Su­per-sub Seán hits win­ner for Bray


Bray People - - Bray Sport -

Bray Em­mets 0-11, Eire Og 1-7: Bray Em­mets had to rely on a late point from sub­sti­tute Seán Plun­kett for their victory over Eire Og in the fi­nal of the U-16 A foot­ball cham­pi­onship at Ark­low on Satur­day af­ter lead­ing their op­po­nents by eight points at half-time.

U-16 A FOOT­BALL In re­cent years th­ese two clubs have risen like cream to the top of ju­ve­nile foot­ball in the county and they did not dis­ap­point in the qual­ity of their per­for­mance in the de­cider which ex­ploded into a nail bit­ing sec­ond-half as Eire Og staged a mag­nif­i­cent re­cov­ery and rally.

A big rea­son for Bray’s dom­i­nance in the first-half and Eire Og’s come­back in the sec­ond was ex­plained by the fact that their re­spec­tive pe­ri­ods of as­cen­dancy co­in­cided with hav­ing the ad­van­tage of a strong wind.

Eire Og found them­selves on the back foot through­out most of the first-half as Bray pressed home their ad­van­tage with a truly sparkling dis­play by their bril­liant cor­ner-for­ward Chris Lyons who was the scorer of five of their eleven points.

He got best as­sis­tance from John Hen­der­son, Michael Lee, mid­fielder Aaron Mur­phy and full-back Adam O’Con­nor.

Some 20 min­utes were to elapse be­fore Eire Og opened their ac­count and then Gary Dunne had their only point of the first-half, leav­ing them trail­ing by what ap­peared like a dis­heart­en­ing 0-9 to 0-1 at the break.

How­ever, this Eire Og Grey­stones out­fit was made of sterner stuff and once they clicked into gear with a Niall Cros­bie point af­ter just three min­utes of the sec­ond-half, they kept chip­ping away at their op­po­nents lead.

Cen­tre-back Daniel Woods and mid­field­ers Seán Ry­der and Gary Dunne were lead­ing the charge, Ry­der and Gary El­liott tack­ing on fur­ther points be­fore Seán Ry­der set the game alight when he got the fi­nal touch to a goal­mouth scram­ble for the vi­tal goal, which cut the deficit to just two points, 1-4 to 0-9, at the end of the third quar­ter.

Bray Em­mets had the first of their two points of the sec­ond-half af­ter 50 min­utes, scored by mid­fielder Aaron Mur­phy, but it failed to lift the siege.

Back stormed Eire Og again, Si­mon Sweeney pointed a free but missed with other; sub­sti­tutes Rory Doyle and James Smullen got their names on the score­sheet and the teams were level (1-7 to 0-10) with just over a minute of nor­mal time left.

The odds now seemed to be favour­ing Eire Og Grey­stones, but Bray Em­mets showed nerves of steel.

In des­per­a­tion Bray launched into at­tack; good work by Chris Lyons brought the ball into a score­able po­si­tion.

His kick was blocked down but the ball spilled to sub­sti­tute Seán Plun­kett who fired over the win­ner.

Bray had sur­vived; Eire Og were gut­ted.

Af­ter the game Pat Mitchell pre­sented the tro­phy to Bray with the Peo­ple News­pa­pers man of the match award go­ing to tal­ented Chris Lyons.

Scor­ers for Bray: Chris Lyons (05); Aaron Mur­phy (0-3); Dara Maloney (0-1); John Hen­der­son (0-1); Seán Plun­kett (0-1).

Eire Og Grey­stones scor­ers: Seán Ry­der (1-1); Gary Dunne (0-1); Niall Cros­bie (0-1); Gary El­liott (0-1); Si­mon Sweeney (0-1); James Smullen (0-1), Rory Doyle (0-1).

Bray Em­mets, win­ners of Un­der-16 A foot­ball cham­pi­onship.

Bray cap­tain, Aaron Mur­phy re­ceives the cup from Michael Byrne.

Ed­die Leonard presents the Peo­ple News­pa­pers man of the match award to Chris Lyons.

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