Fergal’s and Aughrim finishes in stalemate
St. Fergal’s 0, Aughrim Rangers 0: An entertaining scoreless draw was played out between Division 1 sides St. Fergal’s and Aughrim Rangers at Ballywaltrim Recreational Park last Sunday afternoon.
Both sides had chances to score in the match, although not many as both sets of defences came out on top.
The first moment of the game came after four minutes when a short corner from the left caught Fergal’s out and the subsequent cross found Graham Murray, who showed his eccentric hairstyle didn’t affect his heading ability, forcing Ross Hughes into a save from 12 yards.
On 15 minutes the Bray side responded with a chance of their own from a corner, with their right wing corner being flicked to Kevin Byrne whose half-volley looked goal bound until Aughrim’s David Dillon bravely blocked the effort.
On the half hour mark we came closest to seeing a goal and it was only a brave decision by referee Thomas Dowling that meant the game remained a stalemate.
Left-back Naoise Treacy sent in a superb deep cross that tempted Liam Keenan off his line. Cormac Doyle then jumped to contest with the ‘keeper and the former Presentation College Bray student won the header.
The ball then looped up high into the air and as it came down it bounced under the crossbar and perilously close to the goal-line.
Darragh O’Brien then desperately hoofed the ball off the post in an attempt to clear the ball and fortunately for the centre-half the ball deflected away from the goal rather than towards it and the Fergal’s players and fans protests were ignored.
Seven minutes before halftime Aughrim created another chance for themselves when some slack marking in the middle of the park saw a ball being played in behind the defence for Clinton Murphy, who held off his man before dragging his shot narrowly wide of the far post.
After the break the match continued in much of the same vein, with the sides playing good football but being unable to convert that into chances, and this was perfectly illustrated after Andrew McGrath’s fantastic delicate flick found Kevin Byrne but the return ball was snuffed out by great defending with six minutes gone in the second-half.
The next decent opportunity didn’t arrive until the 70th minute, and it fell to Fergal’s substitute Paul O’Brien.
A cross into the danger zone caused some panic in the Aughrim defence and after a bit of pinball, the ball landed in front of O’Brien who fired over with his right foot from 12 yards.
Four minutes later and the visitors almost took the lead in bizarre fashion.
Graham Murray chased down a lost cause as the Bray side’s goalkeeper Ross Hughes came to collect the ball but Hughes got himself into trouble and Murray really should have scored with Hughes so far out but the shot stopper managed to get back well and block the ball out for a corner.
With the minutes ticking by it seemed like the draw was going to be the outcome but there was one more twist in the tale.
A quick Aughrim counterattack saw the hard-working Graham Murray bombing down the left wing and with no defence in sight, the wide man picked out Clinton Murphy in space in the box but the striker got it all wrong, and watched the ball spin harmlessly wide.
Man of the Match: David Dixon (St. Fergal’s). Solid without being spectacular.
The Aughrim team that took on St. Fergal’s at Ballwaltrim Recreational Park in Division One.
The St. Fergal’s team that took on Aughrim at Ballwaltrim Recreational Park in Division One.