Baltinglass have leapt to the top of division one of the senior football league following a clinical win away to Hollywood on Friday night.
Having gone into the half-time break with a comfortable nine-point lead, Balto put the hosts to the sword in the second through goals from John McGrath, and substitute Stephen Heaslip.
On a wet and miserable evening in West Wicklow, Baltinglass took just 90 seconds to take the lead through the boot of John McGrath, before Johnny Keogh had a shot at goal blocked down well by the Hollywood defence.
Jason Kennedy split the posts to put Baltinglass two points in front, before Robert Houlihan got Hollywood’s firt score of the game with just over five minutes on the clock.
The hosts wouldn’t score again for over 20 minutes, as Baltinglass stretched further in front. The ruthless John McGrath got two more, with goalkeeper Mark Jackson, Cian Lee, and Jason Kennedy (2) all getting on the scoresheet before Keith Peppard ended Hollywood’s scoring drought in the 25th minute, as Hollywood struggled to cope with the free-style movement between the Balto forwards.
The second-half started in the same way that the first did, with John McGrath collecting the ball wide on the right flank following more good interplay by the Baltinglass half-forwards. McGrath then struck a peach of a shot between the posts.
McGrath followed that up by turning provider, as he set-up Johnny Keogh, who then fed the ball onto Tadhg O’Toole to check past two defenders and put the ball over the bar.
Eoin Burke and Ciarán Tyrrell got Hollywood’s third and fourth scores of the game, only for those points to be the last that the hosts would manage as Baltinglass turned on the style for the final 20 minutes.
Adam McHugh carried the ball deep into Hollywood territory, before moving the ball onto Peadar Burke. Burke then sent John McGrath clean through with Jamie Tutty in the Hollywood goal, only for Tutty to prove unable to stop McGrath from getting the goal that his performance had warranted.
Four minutes after netting himself, McGrath provided the final pass for a truly stylish second Baltinglass goal.
More good inteprlay along the Balto half-forward line resulted in McGrath collectingg the ball wide on the right. He then picked his head up and played a sumptuous pass low across the Hollywood square, where substitute Stephen Heaslip was on hand to gather and dispatch the ball beyond the helpless Jamie Tutty to stretch their lead to 15 points.
Seán O’Brien came off the bench to get two late points to cap off an impressive, attractive, and clinical Baltinglass showing against an overwhelmed and outmatched Hollywood.
The win over Hollywood represents Baltinglass’ fourth in five games. They now sit top of division one, one point ahead of Tinahely, who travel to Wicklow Town to take on sixth-placed St. Pat’s on Sunday morning.
WicklowNews Player of the Match: John McGrath (Baltinglass)
Hollywood scorers: E. Burke (0-01), R. Houlihan (0-01), K. Peppard (0-01), C. Tyrrell (0-01)
Baltinglass scorers: J. McGrath (1-05), S. Heaslip (1-0), M. Jackson (0-03; 0-02F; 0-01 45′), J. Kennedy (0-03), S. O’Brien (0-02), C. Lee (0-01), T. O’Toole (0-01).