St. Pats ran out deserved winners against Ballinlough in the opening round of the Feis Cup played in blustery conditions in Stamullen on Sunday afternoon.
St. Patricks: 3-5 Ballinlough: 0-3
Johnny Reilly was on the scoresheet for Ballinlough
Both teams struggled to settle in the opening period, with the strong wind keeping scores to a minimum. The home side eventually opened the scoring in the fourteenth minute, when Shane Landy converted a free from a tight angle. Minutes later their lead was extended when Niall Mooney powerfully found the back of the Ballinlough net, after a period of good pressure by his side.
Ballinlough struggled to build any meaningful attacks with a number of moves breaking down in the middle third of the pitch. The adverse weather conditions didn’t help their cause, and on another day a number of scoring opportunities could have found their mark.
The visitors young keeper, Lorcan Gibney, was called into action just before the break, expertly saving a one on one chance, before an Alan Vickers point increased St. Pats lead with the last action of the half. This left the ‘Lough trailing by 1-2 to 0-0 at the change of ends.
St. Pats continued their purple patch at the start of the second half with another fine score. It wasn’t until the thirteenth minute of the period when the Reds got their first score of the contest, when substitute Johnny Reilly fired over the black spot after some patient build up by his side. Moments later, Reilly got his second score of the afternoon when his high ball into the area deceived Robert Cluskey in the St. Pats goal and bounced over the bar.
Shane Landy got the home sides second major score of the afternoon soon after, before Paul Monaghan reduced the deficit with a well taken point from the right hand side.
A flurry of late scores for St. Pats added gloss to the scoreboard, but things are sure to be closer when the two sides meet again in the League in two weeks time.
Ballinlough: L. Gibney, E. Smith, P. Muldoon, R. Farrell, Junior O’Reilly, B. Smith, J. Baugh, L. Maguire, M. Geraghty, J. O’Keefe, S. Geraghty, Cian Mallen, J. Tunney, M. McCullen, J. O’Higgins. Subs: Johnny Reilly (0-2) for J. Baugh, P. Monaghan (0-1) for J. O’Higgins, K. Rothwell for J. Tunney, Colm Mallen for J. O’Keefe.