Moorefield vs. St. Laurences Aldridge Cup Rd.2

By: TCM Editorial

By Ger McNallyDESPITE featuring a host of fringe players, two of the biggest clubs in the county played out an entertaining game in Old Grange last Saturday afternoon.

On the sort of spring afternoon that puts a pep in your step, a severely weakened St Laurence’s team pushed Moorefield all the way and it was only in the last ten minutes, with the aid of fresh legs from the sideline, that the Newbridge men pulled clear.

Laurence’s were short their county men, their Sigerson Cup contingent and the injured Niall Clynch, Sean Murphy, Barry Mackey and Mossie Doyle but they really took the game to Moorefield in the opening quarter.

John Fogarty was revelling at midfield. He dominated the early part of the game and it was his delicious pass that set Bart Blanchfield up for a sixth minute goal.

That came sandwiched in between points from Ronan Lawler and Sean Higgins but Laurence’s could have been even further in front when Lawler bore down on Tom Corley’s goal shortly after Blanchfield had netted. Unfortunately for the home team, his shot was wide of the target.

Gradually Moorefield, fielding an experimental side themselves, came into the game as midfield pair David Whyte and Jason Philips began to exert a real influence over the middle third.

They still had to wait until the 18th minute for their first score of the game though as Whyte tapped over a free and then five minutes later, Ger Naughton got forward from wing back to score a second point.

Laurence’s response to that scoring burst from Moorefield was to go down the other end of the pitch and land the score of the game as Fogarty sent the ball soaring over the crossbar from just outside the Moorefield 45 four minutes before half time. That turned out to be Laurence’s last score until deep into injury time.

Lee Murphy’s point late in the opening half meant that only Blanchfield’s goal separated the teams as they headed for their half time chats, 1-3 to 0-3.

Moorefield dominated possession and territory in the second half but, understandably at this stage of the season, seemed rusty and lacking a cutting edge in attack.

Despite all the ball that they had, Moorefield didn’t score in the second half until Philly Wolfe set up Jason Philips in the 46th minute.

Two minutes later Laurence’s had a great goal opportunity on a rare second half attack but JP Byrne shot narrowly past Corley’s upright. Moorefield only really livened up with the introduction of Niall Hurley-Lynch and Frank Hannifey for the final 12 minutes. Hurley-Lynch was only on the pitch three minutes when he split the Laurence’s crossbar with a terrific effort.

Moorefield took the lead for the first time in the 54th minute when stand in Laurence’s ‘keeper Ronan Skeane failed to deal with a high ball in his square. The ball squirmed from his grasp and Padraigh O’Flynn showed real predatory instincts to somehow squeeze the ball into the net from a ridiculously tight angle. Hannifey and Whyte added points and the increasing Moorefield pressure told when the tricky Aaron Mullins was felled inside the square. Wolfe converted the penalty but referee Dave Coady made him retake the kick. The Moorefield full forward made no mistake again as he stuck the ball in the exact same spot in the goal.

JP Byrne finally got Laurence’s first score of the second half just as the clock moved past 60 minutes but the lively Hurley-Lynch had the final say with the final attack of the game to secure Moorefield’s second Aldridge cup win of the season.

MOOREFIELD: Tom Corley; Ricky Maguire, Liam Keane, Lee Murphy .-.; Damian Mullally, Alan Melia, Ger Naughton .-.; Jason Philips . David Whyte .-. (.f); Padraigh O’Flynn .-., Gareth Duffy, Adam Tyrell; Eddie Heavey, Philip Wolfe .-. (.pen), Aaron Mullins. Subs: Eamonn Callaghan for Mullally, ..; Niall Hurley-Lynch .-. for Duffy, ..; Frank Hannifey .-. for Tyrell, ..; Brian McGrogan for Heavey, …

ST LAURENCE’S: Ronan Skeane; Gary Warren, Alan Higgins, Billy Kiernan; Padraig Kearney, Eoin Clifford, Mark O’Brien; John Fogarty .-., Colm Kane; Eoin Corrigan, Ronan Lawler .-., Sean Higgins .-.; JP Byrne .-., Dom Grufferty, Bart Blanchfield .-.. Subs: Mark Byrne for Corrigan.

REF: Dave Coady.

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