Aughrim battle back for draw
Blessington are reeled in
BLESSINGTON 3-14 AUGHRIM 2-17
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.