Already rocked by the absence of injured players Enda Ward, Killian Farrell and Michael Lenehan, and also without Ciaran Kelly (out of the country), this was always going to be a real uphill battle for Ardagh and so it proved as the home side were outclassed by Wexford opponents St. Fintan’s in the Leinster Intermediate Club Football Championship clash at Keenan Park on Sunday last.
County player Joey Wadding gave the visitors a decisive edge at centrefield (despite the loss of the injured Padraig Doyle) and the impressive Wexford Intermediate champions (who reached the Leinster Junior Club Football Final last year) were superior in virtually every position on the pitch as they cruised to a landslide win.
27 points separated the sides at the end of this completely one-sided encounter and it was all over as a contest at the break with St. Fintan’s holding a commanding 1-10 to 0-3 lead. Full-forward Cathal O’Brien fired home the goal in the 23rd minute while five of their points (four frees) came from their chief marksman Donal Shanley with Shane Sinnott (0-3) and Conor Day also on target.
Paddy Ganley (free), Cathal McGlynn and Danny Keenan replied for Ardagh who collapsed completely in the second half as the rampant Wexford outfit added another 4-8 to their most emphatic tally.
The four goals were scored by Shane Sinnott, Conor Sinnott (2) and Cathal O’Brien in the space of a few minutes in a glorious spell in the third quarter and all Ardagh could manage on the changeover was three consolation points through Paddy Ganley (free) and a brace from substitute Enda Farrell.
ARDAGH ST. PATRICK’S: Stephen Farrell; Brian Farrell, Enda Gillen, Frank Galvin; Kevin Leavy, Gerard Farrell, Emmet Donlon; Shane Powell, Seamus Shortt; Paddy Ganley (0-2, frees), Shane Henry, Cathal McGlynn (0-1); David Farrell, Danny Keenan (0-1), Philip Gillen.
Subs:- Enda Farrell (0-2) for D Farrell (36 mins); Shane McGlynn for F Galvin (41 mins); Finn Hartmann for P Ganley (injured, 52 mins); Edward Powell for P Gillen (55 mins).
ST. FINTAN’S: Patrick McDonnell; Adrian Murphy, Eoin Whitmore, Jimmy Staples; Brendan Hughes, Frank Staples, Kevin Day; Joey Wadding (0-1), John William Rowe; Conor Day (0-1), Conor Sinnott (2-1), Jim Rossiter; Donal Shanley (0-9, five frees), Cathal O’Brien (2-2), Shane Sinnott (1-4).
Subs:- Brian Lacey for A Murphy (41 mins); Martin Goggins for K Day (43 mins); Jason Pettit for J Rossiter (45 mins); Richard Rowe for S Sinnott (52 mins); Darragh Wright for C O’Brien (55 mins).