Early lucky goal puts champions in control

Stradbally 1-11 Tramore 0-8

Their success was build on good interplay, experience and some early luck as they stormed into the lead when a move involving John Hearne and John Coffey was finished to the net by Ger Power with just 90 seconds on the clock.

There was an element of good fortune about the score as Power’s drive deflected off a defender, leaving goalkeeper John Moroney stranded.

Tramore then had to play catch up, but while they did it with admirable determination there was never any serious chance that they were going to overhaul the champions.

Stradbally were five points clear by the 13th minute despite playing into the breeze, and the losers had to wait until the quarter hour to register on the scoreboard with a fine point by their most dangerous forward, Lee Quilty.

The champions remained in control, however, thanks in huge measure to the performance of midfielder George Walsh and that of tireless wing-forward John Coffey. Their attack, individually and collectively, also looked dangerous every time in possession and helped them to a three point interval lead (1-5 to 0-5).

Stephen Cunningham, who was excellent in the second half, stretched the winners advantage with a 32nd-minute point before Michael O’Donoghue responded for Tramore from a placed ball.

Stradbally tightened the screw with further points from Niall Curran (free), Power, and a super effort from George Walsh to open a sizeable gap, (1-9 to 0-6).

Quilty responded with a further brace of points in the 46th and 49th minutes to leave the door just slightly ajar, only for Cunningham to hit back with his second point for the winners.

Then came a major let-off for Tramore when the excellent Trevor Curran collected goalkeeper Moroney’s poor kick-out but his goal-bound drive clattered off the crossbar before being cleared to safety.

Minutes later, Power sealed the affair with a great point though minutes later Tramore were denied a deserved consolation goal when Mark Power’s attempt was taken off the line with keeper Kevin Cunningham out of position.

Scorers for Stradbally: G. Power(1-2); N. Curran(0-4,0-2 frees); G. Walsh(0-2); S. Cunningham(0-2); J. Coffey(0-1).

Tramore: L. Quilty(0-5, 0-1 free);); M. O’Donoghue(0-2, frees); L. Power(0-1).

STRADBALLY: K. Cunningham; E. Cummins. K. Coffey. T. Walsh; L. Walsh. T. Costelloe. O. Costelloe; G. Walsh. J. Hearne; J. Coffey. G. Power. S. Cunningham; N. Curran. M. Walsh. T. Curran.

TRAMORE: J. Moroney; P. O’Gorman. M. Whelan. D. Gillane; B. Power. N. Brennan. G. Dunphy; B. O’Connor. P. Ogle; M. O’Donoghue. T. Whelan. B.Costelloe; L. Quilty. M. Power. L. Power.

Subs: R. McDonald for B. Power; P. Dunphy for O’Donoghue; A. Renyolds for T. Whelan; G. Goodwin for Ogle; G. O’Gorman for McDonald.

Referee: B Power, Mount Sion.

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