Clonaslee/St Manman’s 1-5
By Denis J. Croke
THE opening game in this year’s senior football championship did little to raise the pulse rate of the small few in attendance at O’Moore Park on Thursday night. In the end Stradbally won convincingly but they will need to improve if they are to feature later down the road.
Whatever hope Clonaslee/St Manman’s had of causing an upset were severely hampered early on. Corner back Conor Hyland retired injured in the seventh minute and three minutes later midfielder Seamus Rosney was black carded.
With both sides shooting a succession of wides and giving possession away, the first half was pretty poor fare.
Amazingly, Clonaslee/St Manman’s were ahead in the third minute, that after Stradbally had landed two early points through Damien Murphy and Conor Delaney.
When Stradbally full back Liam Knowles tangled with Gearoid Carroll there was surprise when referee Eddie Kinsella pointed to the penalty spot. Goalkeeper Conor Gorman made his way up field and dispatched his kick to the corner of the net.
Tom Shiel levelled in the fourth minute and were not to have another score until Eoin Buggie edged Stradbally back in front in the 23rd minute. An excellent Glen McEvoy point had the sides together 30 second later.
But from here to the end it was all about Stradbally. Murphy put them ahead with a point before Jody Dillon was left with a simple tap to the net after good work by Shiel and Padraig Fitzpatrick. Another Buggie point had them leading 1-6 to 1-1 at the break.
While Clonaslee battled away in the second half, it was Stradbally who were doing the scoring.
Points from the two Colms, Kelly and Begley. Got them up and running. Glen McEvoy pulled one back with a free but four on the trot Shiel, Kelly (2) and Dillon had Stradbally in total control.
There was a brief rally from Clonaslee as Glen McEvoy, Gearoid Carroll and Ger Reilly recorded the next three points, but that was the end of it.
Stradbally continued to rattle off the points while Shiel’s mis-kick finding the corner of the net simple gave the scoreboard a very one sided look.
Stradbally must now look to up their game while Clonaslee/St Manman’s are left battling for their survival.
STRADBALLY: Derek Beale; Colin Beale, Liam Knowles, Jamie Kavanagh; Cormac Delaney,Colm Begley (0-1), Padraig Fitzpatrick; Darren Maher, Eoin Buggie (0-3); Damien Murphy (0-2), Tom Shiel (1-4), Jody Dillon (1-1); Alan Delaney, Conor Delaney (0-1), Colm Kelly (0-6, 2f).
Subs: Philip Kelly for Fitzpatrick (39m, black card), Greg Ramsbottom for A Delaney (47m), Eamon Conlon for Cormac Delaney (59m, inj)
CLONASLEE/ST MANMAN’S: Conor Gorman (1-0 pen); Mark McEvoy, William Murray, Conor Hyland; Tommy Tynan, Ger Dunne,John Molloy; Seamus Rosney, Conor Dunne; John Rigney, PJ Fitzpatrick,Diarmuid Conroy; Gearoid Carroll (0-1), Ger Reilly (0-1), Glen McEvoy (0-3, 2f).
Subs: Conor McEvoy for Hyland (7m, inj), Patrick White for Rosney (10m, black card), James McRedmond for Fitzpatrick (34m, inj), Niall Hogan for C. Dunne (51m), Shane Conroy for Murray (56m)
Referee: Eddie Kinsella (Courtwood)