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SFC: St Patricks 1-12 Baltinglass 0-14
St. Patricks 1-12
Aughrim – Referee John Keenan
Match report sponsored by OurClubGear.com
St. Patricks of Wicklow Town rallied in injury time to snatch the Wicklow Senior Football Championship from the grasp of Baltinglass in a highly entertaining final writes Alan O’Brien.
A huge crowd packed into Aughrim for this highly anticipated Championship final. St. Patricks approached the match in confident mood with heavy favourites tag but Baltinglass had designs on adding another Championship to their already impressive roll of honour.
Joey Kelly started well, tormenting the St. Patricks defence and was on the scoreboard within minutes to push Baltinglass into an early lead. Mattie Byrne was working well at corner forward despite wearing 10 on his back and his point edged Pats into a 0-3 to 0-2 lead with the game flowing from end to end. Joey Kelly fired over a wonderful sideline free from the stand side into the scoreboard end only for Byrne to again level the tie from a set piece. After a quarter hour Baltinglass should have gotten a goal but an angled effort cleared Colm Byrne in the Pats goal left hand post, out for a wide.
Baltinglass dominated the later part of the first half with three unanswered points in a row aided by a strong wind at their backs. St Pats were struggling for a foothold in the game with a number of balls dropping short into the arms of the waiting John Flynn. With three minutes injury time held on the board a mix up in the Baltinglass defence led to Paul Earls taking a breaking ball and levelling the match with an angled drive to the Back of the net. At half time the game was perfectly poised at 1-4 to 0-7.
Pats were first to emerge from the dressing rooms at half time and they were the first out of the blocks with the first two points of the second half. Joey Kelly and John McGrath responded for Baltinglass only for Mattie Byrne to respond with a quick fire double to re-establish St Pat’s advantage. St Patricks dominated the following 7 minutes without adding to their advantage on the score-board and despite appearing comfortable in possession their failure to convert their dominance into scores let Baltinglass back into the game.
Sheeran and Burke took over at midfield and Baltinglass started to win all the breaks. Joey Kelly continued to purr and the inspirational John McGrath dragged his side level with a well worked, patient score. Baltinglass had St. Pats rattled and a free with just 10 minutes to go had the men from the West leading by the smallest Margin.
In a frantic finish Pats levelled the tie once again before they took the lead with time running away. The unbelievably combination of Joey Kelly in tandem with John McGrath clicked brilliantly to level the match again. The game at this stage was open with both teams running on empty. Sinnott worked a brilliant opening to get a glimpse of Colm Byrnes goal but the fierce shot cleared the crossbar to give Baltinglass a slender lead (0-1) approaching the last 5 minutes. A free in the dying moments to St Pats tied the game and with a replay looking on the cards the scene was set to make a hero of someone. Substitute Donie Fitzgerald found himself in acres of space and took time to steady himself before dissecting the posts to send the blue and white flags into the air as the East Wicklow Town won out by the smallest of margins.
Man of the Match – Mattie Byrne