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Sunday 24 September 2017

Pat's power to a big win

Bray Emmets 0-11 St Patrick's 3-10

Mick Hagan at Bray Emmets

Round three of the Arklow Bay Hotel Senior football league Division 1 saw St Patrick's make the trip to Bray on Friday evening last to face the home side.

Both clubs entered this contest anxious to get their league campaign back on track following defeats by Dunlavin and Baltinglass last time out.

With both teams under new managers it was a important that the players responded to their respective team management as they went in search of their first league points.

The end result saw a better focused Wicklow town side side emerge victorious with an eight- point winning margin and in doing so collected two vital league points.

The opening minutes saw the home side take the game to their great rivals which saw under-21 player Cathal McGee open the scoring with a point after two minutes.

After both sides missed a scoring chance each with the aid of a slight breeze it was Bray Emmets that upped the tempo and were rewarded when wing-forward Niall McGraynor was fouled as he surged forward which saw former county player Niall Gaffney land a point to give his side a two-point lead after six minutes.

Both defences were on top leaving scores hard to come by, which saw eight minutes elapse without a score with both sets of forwards off target.

The winners opened their scoring with a point from county player John Crowe which saw him split the home defence and Crowe also played his part in the next score when he sent a long delivery to full-forward Tommy Kelly who rounded his marker to score a point which saw the sides level on a score of 0-2 each midway true the first-half.

At this stage the winners upped the tempo and showed some of their ability when they produced free-flowing football which saw the home side playing second fiddle but the visitors were guilty of five wides in a row which must have left manager Casey O'Brien with something to think about.

Couty players Conor French and Dean Healy landed a point each from play which inspired the whole team to raise their game and it would be only a matter of time before scores would come.

Full-forward Tommy Kelly won possession, which resulted in a free being awarded which gave Kelly an easy task to score a point which left the winners leading 0-5 to 0-2.

A move that was started in their own defence St Patrick's continued to surge forward and following good work by John Crowe, who gave a perfect pass to Donal Fitzgerald, and he split the home defence to score the opening goal.

The play flowed from end to end which saw former county players Tommy Kelly and Niall Gaffney exchange a point each, one last effort by another county player Dean Healy saw him head towards goal which produced an excellent save by Bray keeper Stephen Carty but the rebound fell to the alert Paul O'Brien who slotted home his side's second goal to give the winners a commanding lead of 2-6 to 0-3 at the break.

After the break the play followed much the same pattern which saw both sides record two wides each before good work by Niall Gaffney and Conor McGraynor, who set up Cathal McGee for his second point from play. A quick response saw the Wicklow town side reply with a point from attacking half back John Crowe while Tommy Kelly also pointed a free following a foul on Donal Fitzgerald which saw the winners leading on a score of 2-8 to 0-4.

At this stage Bray set about reducing the deficit which saw midfielder Des Kelly score three points, one from a free, while wing forward Niall McGraynor showed his ability with a long-range point from play, while Donal Fitzgerald replied for the winners with a point from play which left St Patrick's with a commanding lead of 2-9 to 0-8 at the end of the third quarter.

Goals win games which saw St Patrick's launch another attack which was started in their own defence and following a move involving several players Paul O'Brien score his second goal which proved to be a real killer blow which left Bray Emmets with an uphill struggle

But to fair to the Bray men they never threw in the towel as they outscored their opponents three points to one.

Midfielder Des Kelly showed what a valuable member he is to the side which him add two more points to his tally while dual player Mark Lennon scored a point from a free.

One last effort from the Wicklow town side saw substitute Chris Kavanagh fist a late point to close the scoring which left St Patrick's worthy winners in a better al round team performance

The game proved to be a sporting contest which saw twelve players figure on the scoresheet.

Goals win matches and in this case it was the winners who found the net three times with killer blows to hold off the Bray challenge but a word of warning to both teams that much stiffer opposition lies ahead.

Scorers - St Patrick's: Paul O'Brien (2-0), Donal Fitzgerald (1 -1), Tommy Kelly (0-4, three frees), John Crowe (0-2), Dean Healy (0-1), Conor French (0-1), Chris Kavanagh (0-1).

Bray Emmets: Des Kelly (0-5, two frees), Cathal McGee (0-2), Niall Gaffney (0-2, one free), Niall McGraynor (0-1), Mark Lennon (0-1).

St Patrick's: Colm Byrne, Wayne Doyle, Shane Morley, Ciaran Doyle, Paudge McWalter, Dean Healy, John Crowe, Richard Murphy, Jonathan Delahunt, Simon Boucher, Paul O'Brien, Conor French, Conor O'Brien, Tommy Kelly, Donal Fitzgerald. Subs. - Jordan Petticrew for Conor O'Brien, Chris Kavanagh for Richard Murphy, Jack Kelly for Donal Fitzgerald, Hugh Humby for Paul O'Brien (black card), Lorcan Smullen for Simon Boucher.

Bray Emmets: Stephen Carty, Con Benville, Ishmae Mnensa, Philip Haughton, Donnach Mideach, Ben Mc Cormick, Aidan Reynolds, Des Kelly, Niall Gaffney, Nialll McGraynor, Cathal McGee, Simon Reynolds, David Haughton, Mark Lennon, Lee Brandon.

Referee: Robert Whelan (Kilcoole).

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