St Josephs 1-11, Brides 0-10
After a one month break in the league the intermediate side hosted the Brides on Tuesday evening.
On an evening where there was no discernable breeze, a light drizzle in the first half made for greasy conditions, as the Brides played into the road end goal starting off.
The first half of this game was played at nothing above intermediate standard, as both teams struggled to show their best form.
The Joes opened the scoring with Aaron Smyth setting up Alan Mc Kenna for a fine point, off the outside of the boot.
This would be the only score of the opening ten minutes, with the next score coming to the visitors, in the form of an equally fine point from Pearse Murphy.
This would be the first of four points on the trot for them, as Hoey added two, a trademark point from the left wing followed by an easy free, before a well worked move all the way from their fullback line was finished by Richie Halpenny.
There was a good response to this last score, as Alan Lynch showed great strength to create a chance which was well finished by Aaron Smyth. Another Hoey free was followed by a Shane Kerrigan point, after patient build up from Kevin Hearty and Pearse Murphy.
This brought their lead back out to a deserving four points, with as many minutes left to play in the half.
But the Joes rallied in the final minutes.
Great fielding by David Mearnagh started a move that was finished by Damien Connor. Daire Smyth then set up Peter Mulligan for a long range point as the game entered injury time.
Alan Mc Kenna won the kickout and played the ball into Smyth who this time turned scorer, with a fine point from a tight angle, to leave the Joes just one adrift after a half where they had failed to show their potential for most of it.
Aaron Hoey opened the scoring for the Brides three minutes into the second half.
However, from here on the Joes upped their game and just as he had given the Joes the lead at the start of the first half, Alan Mc Kenna did the same at the start of the second.
This time though, the Joes would not relinquish the lead. Conor Lynch played a crossfield ball to Mc Kenna, who calmly finished his shot tight to the bottom corner of the goal. As had happened in the first half,
David Mearnagh started a move that was finished with a Damien Connor point. And with ten minutes played the Joes pulled a goal clear, when Alan Lynch was fouled in the left corner, Gary Kinahan made the difficult free look easy.
Hoey’s fifth point of the game brought the visitors back into the game, but this was cancelled out immediately.
Conor Murtagh blocked a shot and both midfielders combined, before Mc Kenna equalled Hoey in the scoring stakes with another point of his own.
A good point from Kevin Hearty would also by cancelled out, this time as patient build up from the Joes was finished with another long range Peter Mulligan point, from just inside the 50 yard line.
As the game entered the final quarter the Joes lead by a goal and continued to dominate possession, but failed to kill off the Brides challenge, as they spurned some decent scoring chances.
However, with five minutes left on the clock Daire Smyth went down under a heavy challenge.
This gave Gary Kinahan another chance to kick a difficult free from the left corner, this one from the sideline squeezed inside the post.
Two minutes later a well fielded ball by Shane Kerrigan in the middle was rewarded with a Paddy Reilly point to put just a goal between the sides again.
But the Joes defended resolutely over the closing minutes and added time and never looked likely to cough up a goal chance. With a minute of normal time left to play, Conall Smyth showed great determination to kick the insurance point.