Poor fare as Kennedy penalty crucial
St. Anne's 1-5 Blackwater 1-2
Andy Kennedy's 55th-minute goal from a penalty proved decisive as it handed St. Anne's an eventual three-point victory over home side Blackwater in this poor quality Greenstar Under-20 football championship Division 3A game on Saturday.
Both struggled for numbers with the eventual winners only managing a total of 17 players, while the home side could only muster one less.
This is indicative of the struggle facing rural clubs at this moment and time.
While there was no lack of effort, the sides found scoring difficult, with just five in total during the opening 30 minutes.
Darragh Doyle and Ben Moore opened the scoring during the first five minutes, but thereafter St. Anne's kept most of the possession, but their finishing was erratic.
They could only manage further points from Philip Rawson, Moore and Kennedy before the break.
Meanwhile, the nearest the home side came to adding to their tally was in the 25th minute when Ben Redmond found himself in on goal, but advancing 'keeper Darragh Furlong managed to smother his effort to safety, leaving it 0-4 to 0-1 at the interval.
The opening ten minutes on the resumption followed much the same pattern, with St. Anne's doing most of the attacking after a Jake Nobbs 34th-minute pointed free had reduced the deficit to two points, but all they had to show for their efforts was a total of six wides.
The next score didn't arrive until the 48th minute, a Jake Nobbs low left-footed shot low to the corner of the net, giving the home side a 1-2 to 0-4 advantage, but they didn't register again.
After a point from substitute Dylan O'Brien had brought the south county side level, they clinched victory five minutes from the end.
O'Brien was hauled down by 'keeper Tomás Murphy, leaving Kennedy to rifle a low penalty kick to the corner of the net which proved sufficient to give his side a comfortable enough victory in the end.
St. Anne's: Darragh Furlong; Barry Roche, Vincent Carroll, Kevin Redmond; Luke Redmond, Finn O'Driscoll, Billy Ryan; Ben Moore (0-2), Andy Kennedy (1-1, 1-0 pen.); Conor Ryan, Philip Rawson (0-1), Karem Byrne; Kevin Breen, Luke Walsh, Paddy White. Subs. - Dylan O'Brien (0-1) for Breen, Eric Molyneaux for Walsh.
Blackwater: Tomás Murphy; Paddy Cullen, Mark Donoghue, Mikey Byrne; Shane Butler, Darragh Doyle (0-1), John Barry; Eoin O'Neill, Aaron Culleton; Robert McGuinness, Kevin Corrigan, Jake Nobbs (1-1, 0-1 free); Conor O'Brien, Ben Redmond, James Kelly. Sub. - Feidhlim Roche for O'Brien.
Referee: Mick Lanigan (Shelmaliers).