Doyle's late point precious for Pat's
St. Patrick's 2-7 Shamrocks 0-12
A Hughie Doyle point one minute from the end of normal time helped St. Patrick's secure their status for another year as they eventually emerged with the narrowest of victories over Shamrocks in this Joyces Expert Intermediate 'A' football championship Group B game in Monageer on Saturday.
While the Camolin-based side were a relieved bunch on the final whistle, it was in stark contrast to Shamrocks who have now been dumped into a relegation play-off against Geraldine O'Hanrahans.
Their dreams of retaining their status have to wait for another day, but on the evidence of this showing immense improvement is needed if they are to emerge unscathed and avoid an immediate return to Junior ranks.
St. Patrick's had a storming start with a goal and a point inside 90 seconds. Straight from the off they worked the ball quickly inside to the attack for Tynan Flynn to point.
Immediately on the kick-out Tommy Morris won possession and picked out Flynn whose ball across the goalmouth was finished to the net by Stephen Ryan, leaving them leading by 1-1 to nil.
Shamrocks began to settle into the game, responding with two Colin Sheehan points, one free, and a third from Podge Doyle to leave the minimum separating the sides (1-1 to 0-3) after six minutes.
St. Patrick's helped to lift the siege by responding with a neat Daryl Murphy point, and with the sides continuing to trade points that early goal separated them at the break, with St. Patrick's leading by 1-5 to 0-5.
With St. Patrick's failing to score in the third quarter, three Colin Sheehan points, two frees and one '45, had the sides deadlocked (1-5 to 0-8), and as the game entered the final quarter a Jack Moorehouse point put the Cathedral town side in front for the first time.
When a Barry Dobbs point left two separating the sides, it looked as if the Shamrocks were about to kick on for victory, but St. Patrick's responded with their opening score of the half - a Richie Flood pointed free - after 48 minutes.
Points from a Sheehan free and Shane Larkin extended the Shamrocks lead to 0-12 to 1-6, but six minutes from the end a Tommy Morris goal from close in brought the sides level.
Then when it looked as if the game was heading for a draw, Hughie Doyle stepped up with that all-important point.
St. Patrick's: Enda Murphy; Peter Roche, Michael O'Brien, Joe Cousins; Hughie Doyle (0-1), Dermot O'Leary, Daryl Murphy (0-1); Richie Flood (0-3, 2 frees), John Doyle; Tommy Dunne, Shane Finn (0-1), Tommy Morris (1-0); Tynan Flynn (0-1), Stephen Ryan (1-0), Damien Grannell.
Shamrocks: John Thorpe; Cory Breen, Alan Freeman, Shane Larkin (0-1); John Kavanagh, Ronan Gahan, Podge Doyle (0-1); James Carty, Seán Wildes; Niall Thorpe, Jack Moorehouse (0-2), Barry Dobbs (0-2); Rhys Dunne, Colin Sheehan (0-6, 4 frees, 1 '45), Robert Moorehouse.
Referee: Aidan Foley (Shelmaliers).