WIn for St. Pat’s

January 11, 2023

St. Pat’s vs Marist Athlone

St. Pat’s progress to the quarter-finals after a narrow two point win. Marist Athlone were the opponents for St. Pats in this preliminary round of the Leinster championship. With the prize a place in tomorrow’s draw, the pressure was on. The St. Pats supporters pulled their team through the game as they always do. The conditions were to play a big part in the game with a very strong wind favouring the Navan O’Mahonys end. 

It was an electric start to the game on and off the field. With the St. Pat’s fans really getting behind their team, it showed on the field when Cian Commons rose high in the air for the throw up and palmed the ball down to Tadhg Martyn, Tadhg then punted the ball long into Neil McGinley who flicked the ball on impressively to Billy Smyth who opted to take the point and put St. Pat’s into an early lead. Marist answered that with a well taken point 1 minute later. Two minutes later, St. Pat’s had another goal chance when Andrew Canavan turned his man and popped the ball into space for the oncoming Lorcán O’Connor who burst through the defense and drilled the ball over the bar. St. Pat’s goalkeeper Luke Healy was called into action after the Marist free taker dropped the ball short, he deflected the ball over the bar to level up the game once more. After Ciaran Quinn was fouled just outside the D it gave free taker Matthew Kealy a chance to register his first score of the game.

11 minutes into the game, Cian Commons was fouled on the 21 yard line. Matthew Kealy stepped up and converted again to put St. Pats into a two point lead. 3 minutes later, St. Pat’s triggered the score board again after Neil McGinley gave a sweet ball into the arms of Lorcán O’Connor who made no mistake in slotting the ball over the bar. Darren O’Brien intercepted a pass from the Marist number 5 and hand passed the ball forward, the move was finished off nicely from the foot of Neil McGinley who cut inside the defender and popped the ball over the bar with his left foot. The St. Pat’s defense, known as the “yellow wall”, kept Athlone out again until the 20th minute when their full forward converted a close in free. Darren O’Brien intercepted another ball in midfield which led to another Matthew Kealy free. This one was on the center point of the 45 yard line, Matthew split the posts in half. It was Matthew Kealy who scored St. Pat’s final score of the half after he slotted over another free. He totalled his tally to 4 points and sent the “super St. Pats” into the halftime break 0-8 to 0-3 points up. 

At half time, Mr Colm O’Rourke was presented with a trophy for his sporting contribution to the school. Most notable mentions were the Hogan Cups in which he led St. Pat’s too. This gave the St. Pat’s fans more to sing about as “shoes off for Mr O’Rourke ” echoed around the stadium.  On behalf of the school, we would all like to thank him for all that he has done for St. Pats. 

The second half started with two Marist scores inside the first 5 minutes. It was in the 37th minute, when the St. Pat’s number 11 Cian Commons fisted a floating ball in from Robby Finnegan towards goal, it looked to be a certain goal until the last second the ball changed direction onto the Marist goalpost. The two St. Pats midfielders had many interceptions in the game that led to scores. Tadhg Martyn added another one to his tally after he excellently intercepted the ball in midfield, he drove forward and popped the ball onto Billy Smyth, who handed the ball to Cian Commons, Commons then cut in on his right foot and rattled the top right corner of the net with a rocket like shot. While the momentum looked to be with St. Pats they just couldn’t shake Marist off. With the wind against St. Pats, Marist got the next 6 points of the game in the space of 12 minutes. With 55 minutes on the clock the two sides were level.

It was 55 minutes and 34 seconds into the second half when the nerves of the St. Pat’s supporters and players were settled a little bit when star full forward Billy Smyth converted an excellently team worked score. It was Billy Smyth who got the next score in the game after Robby Finnegan dispossessed the Marist back. Time was almost up when a Marist free floated into the square and I haven’t a clue how it didn’t go in. The ball looked to nestle into the top right corner but was cleared by one of five St. Pat’s players who leaped up. The decision was down to the umpire who pointed for a 45. This was yet again floated into the square and was caught by a Marist player who turned onto his right foot and connected with the ball sweetly but the ball was blocked by one of the diving St. Pat’s defenders. The referee blew the game up and the celebrations started. The final score St. Pat’s 1-10 Marist Athlone 0-11

This was a brilliant result for St. Pat’s and it books their place in tomorrow’s draw which we all hope will result in a home game. Well Done to Mr. Peppard, Mr. Tierney, Mr. Reynolds and all the players involved. Let’s hope we progress through the quarter-finals. 

St. Pat’s team: Luke Healy, Séimí Byrne, James Reeves, Breandán Mc Guinness, Lorcán O’Connor(0-2), Danny Waters, Matthew Kealy(0-4), Darren O’Brien, Tadhg Martyn, Ciaran Quinn, Cian Commons(1-0), Andrew Canavan, Neil McGinley(0-1) Billy Smyth(0-3), Robby Finnegan. 

By Colin Scanlon