Bless­ing­ton win built on Cur­tis brace

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - SPORT - LIAM O’LOUGH­LIN

BLESS­ING­TON and Bray Em­mets served up a well con­tested and en­joy­able Se­nior Football Cham­pi­onship game at Aughrim on Sun­day morn­ing last.

The game was played in ideal con­di­tions, with lit­tle or no breeze to con­tend with.

Bray flat­tered to de­ceive in the early stages and had gone 1-2 to nil ahead by the sixth minute. Diar­muid Master­son and Niall McGraynor scored the points and cen­tre for­ward John Hen­der­son got on the end of a good pass­ing move­ment to beat Stephen Kitt be­tween the Bless­ing­ton posts for the goal.

Bray con­tin­ued to press for­ward in the next few min­utes but were off the mark with a few bad wides.

Bless­ing­ton wing for­ward Mikey O’Connor, who went on to have a big in­flu­ence on the game, got Bless­ing­ton on the score­board with a great point in the 11th minute. How­ever, it did not halt the flow of Bray Em­mets scores as mid­field­ers Diar­muid Master­son and Des Kelly had an­other two points on the board by the 13th minute.

How­ever, the game was turned on its head by Bless­ing­ton full-for­ward Cur­tis Ger­aghty by the quar­ter-hour mark. Firstly, he gained pos­ses­sion in front of goal, rounded his man and buried goal num­ber one past Tadgh Dor­nan. Then straight from the kick­out he was back to re­peat the dose.

Those two goals in the space of a minute left the scores level at 2-1 to 1-4 half-way through the half and did not seem fair to Bray Em­mets who had made all the run­ning up to that point.

It’s all about taking your chances, though, and Mikey O’Connor added in­sult to in­jury when he pointed Bless­ing­ton into the lead from a free three min­utes later.

A great sweep­ing, pass­ing move­ment started by Bless­ing­ton corner-back Barry Mur­phy ended with Mur­phy get­ting on the end of the move and putting the lakesiders two ahead.

A great point from Niall McGraynor re­duced the margin to one, but just on the close of the half-hour An­thony McLough­lin pointed a free to leave Bless­ing­ton ahead 2-4 to 1-5 at the in­ter­val.

Liam Benville was in­tro­duced by Bray Em­mets at half-time and in­tro­duced him­self to the game three min­utes int by finishing Bray Em­mets’ sec­ond goal in a man­ner which had more than an el­e­ment of good for­tune about it.

Stephen Kitt ap­peared to have a ball drop­ping in to him in the Bless­ing­ton goal un­der his safe con­trol. How­ever, he lost pos­ses­sion and Benville had the sim­plest of tasks, tap­ping home to put his side ahead.

Patrick O’Connor brought the sides level again at 2-5 each.

Bray Em­mets went ahead once more with a Des Kelly pointed free but were pulled back by an Eoin Keogh point. Kelly put them ahead again, but Cur­tis Ger­aghty pulled Bless­ing­ton back.

It was nip and tuck at this stage as both sides fought for supremacy and cen­tre back Ben Kear­ney pointed the Em­mets ahead again fol­low­ing a solo run down­field from his cen­tral de­fen­sive po­si­tion. Des Kelly added an­other point and now Bray­w­eretwo­pointsup.

But back came the men from the west and two points from Patrick O’Connor had the sides level once more.

The de­ci­sive score in de­ter­min­ing the outcome of this game came around the 20th minute of the half. Bray Em­mets goal­keeper Tadgh Dor­nan brought off a great save from a Patrick O’Connor shot for goal, but Jor­dan Nolan was on hand to lash the re­bound to the Em­mets net.

The score now stood at 3-9 to 2-9 in favour of Bless­ing­ton.

TheBray­men­foughthard­over the fi­nal ten min­utes to close the gap, but Bless­ing­ton re­sponded to their ev­ery score.

Niall McGraynor pointed a free, but Patrick O’Connor re­sponded with a Bless­ing­ton score.

McGraynor scored again, but back came Mikey O’Connor this time.

There was no fur­ther score in the two min­utes of added time and Bless­ing­ton ran out win­ners on a score of 3-11 to 2-11.

This was an en­ter­tain­ing game and no man was hap­pier with the re­sult than Stephen Kitt, the Bless­ing­ton net­min­der.

Liam Benville, Bray, finds the back of Stephen Kitt’s net.

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