Saints march on

Bray People - - Bray Sport - Daniel GOR­MAN

St. Peter’s Bhoys 2, Shil­le­lagh United 0: Premier Shield hold­ers St. Peter’s Bhoys hopes of re­tain­ing their crown got a step closer on Sun­day when they over­came the chal­lenge of a stern Shil­le­lagh United side.

The hosts con­trolled most of the game but lacked the clin­i­cal edge up front, tak­ing the lead through an un­for­tu­nate own goal in the 16th minute be­fore they fi­nally sealed victory when Tony Har­ris found the net in the 89th minute.

It was the win­ners who carved out the first chance of the match, when Har­ris beat two men be­fore fir­ing straight at Ciaran Byrne in the Shil­le­lagh net.

Seven min­utes later they took the lead af­ter a mo­ment to for­get for United’s young de­fender An­thony Austin.

A long ball for­ward from Peter’s seemed harm­less as it bounced to­wards Shil­le­lagh’s penalty area but a lack of com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween Byrne, who had come out to claim the ball, and Austin, who tried to head the ball back to his ‘keeper without check­ing his where­abouts, led to Austin nod­ding the ball past Byrne and into the net.

Four min­utes later the hosts were at it again when Har­ris flicked a long-throw into Thomas Tobin’s path but the mid­fielder’s ef­fort was dis­ap­point­ing.

Mid­way through the first half though Shil­le­lagh fought back when Dar­ren Ka­vanagh poked the ball through for the ex­tremely danger­ous Paddy Byrne, whose fe­ro­cious ef­fort was blocked away by David O’Neill.

Into the sec­ond half then and the vis­i­tors had Paddy Byrne to thank for keep­ing the score at 1-0 when he cleared off the line be­fore the fol­low up header went inches wide with Ciarán Byrne beaten.

On the hour mark sub­sti­tute Jeff Kelly spurned a good chance for the Bray side af­ter be­ing through, drag­ging his shot wide of the tar­get.

A minute later Kelly touched a left-wing cross into the path of Justin Kelly, but the mid­fielder’s low ef­fort was saved.

In the 84th minute United had what was prob­a­bly their best chance of the game, in­clud­ing a big penalty shout.

Paddy O’Brien, who had caused Peter’s prob­lems all day, burst into the penalty area and man­aged to stay on his feet de­spite be­ing caught by a de­fender, be­fore O’Neill came out to smother his weak ef­fort. It wouldn’t have been a sur­prise to see the ref­eree point to the spot.

Then Peter’s fi­nally made the re­sult safe with a minute of nor­mal time left on the clock, Tobin played an inch-per­fect pass into Des Kelly’s path and the winger found Har­ris, who forced the ball in much to his and his side’s re­lief.

Man of the Match: Thomas Tobin (St. Peter’s Bhoys): Put him­self about re­ally well and got stuck in.

St. Peter’s Bhoys, who made it through to the Premier Shield semi-fi­nal.

Shil­le­lagh United, who lost out to St. Peter’s.

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