Dales drop to Keat­ing bat­tle

Bray Em­mets safe af­ter draw

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - SPORT - LIAM O’LOUGH­LIN at Pearse’s Park, Ark­low

THE first game on the two match pro­gramme at Joule Park, Aughrim on Satur­day last Septem­ber 8th was a rel­e­ga­tion bat­tle be­tween Bray Em­mets and Avon­dale.

The win­ners would be sure of their se­nior sta­tus. The losers would go into the rel­e­ga­tion bat­tle that is the Keat­ing Cup com­pe­ti­tion. A draw would bring the num­ber crunch­ers into play.

The first half was riven by mis­takes from both sides with passes go­ing astray and wrong op­tions. Bray Em­mets es­tab­lished on early dom­i­nance but Avon­dale kept plug­ging away and were never too far out of reach on the scoreboard.

Marc Len­non opened the scor­ing for Bray Em­mets with a fisted point in the first minute.

Avon­dale’s Oisin McGraynor lev­elled when he pointed two min­utes later, hav­ing re­ceived the pass from his brother Conor. Des Kelly from a free and Marc Len­non from play had the Em­mets 0-3 to 0-1 ahead.

Avon­dale were not pro­gress­ing, mak­ing too many mis­takes and giv­ing away pos­ses­sion eas­ily. When Dara Rochford scored the Bray goal af­ter eight min­utes, a five-point gap had opened up. Diar­muid Master­son added a point but Avon­dale quickly re­sponded and within two min­utes were back to two points.

Oisin McGraynor pointed a free. Fol­low­ing the Bray kick out, Conor Byrne made an in­ter­cep­tion and put Ross Ward through on goal. The wing for­ward slid the ball past the ad­vanc­ing Paul O’Ke­effe and we were back to a two-point game again.

Bray Em­mets were the dom­i­nant team for the sec­ond quar­ter and two points from Des Kelly frees, an­other from a Niall McGraynor free and one from play by Cathal McGee had the Bray men back into a com­fort­able 1-8 to 1-2 lead as the game en­tered the time added pe­riod be­fore half-time.

Then Avon­dale struck again for an­other goal. This time Ross Ward was the provider. He landed a ball from out on the left wing in on Conor McGraynor in the Bray Em­mets goal­mouth and the big man knocked it home to give his side the un­ex­pected bonus of go­ing to the break only three points down.

For Bray this was a big blow as they had seemed to be in a com­fort­able po­si­tion.

Niall McGraynor got Bray Em­mets first on the scoreboard in the sec­ond pe­riod with a pointed free af­ter four min­utes.

Avon­dale had placed Conor McGraynor at full for­ward at the be­gin­ning of the sec­ond half and it soon be­came ob­vi­ous that they were now re­vert­ing to plan ‘B’ – bet­ter known as Route 1.

Barry Shee­han launched a mighty kick from al­most 60 me­ters out which landed un­touched out­side the small square and bounced over the bar.

In the eighth minute Shee­han re­peated the dose. This time McGraynor ended up in pos­ses­sion and floated a fisted pass across the goal­mouth to the in-run­ning Jack Man­ley who scored Avon­dale’s third goal.

Scores were now level at 1-9 to3-3. Bray Em­mets stead­ied again and by 20 min­utes they had added points from Dara Rochford, Cathal McGee and a pointed free from Des Kelly.

Avon­dale con­tin­ued the aerial bom­bard­ment when­ever the op­por­tu­nity arose, but Bray were de­fend­ing well and crowd­ing the area to limit scor­ing chances.

Nonethe­less they could never re­lax and there was al­ways the po­ten­tial for dis­as­ter ev­ery time one of the Dales long range ef­forts was launched.

Avon­dale bat­tled hard in the fi­nal quar­ter to rein in the Em­mets three-point lead. Sean McGraynor re­duced the gap when he landed a long-range ef­fort in on Paul O’Ke­effe af­ter 21 min­utes.

The Bray goalie could only tip it over and two min­utes later Oisin McGraynor landed an­other lon­grange ef­fort. With six min­utes left Sean McGraynor com­pleted the come­back with an­other mighty long-range ef­fort from a free.

Both sides bat­tled for the win­ner over the next seven or eight min­utes but there was no fur­ther score and the game ended in a 1-12 to 3-6 draw. It’s now up to the num­ber crunch­ers.

Scor­ers - Avon­dale: Jack Man­ley 1-0, Conor McGraynor 1-0, Ross Ward 1-0, Oisin McGraynor 0-3, Sean McGraynor 0-2, Barry Shee­han 0-1. Bray Em­mets: Des Kelly0-4, Marc Len­non 0-2, Dara Rochford 1-1, Cathal McGee 0-2, Niall McGraynor 0-2, Diar­muid Master­son 0-1.

Avon­dale: Brian Burke; Si­mon Cullen, Shane Byrne, Shane Beever; Adam Ben­son Byrne, Eoin Baker, Padraig Geoghe­gan; Barry Shee­han; Conor Byrne, Eugene Dunne, Ross Ward; Oisin McGraynor, Jack Man­ley, Conor McGraynor, Subs: Seoirse Kearon, Donal McGraynor Liam Kin­sella.

Bray Em­mets: Paul O’Ke­effe; David Haughton, Dara Lo­han, Ciaran McKay; Ben McCor­mack, Shane Lo­han, Padraig Bell; Liam Benville, Des Kelly; Eoin McCor­mack, Marc Len­non, Diar­muid Master­son; Cathal McGee, Niall McGraynor, Dar­ragh Rochford. Subs: Mark Leni­han, Andy Con­way, Dy­lan Terry, Jonathon Kinch, Matt Thomp­son.

Ref­eree: Eugene O’Brien (Aughrim).

Mark Len­non of Bray Em­mets is chased by Avon­dale’s Barry Shee­han.

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