The Blacks are back

April 26, 2001
St Patrick's return to the senior championship was a disappointing one as Walterstown taught them a few lessons about top flight football. At Duleek Walterstown 2-11 St Patricks 0-6 There was some sweet nostalgia for Walterstown supporters at Duleek last night as the Blacks swept to a comprehensive victory over last year's Intermediate champions St Patricks. During a 10 minute spell early in the second half, the current Walterstown players produced some scintillating play, reminiscent of the style, panache and efficiency of their illustrious predecessors of the early 1980s. The brief spell of brilliance was enough to win the match and with Mick O'Brien deputising for his brother Oliver as manager, the connection with the glory days of yesteryear were heavily underlined. The move that led to Ronan Barry's point in the 9th minute of the second half was a delight to watch, easily the score of the night by virtue of the intelligence, incision and teamwork involved. And it gave the Blacks a double scores lead of 1-7 to 5 points, effectively wrapping up the all-important first round victory. Unfortunately not all of Walterstown's play was as exciting and they looked a very ordinary team throughout the opening half. The Stamullen men were at their best in the early stages but found out in the second half that the step up from the Intermediate grade to senior is substantial. After Ronan Barry had opened the scoring with a point for Walterstown, St Patrick's settled and their eager forwards were more than a match for a nervous Walterstown defence. Daithi White, Ivan Curran, Andrew Loughlin and Peter Sullivan sent over points, 2 of which should have been goals, to leave Dudley Farrell's charges leading by 0-4 to 0-1 at the end of the 1st quarter. Ronan Barry drew the teams level with 3 pointed frees and Walterstown edged ahead before the break with a point from play by Donal Kennedy. Five points to four at half-time, it was still very much up for grabs. Points were swapped by Christopher Reynolds and Daithi Whyte before Walterstown struck their purple patch. Donal Kennedy picked up on a loose ball close to goal and buried it in the net ... then came the brilliant six man move leading to Ronan Barry's point and Charles McCarthy added another with 20 minutes remaining ... 1-8 to 0-5, game over. Walterstown's impressive momentum was broken by an injury stoppage and although they couldn't recapture their brilliance, they did enough to see off what was a determined and spirited St Pat's challenge. A long sideline kick broke to Ronan Barry in the 20th minute, his astute pass found Christopher Reynolds who dispatched it to the net. Peter Sullivan ended a 20 minute scoreless spell for the Pats but Christopher Reynolds pointed twice in the dying minutes to leave the final score Walterstown 2-11 St Patricks 0-6

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