COUNTY HURLER Andy O'Brien scored all 2-10 for Saint Patrick's in their Senior hurling championship quarter-final at Arklow on Saturday and still ended up on the losing team.
Bray Emmets were the ones who deservedly advanced to a semi-final meeting with league champions Carnew this coming weekend as they were the sharper and more focused side in this match.
The Saints just did not have the speed and alertness to match the fleet-footed Bray players who were winning all the important duels throughout the field.
And while Andy O'Brien's phenomenal scoring kept Saint Patrick's in contention right to the end, his contribution was still largely confined to freetaking, with all 2-10 coming from placed balls, including the two goals.
Mikey Lee got the Bray show on the road after four minutes with the opening point from a free and Bray went four points clear in the first 10 minutes as Christy Moorehouse chipped in with a fine brace and Dara Lohan posted a single.
Even at that stage the difference in class and fitness was becoming evident with Bray winning most of the battles all over the field.
Andy O'Brien struck two early wides before his radar honed in on the target with a point from a free after 12 minutes and thereafter he gave an exhibition of free-taking.
By the 28th minute Andy O'Brien had clocked up six points for the Saints and they had narrowed the margin to one. O'Brien also picked up a yellow card from outside referee Padraig Byrne, Kilanerin, who was brought in to police the match.
In the 29th minute Bray's Liam Kenny pounced when two Saint Patrick's defenders fluffed attempts to pick and clear and the burly full-forward drilled to the net to put his side 1-7 to 0-6 in front. And when Dara Lohan added a point, it looked as if St. Patrick's were about to be overrun. Andy O'Brien came to the rescue. St. Patrick's won a 20meter free and Andy blasted to the net despite the Bray goal line being packed with players and now there were just two between the sides at the break, 1-8 to 1-6.
Eoin Mason had a huge game for Bray at midfield, were Bray had the upperhand throughout with the assistance of John Henderson. Paul Cunningham was shinning at centre-forward and looked to be a better hurler than footballer.
Mikey Lee was as always their main scoring forward and Arran Murphy showed some excellent stick-work, particularly when he scored his first point.
Bray's defence were also on top with Andy O'Brien the only Wicklow forward posing a serious threat and that came from frees. Full-back Gerry Connors was a towering figure for St. Patrick's in defence. Mikey Lee and Andy O'Brien continued their shootout from frees in the third quarter and after 42 minutes Bray were still clinging to a one score lead, 1-11 to 1-8, despite being the better team.
Minutes later Bray's inside backs conceded a penalty and Andy O'Brien decided to have another 'go'. The sides were level 1-11 to 2-8 after 46 minutes. Briefly one wondered if St. Patrick's were going to pull off a win despite their short comings.
Mikey Lee put Bray back into a two points lead, but Andy O'Brien leveled again from frees. Yellow cards mounted as a result of some wild pulling.
But in the closing minutes the hurling cream came back to the top. Arran Murphy drilled to the net from a ball fired across the face of the goal by Mikey Lee. Lee converted a free and Christy Moorehouse chipped in with his third point to complete the five point victory.
County star Andy O'Brien scored all 2-10 for St. Patrick's from frees. Scorers for Bray Emmets were: Mikey Lee (0-8), Arran Murphy (1-1), Liam Kenny (1-0), Christy Moorehouse (0-3), Dara Lohan (0-2), Mikey Browne (0-1).