O'Leary double launches Brendan's voyage to final
St Brendan's 3-7
St Patrick's 0-10
All-Ireland Colleges SFC A
THREE expertly-taken goals proved the difference for a dominant St Brendan's, Killarney side in a lacklustre All-Ireland Colleges semi-final clash at Nenagh yesterday.
Their Navan opponents battled hard but were never able to peg back the Kerry side who made full use of first-half wind advantage to establish a 2-5 to 0-3 half-time lead, with Chris O'Leary shooting their two goals including one from the penalty spot.
With the aid of the stiff breeze, the Munster champions, with Kerry star Paul Galvin on coaching duty, gradually imposed their will on St Pat's early on with O'Leary, Brendan Falvey and Padraig Lucey grabbing good scores.
O'Leary's penalty then came on 17 minutes after Conor Finnegan was adjudged to have fouled the elusive Bryan O'Shea.
Further misery was heaped upon Colm O'Rourke's side with Jeff O'Donoghue extending St Brendan's advantage before O'Leary again found the net, flicking a deft Shaun Keane handpass past the despairing arms of Ciaran Flynn in the 21st minute.
The closing stages of the half saw Pat's battle to manufacture some scoring opportunities but they were shut down time and time again by a resolute Brendan's defence.
Pat's were again rocked early in the second half when corner-forward Jeff O'Donoghue netted with aplomb but instead of heralding another purple patch for the Munster champions, it led to a concerted fightback from their opponents.
Seven points without reply, the majority coming from the left boot of Shane Gillespie, cut the deficit to just four points with eight minutes remaining but it was the closest the Navan school were to get to the 'Sem'.
The 52nd-minute introduction of David Sullivan steadied Brendan's with the nippy forward firing over two points to copperfasten a deserved victory before St Pat's were reduced to 14 men deep in injury-time after Shane Barry was straight red-carded for kicking out in frustration at Jeff O'Donoghue.
Scorers -- St. Brendan's: C O'Leary 2-2 (2 '45; 1-0 pen), J O'Donoghue 1-1, D Sullivan 0-2 (1f), P Lucey and B Falvey 0-1 each.
St Patrick's: S Gillespie 0-5 (4f), S Barry 0-4f, F McEntee 0-1.
St Brendan's -- D Gleeson; E O'Sullivan, S McCarthy, C Davies; C Fitzgerald, C Tobin, D O'Leary; P Lucey, G O'Leary; T Moriarty, B Falvey, C O'Leary (capt); B O'Shea, S Keane, J O' Donoghue.
Subs: D Sullivan for Falvey (52), S Coppinger for Fitzgerald (58).
St Patrick's -- C Flynn; C Wickham, C Finnegan, C McConnell; N Groome, D Maguire, L Burke; C Sheridan, C Noonan; P Fox, S Barry, A Ford; F Ross, S Gillespie, F McEntee. Subs: C Fitzsimons for Groome (40).
Ref -- M Condon (Waterford).