With joint leaders Boyle Celtic idle, St. Peters availed of the opportunity to move clear at the top of the Roscommon League Premier Division table by beating Kilkerrin United. First half goals from Niall Scullion and Mark Sherlock at DPD Park last Sunday afternoon saw the Saints march to victory.
It proved to be a straightforward collection of the three points by Padraig Moran’s men in spite of having to play for most of the game with ten men. New signing Chris Reid was red carded after early exchanges got out of hand somewhat during a fiery opening period.
With the wind to their back in the first half, Moran’s men had the victory sealed at the break. The visitors did have the first chance but Brian McDermott was denied by Eoin Hardiman.
Some unsavoury incidents followed ending with Reid heading off for an early shower following his dismissal by referee Martin Devlin. The game thereafter calmed down with football now the main priority.
Kilkerrin provided little challenge and never made the most of their numerical advantage. Peters quickly gained the upper hand with Mark McConnell and Gary Stephens coming close to breaking the deadlock.
The opening goal finally arrived just after the half hour mark. Daragh Concannon’s free kick from the half way line was touched on by Stephens. Team captain Scullion was quickly onto the ball and, with the United defence backing off, steered home from close range.
The Saints never looked back and all but sealed victory with a second score just before the break. Alan Coffey came close to doubling the lead but Eoin Martin made another good save to deny the Saint’s winger.
A second corner followed and, as the pressure mounted, the second goal came four minutes before the break. Ian Dempsey advanced into the away half on a good run. The pass set up Sherlock who finished neatly between the goalkeeper and his near post. Game all but over when the half time whistle sounded.
Kilkerrin never threatened the home rearguard even with their extra man. As a result, the second half was totally forgettable fare. The Saints eased to victory without ever looking likely to add to their tally.
The first chance of the half arrived just before the hour mark and fell to the visitors, but a free kick from Jason Ward was easily held by Hardiman. It was one of the few times the keeper was tested. The Saints main danger also came from set pieces as three corner kicks were forced, with McConnell heading wide from the second one.
United’s best chance came with four minutes remaining, but substitute Kevin Traynor fired over from a good opportunity. A goal might have raised interest but Kilkerrin were never in contention even for a share of the spoils.
The Saints now move onto the 26 point mark but, with just four points separating the top five, will need to keep winning to maintain their lead. Ballinasloe look to pose the greatest threat as they have two games in hand.