St. Pat’s in con­trol

GAELIC GAMES DOO­LEY POYN­TON SE­NIOR FOOT­BALL CHAM­PI­ONSHIP

Bray People - - Sport - Peter KEOGH

St. Pa­trick’s 1-13, Bray Em­mets 1-6: St. Pa­trick’s are back in their third fi­nal in five years af­ter a good and wellde­served win over Bray Em­mets in the sec­ond game at Aughrim.

The Wick­low town side were awe­some in the early stages. They to­tally dom­i­nated the first-half and were not flat­tered to lead by 0-10 to 0-2 at half-time.

Guard­ing that sort of lead is never easy and St. Pat’s did drop their guard for a time in the sec­ond-half and did leave the door open for the Bray side to stage a come­back.

The Em­mets kicked over a few points and then got a great chance to re­ally get back in the game. A line ball from the ac­cu­rate Jonathan Kinch was bro­ken down in the square and Paddy Moyni­han made a dra­matic low dive to fist it to the net. That was in the 52nd minute and a few min­utes later Thomas Walsh blasted a block­buster off the cross­bar. Had that shot gone in the sides would have been level and any­thing could have hap­pened. But St. Pat’s were over­all much the bet­ter team on the day and went on to win with plenty in hand.

This was an­other Paul Earls show! The whiz­zkid of the 2008 cham­pi­onship was test­ing and tor­ment­ing the Bray de­fence form the start. He scored the first four points, three frees, and was the per­fect tar­get man through out.

The first point came in the third minute when goalie John Walsh was rather harshly pe­nalised for ‘ steps’ as he came out to clear; Earls kicked over an­other free a minute later and af­ter the other free-taker Jonathan Kinch had opened the Bray ac­count in the sixth minute the full-for­ward got his first point from play.

An­other point from Earls af­ter a foul on Ciarán Doyle in the 12th minute but Kinch struck again when he drove over a ‘ 45 in the 15th minute.

St. Pat’s took com­plete con­trol in the sec­ond quar­ter; Mathew Byrne landed a great point; Earls pointed an­other free – this time af­ter goalie Walsh was again pe­nalised for han­dling the ball on the ground on the 13 me­tre line af­ter a great, and very brave dive to break up a dan- ger­ous St. Pat’s at­tack.

Matthew Byrne again, mid­fielder Dar­ragh McEvoy, John Slat­tery and Dar­ragh O’Sul­li­van landed points to com­plete the first-half scor­ing - St. Pat’s 0-10, Bray Em­mets 0-2.

Some of the ur­gency had gone out of the St. Pat’s play on the restart. The Bray side, with Liam McGraynor’s pep-talk ring­ing in their ears upped their game a lit­tle; Jonathan Kinch pi­o­nted frees in the sev­enth and tenth min­utes be­fore the hard-work­ing John Slat­tery got St. Pat’s first point of the half in the 12th minute.

Dara O hAn­naidh, now op­er­at­ing at mid­field tried to rally the Em­mets with a good point in the 15th minute and Kinch added an­other from play in the 17th minute.

Earls had a point from play in the 20th minute to keep a safe looking six points be­tween the sides.

A minute later Kinch sent in a line-ball that hung invit­ingly over the goal­mouth and when it broke off a num­ber of hands cor­ner-for­ward Paddy Moyni­han dived coura­geously into the square to box to the net.

Three min­utes later the Bray men were in again and this time Thomas Walsh, now op­er­at­ing at full-for­ward, con­nected with a re­bound but his shot can­noned of the cross­bar and away to safety. It was Bray’s last chance.

St. Pat’s as good as sealed the is­sue when sub Andy Jame­son scored their only goal in the 56th minute. Fit­tingly it was Earls that got the last score of the game when he pointed in the sec­ond minute of in­jury-time.

Casey O’Brien had ev­ery rea­son to be pleased with an­other fine dis­play by his side.

He has a pow­er­ful de­fence built around two of the stars of the show Garry Jame­son and Pa­trick McWal­ter. For the first time in many moons the Wick­low town side were on top at mid­field where Garry Duffy had the game of his life with plenty of back-up from new­comer Dar­ragh McEvoy;

While Earls sim­ply had to get man of the match for his dis­play at full-for­ward he had plenty of back up. John Slat­tery, had an­other great game while the other start­ing for­wards also earned heir keep.

Was this the end of the road for one great Bray Em­mets player? On Satur­day I was looking at a photo of a Bray Em­mets team that won the Mi­nor foot­ball cham­pi­onship in 1984 and there was the same Mr. Walsh. Since that day 24 years ago his mother or his wife have washed a lot of soiled togs but ‘Wal­shie’ is still there do­ing his bit for the club.

The O hAn­naidh broth­ers, Niall Gaffney and two of the ne com­ers in the de­fence Paul Barry and Luke Ben­son did all they could to stem a tide that was flow­ing strongly against their team for most of the way. How­ever, their star had to be Jonathan Kinch, surely the most im­proved foot­baller in Wick­low this year.

Ref­eree Ciarán Kenny from Ti­na­hely was in charge of his first re­ally big game and like Ed­die Craul in the first did very well.

Dar­ragh O'Sul­li­van of St. Pat’s bursts past the chal­lenge of Bray's Mikey Browne.

Gary Jame­son of St. Pat’s shields the ball from Bray's Thomas Walsh.

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