Saints march on
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.