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Saturday 30 August 2014

Pat's power their way into Minor A football decider

Published 02/10/2013 | 05:44

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WITH A place in the 2013 Minor football final against Bray Emmets up for grabs, St. Patrick's of Wicklow town took on the reigning champions, St. Nicholas, of Donard/Dunlavin in Roundwood on Sunday morning last.

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Pat's began the match brightly and had ace marksman Brian Doyle to thank for their two-point lead after five minutes. St. Nicholas began to come into the game with fine work from Gary Allen, Paul Murtagh and Daryl Healy mopping up the ball around the middle quarter and setting up the attack.

It was not long before this dominance began to bear fruit and points from Gary Allen, Conor Healy and Timothy Metcalf had the lads from the west into a narrow lead. St. Pat's, recognising the danger, responded quickly with Tommy Dunne, Simon Bouchier and Seán Vickers enjoying superiority and, backed up by Emmet Cullen and Seán O'Brien, they were giving nothing away easy.

Pat's regained the lead when first Brian Doyle and then Jack Dwyer landed free kicks. Doyle was having a tremendous game and could do no wrong from placed balls or from play. In reality St. Pat's were just the better team and despite the heroic efforts of William Kennedy, Eoin Murtagh and Pádraic Carmody, St. Nicholas were under too much pressure at the back.

Doyle added two more points before Paul O'Brien was pulled down on his way through to goal. Doyle stepped up and dispatched the ball to the back of the net. The cheering had barely subsided before Jack Dwyer added another point, and even at this early stage St. Pat's looked like they would cruise to victory.

Credit to the St. Nick's lads as they did not buckle, and Metcalf gave them some hope when he pointed right on the stroke of half-time to leave the scores St. Pat's 1-7, St. Nick's 0-4.

St. Nick's needed a good start to the second-half but it was St. Pat's and Simon Vickers who opened the scoring with a well-taken point. Metcalf and Gary Allen reduced the arrears to five with well-taken points but at the other end Doyle landed another two free kicks. The move of the match came in the twelfth minute of the second-half when Simon Bouchier won the ball in the middle of the field and raced forward.

Laying off and collecting the ball, he arrived on the edge of the square and sent a rocket shot to the back of the net past the despairing dive of Brendan O'Rourke who had no chance at all of saving it.

St. Pat's sensed victory and went for the jugular. From the kick-out Bouchier pounced again and sent over a lovely point before substitute James Kavanagh hit two points and Brian Doyle added another.

St. Nicholas fought hard for their survival and half-time substitute Lyall Hood gave them some hope. Metcalf and Conor Healy added two more but substitute Adam Cox kept St. Pat's going in the right direction with a super point in the 55th minute.

Seán O'Brien and Jordan Dunne got back two more for St. Nick's but the clock was against them and it was St. Pat's who finished the stronger and closed out the game with points from Jack Dwyer and Stewart Callaghan.

St. Patrick's: Ian Murphy; Martin Cullen, Emmet Cullen, Seán O'Brien; Colin Roche, Niall Donnelly, Ciáran McGettigan; Seán Vickers (0-1), Tommy Dunne; Simon Bouchier (1-1), Jack Dwyer (0-3), Terry Healy; Jordan Petticrew, Brian Doyle (1-8), Paul O'Brien. Subs. - Stewart Callaghan (0-1), Adam Cox (0-1), James Kavanagh (0-2).

St. Nicholas: Brendan O'Rourke; William Kennedy, Eoin Murtagh, Pádraic Carmody; Stephen O'Brien (0-1), Eoin Kelly, Daryl Huntley; Paul Murtagh, Gary Allen (0-2); Gerald Healy, Timothy Metcalf (0-4), Thomas Whelan; Cian O'Sullivan, Conor Healy (0-2), Darren O'Neill. Subs. - Lyall Hood (0-1), Jordan Dunne (0-1).

Referee: Declan Peppard.

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