Homefit ACFL Division 1
St Brigid’s 3-13 -St John’s 2-12
St. Brigid’s finally recorded the win that some of their recent performances have indicated they are capable of when they defeated St. John’s in a tight contest at Musgrave Park, last night.
Paul Bradley was the St. Brigid’s hero as he found the net in the first half and added another in the second to put his side in a strong position with Brian Neeson finding the net for the Johnnies but it was not enough to wrestle victory from the Musgrave Park side.
A strong third quarter paved the way for St Brigid’s to claim the points with Bradley’s second goal giving them a seven point lead with St. John’s struggling to get themselves going again but a Brian Neeson’s goal did hand them a lifeline, but they were never able to close the gap sufficiently in what turned out to be a sometimes bad tempered contest.
St. Brigid’s finished with 14 players when they had a player dismissed in the first of six minutes of injury time for an off-the-ball incident.
It had little input to the final result however with the Musgrave side much more assured in the second period with Patrick Finnegan again pulling the strings around the middle, while he was also amongst the goals on the night.
It was St. John’s however who opened the contest strongly with three early points from Pearse Donnelly – who would exit the game prior to the break with a bad injury – Simon McDonagh and a Paddy McBride free before the hosts found their feet.
St. Brigid’s replied and Conor McAleer pointed, while Reuben Carleton landed a 45 and Shay Campbell split the posts after claiming a mark.
As the rain started to fall for a short period the scores began to flow at the other end with the Johnnies quick to regain momentum and Darren Bellew curled over after James McKenna had denied Ross Hannigan’s low shot.
Andy McGowan fired over a fine point, Padraig Nugent landed another from deep and McBride pointed a free as the Johnnies appeared to be taking over but St. Brigid’s found a response in the 22nd minute as Conor McAleer intercepted a kick-out down the middle into the path of Bradley who kept his cool to blast to the corner of the net.
Joe Finnegan immediately tied the game after converting from a mark and the hosts would then hit the front for the first time on 27 minutes as a ball into Finnegan saw him lay-off to James Smith on the right and he squared across goal where Partick Finnegan rose to palm home.
The advantage would last just two minutes as Darren Bellew delivered an inch perfect pass into the path of the advancing Oisin Donnelly who fired to the roof of the net.
St John’s went on to lead at the break as a McBride free nudged them into a 1-8 to 2-4 lead and at this stage the visitors were in a strong position to push on.
It was St. Brigid’s who found another gear as the second half got under way and they began to take the game to the opposition with St John’s struggling to get going. The sides were level within seconds as Patrick Finnegan took a mark and converted, while a Conor McAleer free gave the hosts the lead and this time they would hold it until the final whistle.
Points from Bradley, McAleer and Patrick Finnegan pushed the gap out to four and then on 45 minutes, a fine move resulted in Jack Dowling putting Bradley in to finish low and make it 3-9 to 1-8.
This finally brought a response from the Corrigan Park side with Conor McEvoy pointing 16 minutes into the second period, but St Brigid’s substitute Peter Webb was quick to respond.
The lifeline St John’s badly needed came on 50 minutes as St Brigid’s had appeals for a free waved away and St John’s broke with Ross Hannigan charging forward before placing substitute Brian Neeson who fired to the net to hand his side a lifeline.
Conor McAleer replied with a point from a free, but a Paddy McBride double – one from play – left just a goal in it with minutes to play.
St. John’s went looking for the goal that could give them something from the contest but St Brigid’s held their nerve and broke up field for James Smith breaking through to point and Bradley then got his fist to a dropping Peter Webb free to make the game safe.
St John’s kept searching for a goal, but had to be content with a late Simon McDonagh point as St Brigid’s held on for a deserved win.
ST BRIGID’S: J McKenna; F McKernan, C King, D Foster; J Morgan, R Carleton (0-1 45), S Campbell (0-1 mark); F Meenagh, J Dowling; C McAleer (0-3, 2 frees), P Finnegan (1-2, 0-1 mark), P Bradley (2-2); J Smith (0-1), J Finnegan (0-1 mark), R Boyle.
Subs: P Webb (0-1) for S Campbell (44), D McLaughlin for D Foster (53).
ST JOHN’S: ER Lambert; J Bohill, C Garland, O Donnelly (1-0); J Garland, P Nugent (0-1), P Donnelly (0-1); S McDonagh (0-2), C McGlade; P McBride (0-5, 4 frees), R Hannigan, D Bellew (0-1); C McEvoy (0-1), L McCurdy, A McGowan (0-1).
Subs: A Oliver for P Donnelly (27), C Quinn for D Bellew (36), B Neeson (1-0) for A McGowan (48), C Adams for L McCurdy (48), D McKeogh for J Garland (53).
REFEREE: Paddy Tumelty (Lámh Dhearg)