Kelly leads the way as Baltinglass prevail
Wicklow SFC Final/ Baltinglass 0-8 Rathnew 0-6: John Paul Kelly was the top scorer for Baltinglass yesterday as they bridged a 13-year gap to their last Wicklow title.
After trailing by 0-4 to 0-1 at half-time, Rathnew's Nicky Mernagh, Leighton Glynn and Tommy Gill (free) brought them level after 35 minutes. But Rathnew could not get their nose in front and when the teams were level, 0-6 each, with 10 minutes to go they missed vital scoring chances as Trevor Doyle, Gill and Richard Dignam all shot wide.
Baltinglass gained the upperhand as Rathnew began to tire. Into the last five minutes Henry Sinnott popped over the lead point for Baltinglass and a minute later Kelly supplied the insurance point from a free.
Gill did finish the ball to the net but Rathnew were whistled back by referee Declan Green for a free out to Baltinglass. The game was tight all the way through, with the Baltinglass defence, led by man-of-the-match Brian Nolan and Ciaran Foley, getting the measure of their opponents as the game progressed.
Baltinglass had to survive two early scares with goalkeeper Ken Quirke having to come off his line twice to prevent Gill landing early goals for Rathnew. Ken Quirke was forced to foul Gill, thus conceding the opening point to Doyle. The second time Quirk forced Gill to push his shot wide.
Baltinglass's Kelly fired over three of their four points, two from frees, to give them a 0-4 to 0-1 lead at the break.
BALTINGLASS: K Quirke; B Whelan, A Nolan, B Nolan; P Fleming, C Foley, A Nolan; B Fleming, T Murphy; JP Kelly (0-4, three frees), S O'Brien, J McGrath (0-1, free); H Sinnott (0-1), C Walshe (0-1), T Cullen. Subs: P Burke (0-1)for S O'Brien, S Wall for B. Fleming.
RATHNEW: P Dignam; A Clarke, D Power, S Canavan; B Mernagh, S Byrne, S Doherty; J Stafford, D Byrne; A Mernagh, T Doyle (0-1, free), R Dignam (0-1); N Mernagh (0-1), T Gill (0-2, one free), L Glynn (0-1). Subs: C. Murphy for S. Canavan.
Referee: Declan Greene(Kilcoole).