Classy Coen point saves St. Pat’s day
BLESSINGTON made the trip across the Wicklow Mountains hoping to keep their unbeaten record intact as they faced a battle against their great sporting rivals, St. Patrick's in round three of the Campus Football League Division 1 which was played in excellent conditions at Dunbur Park on Saturday evening last.
The west Wicklow side recorded victories over county champions, Rathnew, and Kiltegan in the opening rounds, while the home side beat Carnew Emmets and, after their trip to Bray, they suffered a one point defeat.
With a number of players from both clubs involved with Harry Murphy's Wicklow squad both managers, Gail Dunne and Jimmy Callaghan, used the game to give fringe players a chance to stake a claim for places before the championship comes around.
Games between these clubs always produce free flowing football and this latest battle saw two evenly matched teams at the Wicklow Town venue show commitment from start to finish which saw St. Patrick's snatch a late equaliser when Brian Coen scored a point from a free to bring sides level on a score of 0-11 each, with a draw being a fair result.
This game was played in a sporting manner even though referee, Pat Hickey, issued several yellow cards, while Blessington substitute, Brendan McGarr, and St. Patrick's wing forward, Conor French, both received black cards in the second half.
Blessington made a impressive start when top scorer, Eddie Boylan, scored two points in the space of four minutes one from a free, before Brian Coen and Eddie Boylan exchanged a point each.
At this stage St. Patrick's upped the tempo but were guilty of missed chances both from play and frees. County player Daragh O'Sullivan pointed from play which left the visitors leading 0-03 to 0-02 at the end of the first quarter.
The men from the west changed their style of play with the long ball which caused havoc in the home defence and resulted in Curtis Geraghty and Eddie Boylan scoring a point each.
But, not for the first time during the half, the home side responded and were rewarded with a point from a Matthew Byrne free and after both sides missed chances, Eddie Boylan and attacking half back, John Crowe, exchanged points which saw Jimmy Callaghan's troops lead 0-06 to 0-05 at the break.
Jonathan Daniels increased the lead with a point after he split the defence three minutes into the second half.
With the play flowing from end to end a St. Patrick's attack brought a point from a free by dual player, Brian Coen.
A quick response from the visitors saw them surge up field and after a move involving several players, impressive centre forward, Brian Carroll, replied with a point.
At this stage Daragh O'Suillvan and Stephen Bohan both received yellow cards for an off the ball incident and were lucky not to see black.
Once again the home side upped their game which resulted in Shane Morley reducing the deficit with a point from play which left a single score between the sides, 0-08 to 0-07, 10 minutes into the second half.
County Minor, Mikie O'Connor rounded the Pat's defence then and should have scored but his shot struck the outside of the post.
And Blessington were left to rue another scoring chance when Jonathan Daniels had a bad wide and the visitors suffered a blow when Brendan McGarr was flashed a black card while St. Patrick's' Conor French also saw black.
A point from attacking wing back John Crowe brought the sides level for the first time during the game on a score of 0-08 each after 20 minutes.
Blesington then hit three points over in a row. The first saw Jonathan Daniels solo through the defence to score and the same player added another, before Brian Carroll found him inside the home defence with a goal at his mercy but Simon Alexander tipped the shot over the bar with a super save to leave the west Wicklow side leading 0-11 to 0-08 with six minutes remaining.
Gail Dunne's side showed greater hunger as they set about reducing the deficit which saw the home side land two points through Brian Coen and Daragh O'Suillvan and, one last effort deep into injury time to save day, saw Brian Coen land an equalising point to share the spoils in what was a very sporting contest.
Scorers - St. Patrick’s: Brian Coen 0-05, (3f), Daragh O'Suillvan 0-02, John Crowe 0-02, Matthew Byrne 0-01 (1f), Shane Morley 0-01.
Blessington: Eddie Boylan 0-05 (3f), Jonathan Daniels 0-03, Brian Carroll 0-02, Kyle Geraghty 0-01