Senior Football Championship QF Replay
St. Joseph's 3-10 Geraldines 1-11
The business end of the season suits St. Joseph's just fine. In fact, high pressure situations brings out the best in them.
Regardless of the grade, last year's Intermediate champions look so comfortable and confident, and a place in the final four of the Senior Championship was the least they deserved at the expense of a fragile Geraldines outfit on Saturday evening.
The Gers fell victim to their sophisticated counter-attacking system, eventually running out of ideas as frustration got the better of them. Josh Arrowsmith's dismissal saw them finish with 14 players.
Unusually inefficient in front of the posts, the Dromiskin men made the opening-period tighter than it should have been. They ran competently from deep and created up to four goal chances early on, one of which Derek Mulligan finished as the warning signs were sounded for the Haggardstown men.
Jim McEneaney settled his team into the game, shooting six of his side's seven-points in the first-half as the Gers won into a three-point lead.
The Joes lost Mulligan to injury, but they didn’t relent as replacement Alan McKenna proved highly influential. He set-up Adam O’Connor straightaway to score a goal that concluded a run of 1-3 to no-reply before the break to give Wayne McKeever's side a three-point lead at the interval.
Naturally the scores became harder to come by in the second-half, but once the Joes got to grips with McEneaney, and an eagerness to take black-cards, there was an air of inevitability about the outcome of this Castlebellingham encounter.
Despite an Arrowsmith goal that cut the deficit to the minimum, as the pressure increased, it was the well-drilled Joes who were able to handle affairs the better.
McKenna promptly responded with a scrambled goal before Alan Quigley and Conal O’Hanlon eased them over the line with a pair of pointed frees.
With the Newtown Blues awaiting in the semi-final, it may be time to consider the Joes as serious contenders for a first Joe Ward triumph since 2006.
St. Joesph's: Robert Samson; Alan Lynch, Ben Mulligan, Stefan Potts; David Kieran, Cian McGuinness, Shane McQuillan; Peter Brennan, Adam O’Connor (1-0); Craig Doherty (0-1), Conal O’Hanlon (0-1, free), Dáire Smyth (0-2); Conall Smyth, Alan Quigley (0-5, three frees and two '45s), Derek Mulligan (1-0)
Subs: Alan McKenna (1-0) for Derek Mulligan (27), David Mernagh (0-1) for Lynch (44, black card), Killian Staunton for Conall Smyth (60, black card)
Geraldines: Seán McEneney; Kevin Pepper, James Craven, Gareth Neacy; Jack Traynor, Gerard Hoey, Paul Clarke; Paddy Hoey, Nicky Mackin; Seán Thornton, Jim McEneaney (0-6, two frees), Josh Arrowsmith (1-0); Dara Hamill (0-3, two frees), Matthew Corcoran (0-1), Glen Trainor (0-1)
Subs: Shane O’Hanlon for Thornton (40), Michael Rogers for Mackin (47), Stephen Reidy for Paddy Hoey (52), Tiernan Hand for Reidy (60)
Referee: David J. McArdle (St. Bride's)