Siney the star man as Bless­ing­ton reach fi­nal

GAELIC GAMES MI­NOR FOOT­BALL CHAM­PI­ONSHIP SEMI-FI­NAL

Bray People - - Sport - Mark KENNEDY

Bless­ing­ton 3- 9, Luke O’Tooles 2-4: Bray’s Dean Siney turned in a ma­jes­tic per­for­mance for his team in the Mi­nor foot­ball cham­pi­onship semi-fi­nal at Aughrim on Satur­day as he guided them to an eight point victory over Luke O’Tooles.

Both of th­ese teams were big, strong phys­i­cal sides bristling with a lot of foot­ball tal­ent but still this game only ex­ploded to life on the change over af­ter a tame first-half that pro­duced very few scores.

Even be­fore the off Luke O’Toole’s were very an­gry that three of their play­ers were in­volved in a cru­cial, com­pet­i­tive In­ter­me­di­ate cham­pi­onship game on the evening be­fore this im­por­tant Mi­nor semi-fi­nal - their pleas to have one or other game put back fell on deaf ears - and they would ap­pear to have some jus­ti­fi­ca­tion to their com­plaint.

Con­ver­sion rate from the play that ebbed and flowed from end to end in the first-half was rather poor and the half-time score­line which showed Bless­ing­ton lead­ing by dou­ble scores, 0-4 to 0-2, was not a great re­turn on the ef­fort ex­pended by both teams.

Into the last ten min­utes of the half Luke O’Toole’s mid­fielder Brian Walsh cracked a scorch­ing shot against the wood­work but that at­tempt at a goal apart the open­ing 30 min­utes was very much the Dean Siney show as he scored the three open­ing points for Bless­ing­ton and was the tar­get man for most of their at­tacks.

Just af­ter the restart Luke O’Toole’s keeper Luke Bren­nan made a splen­did fin­ger-tip save from Siney, putting the ball out for a fruit­less ‘45.

Luke O’Toole’s cen­tre-back Robert Lam­bert, one of their in­flu­en­tial play­ers along with Brian Walsh, Stephen Dil­lon and Ian McDon­ald, Eoin O’Lough­lin, took off on a sear­ing solo run but his fin­ish was not on a par, putting the ball wide.

Paul McLough­lin was hav­ing a tow­er­ing game at full-back for Bless­ing­ton and his flanker Niall Keogh was also very much in the lime­light with his timely in­ter­cep­tions and re­liev­ing clear­ances.

Dean Siney swapped places with his tow­er­ing cen­tre-for­ward Alan Kelly and marked the change with his fourth point for the blues and whites. In the next four min­utes Paul and Shane O’Ke­effe re­sponded for Luke O’Tooles with points and the game was still in the melt­ing pot af­ter 42 min­utes with the Bless­ing­ton lead down to a point, 0-5 to 0-4 at that stage.

But all that soon changed as Dean Siney found the Luke O’Toole’s twice in the next ten min­utes.

His first goal on 45 min­utes was a splen­did ef­fort as he cut in from the right be­fore slid­ing his shot to the net off the far post, while his sec­ond goal on 54 min­utes was teed up with a pass from his wing-for­ward Troy Fran­cis who was red carded min­utes later.

Fur­ther points by Ed­die Boylan (2) and Alan Kelly put Bless­ing­ton into a vir­tu­ally unas­sail­able lead of 2-8 to 0-4, notwith­stand­ing the fact that Oisin Doyle coun­tered al­most im­me­di­ately with an an­swer­ing goal for Luke O’Toole’s, who con­tin­ued to bat­tle on against the odds. Siney com­pleted his hat­trick min­utes later when he punched to the net, while Ian McDon­ald un­der­pinned Luke O’Toole stout re­sis­tance when he blasted a late penalty shot to the net in the last minute of the match, leav­ing Bless­ing­ton clear win­ners by 3-9 to 2-4.

Scor­ers for Bless­ing­ton were: Dean Siney (3-4), Ed­die Boylan (0-3), Alan Kelly (0-1), Robert Pen­der (0-1).

Luke O’Tooles scor­ers: Ian McDon­ald (1-1), Oisin Doyle (10), Shane O’Ke­effe (0-2), Willy

Doyle (0-1).

Brian Walsh of Luke O’Toole’s tries to shield the ball from Bless­ing­ton's Seán Byrne.

Bless­ing­ton's Paul McLough­lin keeps a close watch on Wil­lie Dil­lon of Luke O'Toole's.

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