Homefit ACF League Div 1. [Wed 14.04.22]
St Marys 0-11 St Brigid’s 1-08.
A Share of the spoils at Pairc Na nGael as the visitors put the pressure on St Marys and they managed to hold out.
In a low scoring first half, St Brigid’s scored a goal which was a major score in the context of the game. As the teams exchanged points, three each the goal for St Brigid’s was crucial as it kept them in front for the majority of the game. The goal was scored at the end of the first half and left the half time score 0-3 to 1-3.
Second half and an improving St Marys still had to make up the three-point gap and then try to go ahead in the game. Again nip and tuck through the second half and St Marys made a push for victory when they hit four points in the last ten minutes to go in front by a point and a tense finish ensued. St Brigid’s broke downfield and won a free to convert for a point and a draw. An evenly balanced game.
On a beautiful evening in Aghagallon St Brigid’s were first on the attack and McAleer hit a point from play before Hugh Hannon swung a free over for St Marys. Both teams stuttered in the middle third and St Marys managed to get a free which Johnny Hannon converted to edge the home side in front but scores were at a premium for periods from a mixture of defensive work and poor shooting from both teams.
On 20 minutes James Smith hit a score from play after the long ball ploy was used, this was a ploy the visitors used effectively. Another free for St Marys after good inter-passing move down the left and Johnny Hannon wide left converted.
St Brigid’s responded again and Joseph Finnegan hit a point from play on 26 minutes and as the visitors used the long ball to good effect, James Smith won possession and rounded his marker and beat the keeper with a good finish, to leave the half time score 0-3 to 1-3 in favour of the visitors.
St Marys needed to keep possession better in the half-forward line as the second half got under way and they did just that and improved somewhat with ball retention a little better and Niall McShane led the way when he hit two quick fire points from play to leave the minimum between the sides.
St Marys were now playing with much more purpose and set up a great chance for a goal but Shane Russell’s well struck shot crashed off the base of the post and the visitors used the long ball again to reply with a point.
St Brigid’s were always quick to break out of defence and had the St Marys defence scrambling at times. A period of wides from both teams added to the growing tension as both sides pushed for the win.
Jack Dowling looked to have put the visitors in pole position as he broke with support and scored a point from play going into the final stages of the game and with the visitors ahead by two, Adam Loughran stepped up to hit a great long range point for the home side.
St Brigids were still very much in the ascendancy and hit two scores either side of a Johnny Hannon free for St Marys, and Jack Lenehan then pushed forward and scored a great point from out the field to close the gap to the minimum.
With St Brigid’s leading by one and St Marys still looking to attack at every opportunity it was Johnny Hannon who won a free on the 30 minute mark and from 40 yards he hit a great score amidst rising tension amongst the supporters.
St Marys needed the next ball and Davy McAlernon rose high to make a great fetch and a mark in the middle of the field. Could St Marys go ahead with time nearly up? They worked the ball, spilled the ball regained possession and it was Oisin Lenehan who went forward to hit the score from the 21 yard line.
St Marys were in front for the first time since the start of the game but St Brigid’ made one final push in added time and won possession out on the left and were awarded a free. Up stepped James Smith who duly dispatched the resulting award for the equalising point equalising point.
In the end a draw was probably fair result and an overall exciting finish to the game. Both keepers were called into action a number of times and both made excellent saves from point-blank positions to help their team earn a draw. Final score 0-11 to 1-8.
St Mary; Damian O’ Hagan, Aaron Doherty, Aidan Mulholland, Stephen Devlin, Pat Brannagan, Daryl Mc Alernon, Jack Lenehan, Oisin Lenehan, Padraig Mc Guinness, Johnny Hannon, Adam Loughran, Niall Patterson, Hugh Hannon, Niall Mc Shane, Enda Mc Cartan. Subs used; Shane Russell, Johnny Harbinson, David Mc Alernon, Michael Mc Stravick.