Andy stars as

Wicklow People - - SPORT -

at Joule Park, Aughrim ST PA­TRICK’S 2-10 KIL­TE­GAN 1-07

THE big news be­fore this Se­nior hurl­ing championship clash was that Andy O’ Brien’s 12-week suspension fol­low­ing his red card against Gle­nealy had been over­turned by the Wick­low GAA Hear­ings Com­mit­tee on Fri­day evening, leav­ing him free to line out against Kil­te­gan the fol­low­ing day.

Some­what omi­nously, O’Brien was heav­ily in­volved in the open­ing ex­changes, a real fo­cal point for his sides at­tack. How­ever, the game opened with an Andy O’Brien free which came back off the post be­fore be­ing cleared, and the county star struck a fur­ther two wides be­fore open­ing his ac­count with a mid-range free.

While the im­pos­ing full-for­ward saw a lot of pos­ses­sion in the open­ing stages of the game, one would have been for­given for won­der­ing whether the late over­turn­ing of his suspension had af­fected his prepa­ra­tions for this clash.

These doubts would be laid to rest be­fore the end of the half in em­phatic fashion. The open­ing score of the game came on the back of a spurned op­por­tu­nity from Kil­te­gan, and this would prove to be a reg­u­lar theme in the first half.

With a shot drop­ping short for Kil­te­gan, St. Pat’s broke quickly and Christy Moore­house found space on the left flank to open the scor­ing.

The sides ex­changed scores be­fore the first goal op­por­tu­nity pre­sented it­self. The in­dus­tri­ous Kevin Byrne chased down and won a loose ball on the right wing be­fore mak­ing a bee­line for goal un­der heavy pres­sure from his marker.

Just as Byrne had looked to cre­ate enough space for him­self to pull the trig­ger play was called back for the fouls he had en­dured. From the close range free, Seanie Ger­maine wasn’t con­tent to set­tle for a point but saw his at­tempt to raise a green flag saved for a 65 which the cor­ner-for­ward duly con­verted.

Kevin Byrne’s rugged play­ing style reaped its re­wards shortly af­ter­wards when some good work off the ball re­sulted in him dis­pos­sess­ing Pat’s goal­keeper Eoghan O’Ma­hony who was left with lit­tle op­tion but to haul Byrne down in or­der to stop a sure goal.

Up stepped Jef­frey Ber­ming­ham but his ef­fort was tame and O’Ma­hony was more than ca­pa­ble of pulling off the save. This was a bit­ter blow for Kil­te­gan. Prior to the penalty miss, Kil­te­gan had an­other three ef­forts on goal saved and this lack of con­vic­tion in front of goal would prove costly when all was said and done.

One man with no lack of com­po­sure in front of goal was Andy O’Brien, the county star find­ing the net on two oc­ca­sions in the first half.

His sec­ond goal in par­tic­u­lar was an ex­cep­tional ef­fort. Pluck­ing a high, di­ag­o­nal ball out of the sky at the edge of the square, O’Brien twisted and swung across his body in one quick move­ment, find­ing the cor­ner of the net with the most clin­i­cal of fin­ishes.

Kil­te­gan should have been much closer but they went in at the break seven points down.

In the sec­ond pe­riod, Kil­te­gan moved Padraig O’Toole into the full-for­ward line and this switch threat­ened to spark a come­back when O’Toole beat his man be­fore shoot­ing across goal into the net.

In the end, it was too lit­tle too late as St. Pat’s al­ways did enough to main­tain their lead.

Kil­te­gan will rue their penalty miss in the first half on top of their fail­ure to con­vert sev­eral other goal op­por­tu­ni­ties.

St. Pat’s were clin­i­cal in at­tack and brave in de­fence, with Michael Con­nors in par­tic­u­lar putting in some sen­sa­tional blocks in the clos­ing stages as Kil­te­gan pushed on des­per­ately in search of a sec­ond goal.

Scor­ers – St Pa­trick’s: Andy O’ Brien 2-06(0-04f), Christy Moore- house 0-01, Ge­orge O’ Brien 0-01, James O’ Brien 0-01, Ge­orge O’ Con­nor 0-01.

Kil­te­gan: Padraig O’ Toole 1-00, Seanie Ger­maine 0-04(0-02f, 0-01 65), Kevin Byrne 0-01, Jef­frey Ber­ming­ham 0-01, Aaron Byrne 0-01.

St. Pa­trick’s: Eoghan O’Ma­hony; To­mas Ke­hoe, John Con­nors, Ge­orge O’Brien; Michael Con­nors, Gerry Con­nors, Dale Quinn; Ge­orge O’Brien, Ed­die Kelly; Christy Moore­house, Shane Doyle, John O’Brien; Ge­orge O’Con­nor, Andy O’Brien, James O’Brien.

Kil­te­gan: Luke Byrne; Eoin O’Neill, Bryan Kear­ney, Colm O’Con­nor; Mikey Man­gan, Ro­nan Byrne, Dan Kear­ney; Rory Finn, Padraig Byrne; Padraig O’Toole, Jef­frey Ber­ming­ham, Cathal Fitzger­ald; Seanie Ger­maine, Kevin Byrne, Aaron Byrne. Subs: Ciaran Doyle, Christy O’Toole, John O’Ke­effe, Mark Mur­phy, Stephen Coogan.

Ref­eree: Jimmy Kelly COUNTY cham­pi­ons Bray Em­mets took an­other step to­wards clinch­ing one of the semi-fi­nals berths in the Dacia Se­nior hurl­ing Championship when they made the short trip to Grey­stones to face Avon­dale on Sun­day morn­ing last.

Fol­low­ing their only de­feat so far, to arch ri­vals Gle­nealy, the three-in-a-row cham­pi­ons bounced back to de­feat Kil­te­gan in the last round and on this oc­ca­sion the north Wick­low side proved to strong for a weak Avon­dale side in what was an ex­cel­lent per­for­mance de­spite be­ing so many short play­ers from last year’s win­ning side which must have pleased their new man­ager, Tip­per­ary na­tive Tommy Car­roll and his se­lec­tors.

Bray Em­mets en­tered the con­test firm favourites while Em­met Suil­l­van’s side were aim­ing to col­lect their first points in what has be­ing a dis­ap­point­ing cam­paign for the Rath­drum men.

The end re­sult saw Bray Em­mets go through the mo­tions be­fore emerg­ing vic­to­ri­ous with a 19-point win­ning mar­gin.

Bray cen­tre-half for­ward Padraig Doyle opened the scor­ing with a point from play af­ter five min­utes and the win­ners con­tin­ued to keep the pres­sure on with Diar­muid Mater­son falling short with a 65 and Cian O’Byrne lash­ing the break­ing ball side but the Bray at­tacker made up for that miss when he landed a point af­ter seven min­utes.

With the mid­field pair­ing of Enda Forde and Diar­muid Mater­son con­trol­ling the mid­dle third the men from the banks of the Dar­gle pushed fur­ther ahead with county play­ers Padraig Doyle and top scorer Master­son adding a point each be­fore Ray Nolan replied with a point from a free to leave Bray ahead by 0-04 to 0-01 at the end of the first quar­ter.

The win­ners con­tin­ued to dom­i­nate in most sec­tors but were un­able to break down a

Kil­te­gan’s Padraig O’Toole and St Pat’s Ge­orge O’Brien com­pete for the ball dur­ing the SHC in Joule Park, Aughrim. Pic­ture: Garry O’Neill

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