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St Patrick’s Cullyhanna caught in relegation battle

Whitecross 1-8 St Patrick’s Cullyhanna 0-9

ANYONE who was in doubt about whether or not Cullyhanna are caught up in the relegation battle can have no doubt after this disappointing defeat away to Whitecross on Friday night.

The team failed to build on their success last weekend and continued a run which has seen them fail in fiveout of the last six matches by very narrow margins.

While the one or two point defeats could be put down to not having lady luck shine on them in recent games, it must be conceded that the failure to squeeze any positive results from these tight games must be worrying to management.

In a game that never rose to any great heights, Whitecross won mainly because they did the basics better than St Pat’s, who will be disheartened by the number of unforced errors they made throughout the game and the way they gave possession away at times under little or no pressure.

The first quarter was an even enough affair with the sides sharing 4 points.

In the 20th minute came the crucial score of the game when a hopeful punt into the Cullyhanna square caught the St Pat’s defence flat-footed and an inrushing home player was able to palm to the net.

In a low scoring match it proved to be a very costly lapse of concentration. The sides exchanged points to leave the half-time score 1-3 to 0-3 in favour of the homesters.

The third quarter again proved to be an even affair with both sides registering 3 points apiece. It was only in the final stages of the game that St Pat’s at last shook themselves up and started to show some urgency in their play. The fight-back was led by Eugene Casey, who hit 3 points in a row to level the match with 5 minutes remaining.

The game was up for grabs and it must be said Cullyhanna were unlucky that a few crucial decisions went against them at that stage, which in the end led to the home side hitting the two decisive points to win the game.

It is not a game too many of the players will look back on with much satisfaction as they were second to the ball too many times against a sharper and more determined home side.

On a night of few positives the return to the colours of Colm Hoey and Pearse Casey after long term injury was most welcome.

The same teams meet in the championship in a few weeks time and St Pat’s will want to produce a dramatically improved performance if their participation is to last more than one game.

Team: Conor O’Neill, Kieran McCooey, Stephen Reel, Micky Murray, Kevin Toner, Ciaran McKeever (0-1), Niall McShane, Barry McConville, Malachy Mackin, Tony Donnelly (0-1), Gareth Mackin (0-1), Aidan Nugent, Sean Connell, Eugene Casey (0-4), Kyle McEvoy (0-2): subs used: Colm Hoey, Conor Nugent.

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