Pat's claim semi spoils
St. Patrick's 1-7 Craanford 0-6
St. Patrick's never trailed as they edged past neighbours and hosts Craanford and into the Greenstar Gorey District Under-21 football Roinn 1 championship final on Monday of last week.
The Camolin-based club were probably better than their four-point winning margin suggests. They created several good goal chances and were just sharper all over the field. Their turning over of possession in the tackle was particularly impressive.
Often with this competition, coming when it does, teams look ill-prepared, but that wasn't the case for the victors. They look like they have mustered together a squad and put some good training sessions into this, and they got their rewards for the effort.
For Craanford, it was all a little too soon. With the Under-21 Roinn 1 hurling trophy barely dry after the celebrations, they were flung back into action without much opportunity to prepare and realistically they were given no chance by the scheduling of this clash.
Both sides went close to hitting the net in the opening minutes. Jamie Doyle forced Jack Quinn into a smart save at one end while Paddy Doyle had to be alert to deny a marauding Ciarán Murphy at the other.
Ashley Tully and James Smyth exchanged frees before the visitors grabbed what would prove to be a crucial goal in the eleventh minute. John Doyle did a lot of the donkey work and took a big hit but he set Murphy away and the Pat's midfielder wasn't going to be denied again.
Craanford had their best spell midway through the half. Smyth, Cian O'Toole and Jamie Doyle were all on target to wipe out the advantage gained by St. Patrick's major. Only on the field seconds, Cian Hogan kicked his side back in front in the 27th minute.
Doyle and Tully swapped points to end the half as Pat's took a slender 1-3 to 0-5 lead at the interval.
The second-half was even tighter with very few good opportunities to score. A Tully free, that was countered by a William Conroy point, were the sum of the third quarter scores.
The hosts didn't register again. St. Patrick's, on the other hand, controlled the final quarter. A Conor O'Leary point, a Hogan score and a Tully effort that looked more wide than over wrapped up the victory and a place in the District final opposite Réalt na Mara.
St. Patrick's: Jack Quinn; Ian Maguire, Joe Cousins, Brendan Byrne; Paul McDonald, Kyle Byrne, Seán Redmond; Ciarán Murphy (1-0), Michael O'Brien; Conor O'Leary (0-1), John Doyle, Michael Whelan; Conor Morris, Matthew Molloy, Ashley Tully (capt., 0-4, 3 frees). Subs. - Cian Hogan (0-2) for Molloy (26), Fergal Maguire for Whelan (42), Dylan Kavanagh for Morris (60+2).
Craanford: Paddy Doyle; Seán Byrne, William Conroy (0-1), Jack Kavanagh; Jim Redmond, Pat Kenny (capt.), Páraic Redmond; Martin Doyle, Eoin Doyle; Cian O'Toole (0-1), James Smyth (0-2, 1 free), Kevin Poole; Stuart Byrne, Tony Kavanagh, Jamie Doyle (0-2). Subs. - Martin Kenny for J. Doyle (38), Thomas Furlong for Byrne (47).
Referee: Pádraig Byrne (Kilanerin).