Aughrim bat­tle back for draw

Bless­ing­ton are reeled in

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - SPORT - ERIC MELIA at Round­wood


AUGHRIM bat­tled back bravely af­ter a hor­ren­dous start to earn a draw against Bless­ing­ton in Round­wood last Satur­day evening.

With both sides in the mix for the knock­out stages this game was go­ing to have a big bear­ing on who would nick that third spot be­hind Val­ley­mount and Shil­le­lagh/Cool­boy.

It was Bless­ing­ton who started brightly with five points on the board in the open­ing seven min­utes the pick of which came from mid­fielder Eoin Hig­gins who got on the end of a pa­tient move to clip over.

Conor Phe­lan stopped the rot for Aughrim with a well worked score af­ter An­drew Holt and Rob Lam­bert had com­bined to set the at­tacker into space.

Bless­ing­ton re­sponded em­phat­i­cally when mid­fielder David Be­han’s at­tempt at a point lobbed keeper Cil­lian Done­gan and dropped into the goal. Kevin Healy added a free to stretch the lead to eight points af­ter 13 min­utes . It was at this stage that Aughrim de­cided to wake up. Firstly they en­gi­neered a penalty when Richie Kee­gan was ad­judged to have been pushed in the back. Lam­bert struck to the keep­ers right send­ing keeper Kian Ger­aghty the wrong way.

Kee­gan added a free to re­duce the gap. How­ever the west­ern­ers re­sponded again with their run­ning game open­ing up the Aughrim de­fence and Eoin Hig­gins drilling a rasp­ing low drive past Done­gan.

Points were ex­changed be­fore Blesso struck for a third goal on 26 min­utes. Healy gath­ered the ball 25 yards out he showed skill be­fore sell­ing the de­fender a beau­ti­ful dummy and fir­ing to the net.

Once more Aughrim showed fight Kee­gan pointed be­fore the cor­ner for­ward set sub­sti­tute Rory O’Brien in on goal and he made no mis­take as he fired past Ger­aghty . Sean Mescall pointed the last score of the half to leave Bless­ing­ton with a five point cush­ion at the in­ter­val.

On the re­sump­tion Bless­ing­ton seemed to be keep­ing Aughrim at arms length with the first eight points evenly traded.

Seemed ev­ery time Aughrim closed gap they gave Healy an easy free to re­store the Blesso ad­van­tage.

How­ever the clos­ing 15 min­utes they took over. Points from Conor Lam­bert, O’Brien, Conor Phe­lan and Pat Phe­lan had the gap down to one.

Ethan Cot­ter landed a bomb for Bless­ing­ton his third of the day to stem the Aughrim tide.

An­other Phe­lan free closed it again be­fore Healy replied for Bless­ing­ton in the 56th minute.

With a two point deficit Aughrim showed com­po­sure with time run­ning out. Phe­lan landed a 50 and then as the game en­tered in­jury time sub­sti­tute Pat Ka­vanagh brought the men from the gran­ite city level for the first time in the con­test. They had one chance to win it when a dif­fi­cult long range free from Phe­lan drifted just wide.

Bless­ing­ton af­ter their start will be dis­ap­pointed not to win it but re­lieved not to lose by the end. Ethan Cot­ter and Eoin Hig­gins were their best per­form­ers.

Aughrim will won­der where they were for the open­ing 15 min­utes by the fin­ish they were in the as­cen­dancy. Conor Phe­lan and An­drew Holt were very good for them how­ever man of match was Rob Lam­bert who won a tremen­dous amount of ball around the mid­dle of the field and he more than most seem to stem the early Bless­ing­ton on­slaught.

This result prob­a­bly helps Bless­ing­ton more as if both sides end up level that first game ham­mer­ing Aughrim suf­fered against Val­ley­mount will prob­a­bly come back to haunt them.

Scor­ers - Bless­ing­ton: Kevin Healy 1-4, Eoin Hig­gins 1-2, David Be­han 1-1, Sean Mescall 0-3, Ethan Cot­ter 0-3, Michael Nu­gent 0-1

Aughrim: Conor Phe­lan 0-7, Rory O’Brien 1-1, Richard Kee­gan 0-4, Robert Lam­bert 1-0) Conor Lam­bert 0-3, Pat Phe­lan 0-1, Pat Ka­vanagh 0-1

BLESS­ING­TON: Kian Ger­aghty; Bradley Foster, Con­all O’Gall­chob­hair, Brian Bo­han; Ciaran Mescall, James Kearns, Craig Maguire; David Be­han, Eoin Hig­gins; Danielius Sarkauskas, Michael Nu­gent, Fio­nan Leahy; Kevin Quinn, Ethan Cot­ter, Sean Mescall. Subs: Eoin Howlin, Christy Walsh, Ed­die Boy­lan.

AUGHRIM: Cil­lian Done­gan; Paul Lacey, Eoin Forsyth, John An­nes­ley; Alan Cot­ton, Ja­son Doyle, Conor Phe­lan; Michael Bren­nan, Pat Phe­lan; Adam Rochford, Pierce Lawlor, Rob Lam­bert; Richard Kee­gan, An­drew Holt, Conor Lam­bert. Subs: Wil­lie Ka­vanagh, Rory O’Brien, Pat Ka­vanagh.

REF­EREE: Trevor Cul­bert (Rath­new)

Bless­ing­ton ca­p­atain James Kearns tries to shake off Aughrim’s Peter Quigley.

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