BRAY EMMET'S 3-7
ST SYLVESTER'S 2-3
BRAY EMMET'S produced a storming second-half display when overcoming a brave St Sylvester's by in their entertaining Dublin U13 Hurling League Division 3 encounter at Old Conna on Saturday.
Most of the damage was done in a devastating spell which began 10 minutes from time as the hosts plundered three goals inside eight minutes to effectively settle this keenly-contested tie.
The visitors will rue being caught on the line after leading for the majority of the game, but the warning signs were already prominent as Emmet's produced a typically courageous spell of hurling after the turnaround.
It was of little surprise to see St Sylvester's produce the more accomplished and controlled play in the early stages, with a perfect record of six wins from six games a reflection of the talents prevalent within their ranks.
The opening score arrived in the fifth minute as Syls full-forward Liam Shalloe turned sharply before striking an unerring shot from an acute angle to raise the first white flag of the day.
There were brief signs of the interplay that had left the hosts in second spot in the table and one fine move involving the lively Rory Lambe culminated in an excellent levelling score by David Maloney.
The first goal chance arrived soon after, with only a sharp save from Liam Foley, grandson of the legendary Lar Foley, denying Bray's Joe Phelan from finding the net in the ninth minute.
The visitors appeared galvanised by that save and a wonderful pass into space from the impressive Brian Murray allowed Eoin Buckley to regain the lead for the Malahide lads with a tidy point from 30 yards.
Buckley's next contribution in the 18th minute was even more significant when his powerful shot took a slight deflection to deceive Darragh Rochford in the Bray goal to leave four points between the sides.
A series of wides undermined the dominance that Sylvester's enjoyed at this time, but the hosts finished the half strongly and a brace of fantastic points by Andrew Conway and Cian Lohan ensured Bray just trailed by 1-2 to 0-3 by half-time.
The low scoring of the half emphasised the quality of the defending on show with MacDara Ó Midheach and Lochlann Doogan impressing throughout, while Syls were well served by corner-back John Clifford and centre-back John Gleeson.
Murray and Phelan exchanged frees within seven minutes of the restart, but Sylvester's looked to have landed a decisive blow at the end of the third quarter when Anthony Cox netted to push the visitors five points clear. However, after Phelan had pointed soon after, Bray turned the game on its head with a brace of goals provided by Lambe and Ó Midheach and a 54th minute point from the tireless Ciarán McKay maintained the home momentum.
As hard as the visitors battled, there was no way back from the double strike and a clinical finish from close range by Phelan confirmed a remarkable half in Bray's fortunes.