Blessington win built on Curtis brace
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.