Allowing for the holiday season, a healthy panel of 22 players togged out for this Junior C Championship Round 3 fixture, at home to St Paul’s. On a fine evening for football and played on an excellent surface, Walterstown recorded their second group win and, at the same time, condemned the visitors to their first defeat “on the pitch”. The match would see Championship debuts for Daniel Murphy and Timi Sowumni from last year’s Minor team.
Captain Christopher Farrelly won the toss and Walterstown played away from the clubhouse in the first half. For the first fifteen minutes, the teams were evenly matched on the scoreboard, which saw the Blacks lead by 4 points to 3, with two points each from Paul Donnellan and Paul Foy. St Paul’s were the more efficient team during that period, with each of their attacks leading to a score. The Blacks’ possession possibly warranted a bigger lead, but they became more clinical for the remainder of the half and the backs went on to keep the visitors scoreless until half-time. Points from Conor Lenehan, Stephen Davis, Ciaran Murphy, Adam Barrett, Paul Foy and Ciaran again gave Walterstown a seven-point lead. Just before half-time, a great pass from Ciaran saw Stephen in behind the St Paul’s backline. Stephen applied a cool finish to the bottom corner, for the game’s first green flag.
Half-time: Walterstown 1-10 St Paul’s 0-3
Kicking into the clubhouse end for the second-half, Adam Barrett quickly added two points to the home team’s tally, before St Paul’s responded with two points of their own. Conor Lenehan scored his second point of the match, once more attacking well from wing back. The match was effectively over when Stephen charged down a clearance, before lobbing the stranded keeper, for his second goal. Davy Maguire came on for Adam Cummins and Paddy Donnellan was introduced to give Ciaran a well earned rest. A pointed free would be Stephen’s final score, before he was replaced by Timi. Eoin O’Leary came on for Cormac Freeman, who had turned in yet another excellent performance at corner back. Kashif Ali replaced the returning Cathal Hennelly, giving Cathal a breather before Sunday’s play-off match versus Bective. To their credit, St Paul’s went on to score three of the next four points, with another Adam Barrett point in reply. However, the home team took control for the final 10 minutes. Karl McHale replaced Daniel Murphy, who had combined a clean sheet with some very accurate kickouts. Aidan O’Connor, Adam Barrett and Paul Donnellan (2) added the next four points. The final word was left to Timi, who was fouled when bearing down on goal, but picked himself up to convert the free and added a second point from play shortly before the final whistle.
Full-time: Walterstown 2-21 St Paul’s 0-8
The management was pleased with a second win, which improves Walterstown’s hopes for knockout football following the group stage. After an indifferent first 10/15 minutes, the win was well-deserved, with restarts working well and the backs ensuring a clean sheet. At the other end of the pitch, 2-19 of the scores came from play. The benefit of a strong panel was shown by the performances of every lad introduced from the bench. Details of the fourth round match and the Division 3 League final are awaited.
Walterstown: Daniel Murphy, Darren Finnegan, Cathal Hennelly, Cormac Freeman, Adam Cummins, Peter Reynolds, Conor Lenehan (0-2), Christopher Farrelly, Kevin Devine, Ciaran Murphy (0-2), Aidan O’Connor (0-1), Paul Foy (0-3), Paul Donnellan (0-4), Stephen Davis (2-2, 1F) and Adam Barrett (0-5).
Substitutes: Davy Maguire for Adam Cummins, Paddy Donnellan for Ciaran Murphy, Timi Sowumni (0-2, 1F) for Stephen Davis; Eoin O’Leary for Cormac Freeman; Kashif Ali for Cathal Hennelly and Karl McHale for Daniel Murphy, with Andrew Barry (injured).