BLESSO STORM HOME!
THE Minor football league final saw Blessington and St. Patrick's make the trip to the Bray Emmets grounds on Thursday evening last.
The meeting of these sporting rivals usually bring out the best in each other but, on this occasion, it was not the case as the winners took complete control in the second half to score a 17-point victory and, in doing so, held the Wicklow town side scoreless for the entire second half, to be crowned worthy league champions for 2014.
The winners dominated the opening minutes and after both sides missed scoring chances the boys from west took control and went on to score three unanswered points, the first came from Mikey O'Connor from a free, while impressive midfielder, Martin Shannon, and wing-forward Patrick O'Connor added a point each which saw Brendan McGarr's side leading on a score of 0-03 to 0-00 after seven minutes but they should have been further ahead as the winners missed five scoring chances in a row.
At this stage the Wicklow town side upped the tempo and took the game to the pre-match favourites which resulted in Gary Duffy's side hitting two bad wides, before an Aaron Suillvan shot was saved by the Blessington goalie but the alert Conor O'Brien punched the opening goal of the game to bring the sides level on a score of 0-03 to 1-00 after 20 minutes played.
Blessington continued to look lively as they took control once more and went on to add a point each from Conor Ryan and Patrick O'Connor.
This brought a quick response from St. Pat's and after a movement involving several players, full-forward Robert Delahunt landed a perfect pass to Conor O'Brien who gave keeper, Simon Ceighton, no chance as he slotted home his side's second goal.
Once again both sets of forwards were guilty of missed chances before Jordan Nolan and Aaron Sullivan exchanged points which saw St. Patricks leading on a score of 2-02 to 0-06 at the break.
An unexpected outcome came in the second half which saw a complete collapse by St. Patrick's as the winners took complete control in every sector of the field.
And with a solid defence and a hard working midfield pairing of Martin Shannon and team captain, Daragh Ryan, giving the fast moving forwards a good supply the O'Connor brothers, Jordan Nolan, and Conor Ryan caused havoc every time they were on the ball.
Nobody would have predicted how the second half would turn out. Once Conor Ryan put over a point for the first score in the second half, the skilful Mikey O'Connor added two points from frees while his brother, Patrick O'Connor, scored his third point at this stage, there were real signs of a takeover on the way by the winners.
Blessington dominated in defence and increased their scoring rate with two points from Conor Ryan, both from play, while Mikey O'Connor showed his ability as a free taker when he scored a point from a difficult angle.
The real killer blow came when midfielder Martin Shannon soloed through the St. Patrick's defence to score a goal which gave the winners a commanding lead of 1-13 to 2-02 at the end of the third quarter.
The remainder of the game saw Blessington go through the motions of finishing the game which saw them use the wide open spaces as they kept the pressure on which resulted in Martin Shannon scoring his second goal after a move involving several players.
The management team brought on four subs during the game but it was Adam Boland who made a name for himself as he scored two late goals which left Blessington comfortable winners in good all round team performance and in doing so they have sent out a warning to all championship contenders that they will be a force in this year's campaign,
St. Patrick's, who were short a couple of their better players, will have to show a vast improvement if they are to be a force in the year ahead.
After the game Mick Hagan, Chairman of the CCC, presented the trophy to winning captain, Daragh Ryan, and in doing so congratulated Blessington on their success and wished both clubs the best of luck in the year ahead.
The Chairman had a word of praise for the Bray Emmets club for the manner in which they presented the grounds for the occasion.
Scorers - Blessington: Adam Boland 2-00; Martin Shannon 2-01; Conor Ryan 0-04; Patrick O'Connor 0-03; Mikey O'Connor 0-03, Jordan Nolan 0-02.
St. Patrick's: Conor O'Brien 2-00; Aaron O'Suillvan 0-02.