Fer­gal’s and Aughrim fin­ishes in stale­mate

Bray People - - Sport -

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.

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