Stradbally Stutter To Opening Victory

Gaultier's Gary Molloy turns away from Stradbally’s Ger Power and Tony Grey at Kill on Sunday last.							| Photos: Noel Browne

Gaultier's Gary Molloy turns away from Stradbally’s Ger Power and Tony Grey at Kill on Sunday last. | Photos: Noel Browne

Waterford Senior Football Championship Group Two

Stradbally 3-10
Gaultier 2-6

Stradbally staved off a second half comeback from Gaultier, adding 1-1 to their total in the closing minutes to ensure victory after an entertaining hour’s football in Kill last Sunday.

Ger Power and Shane Aherne got the med in red off to a good start inside six minutes, and Power palmed in David Grey’s crossfield ball to goal after 13. Aherne’s free three minutes later put Stradbally in command before JJ Hutchinson finally got Gaultier off the mark with an 18th minute free. Grey and Hutchinson traded points twice over, in the 20th and 24th minutes and 31st and 33rd minutes respectively to leave Stradbally 1-5 to 0-3 ahead at the break.

Shane Aherne, later sent off for a second bookable offence, opened the second half scoring, with Gaultier’s Sean White quickly replying at the opposite end. Aherne struck over a 33rd minute 45 and the contest appeared done and dusted after Ger Power toe-poked the ball into the Gaultier net from point blank range in the 36th minute.

Aherne’s 37th minute free sent Stradbally 10 points clear but Gaultier didn’t lie down. Caomhán McGuire and JJ Hutchinson both pointed in quick succession and when Hutchinson tucked away a 44th minute penalty, Gaultier’s belief visibly grew, but they didn’t make their territory count over the next 10 minutes.

Two minutes from time, Hutchinson goaled again to leave the Stradbally bench suitably agitated, but the former champions steadied the ship in the closing minutes to secure a far from comfortable victory. By contrast, Gaultier will feel they led this one pass them by.

Stradbally: Eoin Cunningham; Kevin Lawlor, Kevin Coffey, Paul Connors; Tommy Connors, Shane Lannon, Jack Mullaney; Michael Walsh, John Hearne; Luke Casey, Shane Aherne, Tony Grey; David Grey, Ger Power, Paul Tobin.

Substitutes: Stephen Cunningham for Luke Casey (50 mins) and John Coffey for Paul Tobin (56)

Scorers: David Grey (1-3; 0-2f), Shane Aherne (0-5; 0-2f, 0-1 45), Ger Power (1-1), John Coffey (1-0) and Michael Walsh (0-1)

Gaultier: David Whitty; Aaron Jones, Ronan McDonagh, Sean Whitty; Ian Hatton, Rory Walsh, Josh Cunningham; Conor O’Riordan, Gary Molloy; Sean Hogan, Brad Carroll, Billy O’Keeffe; JJ Hutchinson, Caomhán McGuire, Sean White.

Substitutes: Brian Kenny for Rory Walsh (54 mins), David Cullinane for Conor O’Riordan (51) and Billy O’Keeffe for Josh Cunningham (58).

Scorers: JJ Hutchinson (2-4; 1-0 pen, 0-2f), Sean White and Caomhán McGuire (0-1 each).

Referee: Dessie O’Leary.

Dermot Keyes

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