games is the potential to let malaise seep into performances. The Coolree club will certainly not want a similar lack-lustre showing in their final group game against Naomh Eanna if they are to hit the knockout stages with any momentum.
They started reasonably well, moving two ahead courtesy of Johnny Flynn-O'Connor and Tim Bowler scores inside four minutes. St. Pat's, with three points from their first three games, hit back with a Tomás Morris score and a brace from Tommy Dunne.
Back came the Duffry with a quickfire double from Johnny and Matty Flynn-O'Connor to lead by 0-4 to 0-3. Yet St. Patrick's took the lead in at the break when Flood's first under-hit free was deflected onto his own crossbar by James Codd, only for Ashley Tully to punch home the rebound.
Johnny Flynn-O'Connor and John Doyle exchanged points early in the second-half but the Duffry had levelled by the 52nd minute following scores from his brother Matty and Tim Bowler (0-7 to 1-4).
Verbal abuse at referee Eric Molloy earned Tommy Dunne an early bath, although he could also have seen red for grasping the official by the face. The indiscipline looked to have cost his club when Johnny Flynn-O'Connor pointed but John Doyle's gave St. Pat's a deserved draw.
Duffry Rovers: Bobby Larkin; James Nolan, James Codd, Conor Jordan; Robert Frayne, Paul Nolan, Tim Bowler (0-2, 1 free); Stephen Watchorn (capt.), Eamonn Doyle; Gavin Watchorn, Johnny Flynn-O'Connor (0-4, 2 frees), Aidan Byrne; Alan O'Neill, Liam Pender, Matty Flynn-O'Connor (0-2). Sub. - Ted O'Brien for Pender (47).
St. Patrick's: Mark Furlong; James Cousins (capt.), Richie Flood, Peter Roche; Daryl Murphy, Dermot O'Leary, Hughie Doyle; John Doyle (0-2), Andrew Doyle; Tommy Morris, Shane Finn, Tommy Dunne (0-2); Tomás Morris (0-1), Ashley Tully (1-0), Tynan Flynn. Subs. - Michael Carroll for Flynn (25), Ian Maguire for A. Doyle, inj. (36).
Referee: Eric Molloy (St. James').