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Early Callanan goal key as Brigid's kill off the Craobh


A FIRST-MINUTE goal from full-forward Stephen Callanan set St Brigid's on their way to a deserved five-point victory over Craobh Chiaráin in their Evening Herald Dublin Senior Hurling Championship tie at Parnell Park last Saturday afternoon.

The Blanchardstown outfit never trailed throughout the 60 minutes and although Craobh mounted a spirited comeback in the second-half, there was never a huge concern for Brigid's, who now face St Vincent's in the quarter-finals.

After Callanan's opening salvo, Daire Plunkett stretched his side's advantage with a well-taken sixth-minute point with Chiaráin's finally opening their account through an excellent Philip Purtell score a minute later.

Laois senior footballer John O'Loughlin impressed with a busy display from centre-forward for the Russell Park outfit, creating a number of scoring chances in addition to adding two points from play while Paddy McAvinue punished Craobh ill-discipline with some crucial frees.

Dubs under-21 Robbie Mahon responded with two points for the Donnycarney men but a defensive lapse from Gary Kelly saw Brendan McEnerney flick to the net in the 26th minute to stretch the St Brigid's lead to eight points.

Typically, Craobh replied in turn when after a thrilling run down the middle by Luke Jackson, Keith Ryan was on hand to turn the sliotar to the net from close range to leave them trailing by just five points (2-8 to 1-6) at the interval.

Three points from placed balls by Alan McCrabbe inside the opening 10 minutes of the restart narrowed that gap further


But, critically, Brigid's tagged on the next two scores through Kieran Kellett and McAvinue to steady the ship.

Although Stephen McDonnell added a superb score from under the stand for Craobh, the goal needed to reignite their challenge was proving difficult to find, with Mick Cussen, Conor Kenny and Conor Ryan in form for Brigid's.

Plunkett came into his own with two glorious points while McEnerney and Kellett also split the posts as Brigid's reeled off four points in succession to put their progression beyond doubt.

A late goal from substitute Stephen Ennis led to a frantic final passage but wing-forward McEnerney put over a 62nd-minute insurance score.

SCORERS - St Brigid's: B McEnerney 1-2, P McAvinue 0-5 (4f), S Callanan 1-0, D Plunkett 0-3, J O'Loughlin, K Kellett 0-2 each, P Winters 0-1. Craobh Chiaráin: A McCrabbe 0-5 (3f, '65'), K Ryan, S Ennis 1-0 each, R Mahon 0-2, S McDonnell, P Purtell, P O'Boyle 0-1 each.

ST BRIGID'S: A Nolan; M Cussen, C Kenny, S Brady; C Ryan, A McEnerney, A O'Leary; C Doyle, D Plunkett; P McAvinue, J O'Loghlin, B McEnerney; J Winters, S Callanan, K Kellett. Subs: P Winters for J Winters (52).

CRAOBH CHIARAIN: S Chester; K Elliott, D Kelly, Damian O'Reilly; J Ryan, Derek O'Reilly, S McDonnell; A McCrabbe, G Kelly; P O'Boyle, R Mahon, P Purtell; G Ennis, L Jackson, K Ryan. Subs: F Usanga for Purtell (47), A Brophy for K Ryan (57), S Ennis for O'Boyle (57).

REF: G McGrath (Setanta).