Siney the star man as Blessington reach final
GAELIC GAMES MINOR FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP SEMI-FINAL
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
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.