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JFC St Patricks 0-9 Rathvilly 2-11

posted 10 Sep 2014, 07:34 by PRO St Pats,Tullow,Carlow
This encounter of the Eastside neighbours was played in Ballon in perfect football conditions, with a slight breeze blowing from the dressing room end to the far goal, favouring the village men in the opening half. St Patricks were on the field 40 minutes before the 7.30 throw in, with Rathvilly only arriving to the dressing rooms at 7.15. However, the village side got ready quickly and were the quickest team out of the traps with the Tullow side looking sluggish in the opening half.
Before the game had started, St Patricks knew they had topped the group, while Rathvilly knew they were in relegation. This would give the impression that Rathvilly had little to play for! Their attitude from the throw showed a different story and they dominated this game for long periods. Rathvilly had 1-5 on the board after only 8 minutes as Danny O'Brien, Aaron Smith, Brian Smith and Conor Owens all kicked points with Eric Molloy scoring a cracker of a goal after a bursting run through the Pats defence from midfield. Jack Kennedy popped over two frees and one from play, which was the total Pats tally for the half! Conor Owens added three more frees (two of which were moved forward into easier positions after the Pats players protested with the ref!) The half time score saw Rathvilly lead by 1-9 to 3 points in a half where they out fought, out played and dominated the Tullow side. St Pats were second to almost every ball all around the pitch. The Tullow lads were easily turned over in position when carrying the ball into contact, they gave away bad frees, and failed to work for each other. Rathvilly on the other hand showed that they could easily have made it out of this group if it wasn't for two loses in earlier rounds.
Muckle Keating spoke his mind to the Pats lads at halftime and demanded more from them. There were a few positional changes, (most notably with Jamie Ansboro moving to corner back and playing a great second half) and with a slight breeze there was hope from the Tullow line that the game could be saved. Conor Owens opened the second half for the village after one minute from another free and it was after this that Pats started to come back into the game with Jack Kennedy adding five points in the half. At one stage the gap was back to five points as Rathvilly were on the back foot. This was short lived though as the Pat's full back line went missing allowing Aaron Smith through on goal to bury the ball in the back of the net. Eoin O'Toole, home on leave from a mission with the Defence Forces, came off the bench to kick the other Pats score with Smith kicking another to give the village their eight point victory.
Rathvilly were fully deserved of their win with Stephen Murphy battling hard for them at full back and ensuring no goals were conceded, Eric Molloy and Danny O'Brien got on loads of ball at midfield and set up nearly every Rathvilly attack through speed and vision. Aaron Smith added a fine goal in the second half to numb the Pats revival with Conor Owens putting the finishing touches to many placed balls after the Pats defence was forced into fouling their opponents. For St Pats not many can stand out for much praise after this game. Young Ansboro did very well at corner back in the second half with tigerish defending and Kennedy kicked 8 points.
They say the table doesn't lie and the Tullow side are group winners while Rathvilly go the relegation! If any neutral on the line in Ballon last night was told that they would not believe it!
St Pats lacked many things that county finalists need. If they want to progress past their semi final they will need to show more discipline throughout their team. Back chat to refs, a lack of responsibility for marking their man and a general lack of scoring chances all need to be addressed. The Tullow side were senior a few years ago and have been in free-fall since. That being said St Patricks have won their group, with Eire Og winning the other group. Both teams now wait in the semis for the winners of the two quarter finals; Milford v Pal and Leighleinbridge v Ballon. Rathvilly would be due to play St Mullins in the relegation match, if St Mullins go ahead with that game!
These two sides meet again later in the year in the final of the Div3 league, which, after last night, looks like it will be a hotly contested affair!
St Pats Team; James Tobin, Sean Condon, Allan O'Neill, Peter Fitzgerald, Darren Butler, Lee Kavanagh, Shane Rohan, Stephen Nolan, James O'Connor, Colm Kenny, John Fitzgerald, Paddy Tobin, Jack Kennedy, Paul Rooney, Jamie Ansboro.
Subs used; Cathal Bailey, Eoin O'Toole, Brian Kenny