Bray Emmets complete the double at expense of battling Blessington
Bray Emmets 2-6, Blessington 1-6: Bray Emmets completed the big minor double when they beat Blessington in the football final in the curtain raiser at Aughrim.
This was a great battle, rather than a great football match Two teams busting at the seems with talented players simple cancelled one another out – little room for fancy football or frills.
This game was won and lost in the first quarter. The Bray side hit the ground running and Paul Cunningham had pointed two frees inside three minutes – the first he won himself while the second came after a great run through the centre by Jordan Egan.
The Blessington star Dean Siney opened their account with a point in the fifth minute but that was to prove their only score in the first 20 minutes.
David Haughton had the first goal of the match in the tenth minute after a movement started by Caillean Murphy and carried on by Paul Cunning who drew the cover before parting to his centre forward. Paul Cunningham was through again for another goal himself after a move started by a great block down by midfielder Aco Keating three minutes later
Haughton and Cunningham added points to leave the Bray side leading by 2-4 to 0-1 at the end of the first quarter - Gearoid O Murchu having a hand in both scores.
Amazingly Bray failed to score again for a full 45 minutes.
In the 20th minute Blessington put together their best move of the match and when Eddie Boylan was brought down with the goal at his mercy Alan Kelly converted the Penalty.
Siney added another point from a free to leave the half time score Bray Emmets 2-4, Blessington 1-2.
With the wind behind them in the second half Blessington were still well in the game.
Eddie Boylan had a point in the first minute and added another one from a free six minutes later.
The Blessington defence, with Paul McLoughlin and Ronan Doyle prominent were now coming to terms with Cunningham, Haughton and Co but the scores were painful- ly slow in coming at the other end.
In fact if the Blessington defence were doing well at one end the Bray rearguard were doing even better at the other. Conor Power, the captain had moved to the centre with Adam Benson moving to the wing. Seán Byrne was doing a great job of marking on the danger man Dean Siney while Eoghan Wogan and Aaron Murphy were also cutting out the danger at an early stage.
Boylan added his third point in the 47th minute and big midfielder Curtis Gereghty added another to leave only a point between the sides and still ten minutes to go.
Manager PJ Cunningham must have sweated blood during that ten minutes.
Blessington had every chance of closing the gap, or even taking the lead as Paul McLoughlin, Niall Keogh and Eoghan Cripps continue continued to thwart the Emmets forwards. Geraghty and Troy Francis were winning a lot of ball at midfield
And the Bray defence was under a lot of pressure. This was also forcing the Bray forwards like Paul Cunningham and John Breslin to forage much further out.
The ‘Blues’ finally ran out of puff; big Bray full forward John Breslin finally broke through for their first point of the half on the stroke of the hour and Paul Cunningham pointed a free three minutes into injury time to seal a good victory.
A great victory for the Bray boys and a most satisfactory day for their manager. In the hurling final a few weeks ago P.J had plotted the downfall of the favourites Carnew to take that cup. He had done it again and knocked out the holders to complete the double.
Blessington worked hard but in the end they were bitterly disappointed. They had no real cause for complaint however. The only forward to score from play on the day was the impressive Eddie Boylan and that’d just good enough in a final.
Centre forward David Haughton was voted man of the match and was presented with the Johnny Price Memorial Cup but he had little to spare over top scorer Paul Cunningham or powerful midfielder Jordan Egan
The Cup was presented to the captain, Conor Power, by Pat Mitchell of Bord na nOg.
The Bray Emmets team celebrate their victory in the final.
Bray Emmet’s captain Conor Power receives the cup from Pat Mitchell, Bord na nÓg.
Jordan Egan of Bray Emmets has his effort blocked by Blessington’s Dean Mulvey.