The seniors opened their Division 2 League campaign with a hard earned win against a well organised St. Brides team in Pairc An Chuinnigh on Saturday evening. The Brides opened brightly and Robert Sansom in the Joes goal was called into action in the very first minute when he dived to his left to steer a goal bound effort clear. The Joes hit the front in the 6th minute when David Mernagh soloed from defence, sending a defence splitting pass to Derek Mulligan who rounded his man and calmly planted the ball to the right of Alan Meegan in the Brides goal. The Brides responded within a minute with their first score, a point from Sean Marry. Marry doubled the Brides tally with his second on 9mins and the sides were level a minute later when Ross Keogh added a third point. On 12 minutes Paddy Reilly cut through the Joes defence to setup Conail Devin and his goal bound effort skimmed the crossbar to put the Brides ahead 0-4 to 1-0.
The Brides continued to shade the possession and the Joes had to wait until the 19th minute to register their second score, a point from a 40m Conal O Hanlon free. On 20 minutes a Brides free fell short and again Robert Sansom came to the Joes rescue with Stefan Potts clearing the danger. Good defensive work by Ciaran Gallagher, Stefan Potts & David Mernagh during this period kept the Joes level. The Brides failed to convert a number of good point scoring opportunities before Craig Doherty collected the breaking ball to put the Joes ahead on 23 minutes. On the stroke of half time Conal O Hanlon converted a 20m free, following a foul on Cian McGuinness to leave the score: St. Josephs 1-3, Brides 0-4.
Alan Quigley opened the second half scoring with a point from a 45m free for the Joes that was cancelled out by a free from 20m from Conail Devin. The Brides created some clear chances but failed to narrow the gap between the sides. A superbly worked move for the Joes between Conal O Hanlon and Derek Mulligan was finished from wide on the right by Alan McKenna who had come on for Peter Brennan at half time. The Brides responded with a well worked move that was finished for a point by Sean Marry. An Alan Quigley point for the Joes on 15 minutes was cancelled out by an excellent Patrick Reilly strike two minutes later to leave just two between the sides. The Joes increased their lead to three points when O Hanlon collected the kick out and in a quick exchange with Craig Doherty it was O Hanlon who hit the target. Both sides had their chances in the final 10 minutes, however there was to be just a single score, a superb point from wide on the right by Derek Mulligan for the Joes. On a night when the home side had the majority of the chances, the home side with 13 wides and just 3 for the visitors, it was the Joes who collected the two points on offer in this first round league match.
Full Time Score: St. Josephs 1-8, St. Brides 0-7.
St. Josephs: Robert Sansom, Ciaran Gallagher, Shane McQuillan, Stefan Pots, Cian Mc Guinness, David Mernagh, Alan Lynch, Killian Staunton, Peter Brennan, Craig Doherty 0-1, Jack Mulligan, Conall Smyth, Derek Mulligan 1-1, Conal O Hanlon 0-3(2f), Alan Quigley 0-2(1f). Subs: Alan Mc Kenna 0-1 for Peter Brennan
St. Brides: Alan Meegan, Ronan Bailey, Mark Hoey, Padraic Mackin, Michael Keane, Andrew Smyth, Conor Deane, Patrick Reilly 0-1, Alan Dunne, Sean Marry 0-3, Kevin Hearty, James Costello, Sean Brenna, Conail Devin 0-2, Ross Keogh 0-1. Subs: Ciaran Deane for Kevin Hearty.
(Report: Pat Coyne)