SFC relegation: Walterstown exit senior ranks
23 September 2015

Rathkenny 1-13
Walterstown 0-9

After 51 consecutive SFC campaigns Walterstown are demoted following this hoganstand.com relegation play-off defeat to Rathkenny at Simonstown on Wednesday night.

The outcome of the three-match round robin series (also involving St Patrick’s) was decided in the third quarter with the injection of five Rathkenny points on the bounce to turn a three-point interval deficit into a 0-9 to 0-7 lead.

Within 75 seconds of his post-interval introduction, double All-Ireland SFC medal winner Donal Curtis pointed to set Rathkenny in motion.

Thomas Martin tied the scores with a great effort from play in the 35th minute before restoring Rathkenny’s lead (free) six minutes later.

With Brian Meade and James Macken controlling midfield there was ample ammunition for Des Lane’s men to increase their lead.

County man Donal Keogan was another who was more influential in the second-half while Thomas Martin was a key scoremaker and scoretaker.

They added another point through Caolach Halligan (45) – one of four scores for him – before Walterstown staged a brief rally with their first point after the break coming from Mark McCormack’s 47th minute free.

It was quickly followed by Walterstown’s final score of the game courtesy of Alban Crosbie. Having posted six points in 16 minutes, Brian Meade ended a six-minute scoring lull for the team in red and black.

A poor Ronan Barry restart saw Thomas Martin place Owen Elliott for a point. By this stage Walterstown had lost Kit Reynolds to two of the lesser disciplinary cards.

Donal Curtis was central to the move that continued with Elliott placing Thomas Martin for a 55th minute goal before Caolach Halligan applied the final score. There was no need now for post match number-cruching to determine the outcome of the round robin process.

Rathkenny, who arrived with a five-point score difference cushion, were quick off the mark through Jack Gore within seconds of the start following a Donal Keogan run.

Walterstown, who needed to win by at least four points to have a chance of retaining their status, leveled matters through Mark McCormack. The right-half forward notched five first-half points (four frees). Gradually black jerseys took control around midfield and their running game made life uncomfortable for the Rathkenny rearguard.

A Caolach Halligan free left it 0-3 to 0-2 to Rathkenny after 12 minutes. Walterstown outscored Rathkenny by 0-4 to 0-1 in the second quarter. John Geoghegan (wearing 2) became Walterstown’s second scorer when he made it 0-5 to 0-4 after 25 minutes.

Another McCormack placed ball doubled Walterstown’s lead. Then Alban Crosbie’s left-footed free closed the first-half scoring and the board at the town end read 0-7 to 0-4.

Rathkenny – Andrew Finney; Joe Gore, Robert Garry, Niall Brannigan; Ross Gore, Donal Keogan, Tomas McGuinness; Brian Meade (0-2), James Macken; Caolach Halligan (0-4, 1f, 1 45), Owen Elliott (0-1), Ivan Lenehan; Jack Gore (0-1), Thomas Martin (1-4, 0-3 fs), Brian Lenehan. Subs – Donal Curtis (0-1) for B Lenehan (ht), Christy Meade for R Gore (50), Michael Macken for I Lenehan (59).

Walterstown – Ronan Barry; Aaron McLoughlin, David Reynolds, Conor McGuinness; Peter Reynolds, Kit Reynolds, Colin McGrane; Mark Reynolds, Conor O’Sullivan; Mark McCormack (0-6, 5fs), John Geoghegan (0-1), Rory O’Dowd;Richie Barry, Alban Crosbie (0-2, 1f), Robbie McDonnell. Subs – Yashif Ali for McGrane (37), Mark O’Mara for Richie Barry (48), Christy Farrelly for McDonnell (48), Colm O’Reilly for A McLoughlin (57)

Referee – Cormac Reilly (St Mary’s)

Thanks to everyone who came to Simonstown to support the team last night in what turned out to be a disappointing evening. Hopefully it won’t be long until Walterstown are back.