Classy Coen point saves St. Pat’s day

Bray People - - SPORT - MICK HA­GAN At Dun­bur Park

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

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