Monday 20 November 2017

Joy for Joseph's

Jason Goodison

St. Joseph's staged a spirited second-half comeback to down Duffry Rovers and book their place in the semi-final of the Joyces Expert Intermediate 'A' football championship in St. Patrick's Park on Saturday.

St Joseph's 1-8 Duffry Rovers 0-8

A Shane Dempsey goal just two minutes from time was the all-important score as the Joey's completed an unlikely but wholehearted turnaround.

The game, which ended so ferociously, began in quite the opposite manner with the scoreboard only changing once in the opening ten minutes, courtesy of a Tim Bowler free for the Duffry.

Fortunately, the scoring rate did increase. Loughlin Rafter and Robert Frayne got the Duffry moving while minors from Shane Dempsey and John Bergin kept the Joseph's in touch.

With the scores tied at three apiece after 23 minutes, the Kiltealy men were dealt a blow when midfielder Loughlin Rafter hobbled off injured. However, they soon shook off this setback and finished the first-half the stronger with scores from Frayne and Rafter's replacement, Eamonn Doyle, to lead by 0-5 to 0-3 at the break.

Despite an early scare when Bergin blasted over the bar from close range, the Duffry started the second period brighter too. Following points from John McCarthy, Matthew Flynn-O'Connor and Bowler, they had extended their lead to four by the 40th minute.

St. Joseph's comeback only started to take shape with eleven minutes left when substitute John Fenlon and Dempsey registered two quickfire points. Wayne Carty was on target minutes later to cut the deficit to one point.

With the game tightly poised at 0-8 to 0-7 in the Duffry's favour, Wayne Carty, who was becoming more and more involved for the Joey's, picked up the ball in the forward line and found Bergin with a handpass.

Bergin steadied himself and delivered a pristine pass into the unmarked Dempsey's hands, and he made no mistake in finishing low past Bobby Larkin to the Duffry net.

Match-winner Dempsey added another point a minute later and the Bishopswater side held out for a 1-8 to 0-8 victory to book their place in the last four.

St. Joseph's: Jamie McMahon; Paddy King (capt.), Lee Wadding, Shane Barnes; Seamus King, Paddy Harnett, Wayne Carty (0-1); Andy Moore, Kieran Kelly; Gary Byrne, Kyle Dempsey, Decky Downes; Dean Roche, John Bergin (0-2), Shane Dempsey (1-4, 0-3 frees). Subs. - John Fenlon (0-1) for Roche (39), Robin Dempsey for Kelly (45).

Duffry Rovers: Bobby Larkin; Conor Jordan, Donie Doyle (capt.), James Codd; Johnny Flynn-O'Connor, Aidan Byrne, Robert Frayne (0-2 frees); John McCarthy (0-1), Loughlin Rafter (0-1); Thomas Dunne, Paul Nolan, Tim Bowler (0-2, 1 free); Stephen Watchorn, Matthew Flynn-O'Connor (0-1), Alan O'Neill. Subs. - Eamonn Doyle (0-1) for Rafter, inj. (23), Eoghan Kavanagh for Watchorn (44), Patrick Nolan for M. Flynn-O'Connor (48), Kevin Nolan for O'Neill (56).

Referee: Anthony Tobin (Geraldine O'Hanrahans).

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