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Arthur's double is all in vain

First we had the rain. And waterlogged pitches. Then we had the snow. And frozen pitches.

That all meant the first league match of 2010 in the Wicklow League only took place at the Woodlands last Friday (January 15)

But not even the fact that the Pat O'Toole Division 1 game was played on the all-weather pitch could see it to a conclusion.

With just under an hour played, referee Paul O'Brien summoned both managers Mick Browne (Greystones) and Pat McCabe (St. Pat's) to the centre circle and called off the fixture on health and safety grounds.

The match official - who is also Chairman of the Wicklow Branch of the Irish Soccer Referees Society - deemed it unsafe to continue in the gale-force cross-field wind and the lashing rain.

That all meant frustration for Saints striker Johnny Arthur.

The 2008/09 Division 2 player of the year went into the fixture having scored in EVERY ONE of the Avoca team's games in all competitions.

Having bagged a hat-trick in the opening day 6-1 triumph over

Greystones at Kilcashel last August, he'd netted twice in the awful conditions before the match was halted prematurely.

"I was disappointed. I though the ref could have played on" revealed the striker who'd bagged 14 goals in the previous 11 league and Cup ties for St. Pat's this season.

"It was a bit annoying. If he'd given it a few more minutes, we could have got through to the end".

The home side started with only 10 players after midfielder Sean

O'Brien arrived late and didn't enter the field of play until the 11th


It coincided with the departure of forward Jack O'Connor with a dislocated shoulder.

Arthur, who'd set up James Murray to hit the cross-bar after five minutes, broke the dead-lock in the 17th minute.

He intercepted United keeper Hugh Baker's goal-kick and hit a low left footed shot from just inside the penalty area into the far bottom corner of the net.

Stephen Aherne then hit the woodwork for United who also missed several chances to equalise before half time.

They were punished for those misses just two minutes after the restart with a near carbon copy of their opener.

From another Baker goal-kick, it went straight to Arthur who curled in from 20-yards right footed.

'Stones pulled one back in the 52nd minute when Aherne (looking well offside) latched onto Horan's through ball to slot past Chris Canavan.

"If the match had continued to the 75th minute, then the result and my goals would stand. But it will probably be replayed" said Arthur after the premature final whistle.

"I don't know if I can still keep scoring in every game. It will be hard. But I'll give it a go."

Greystones United: Hugh Baker; Stephen Massey, Colm Dee, Jamie O'Sullivan, Ronan Hanaway; Sean Horan, Oran Bambrick, Conor Daly, Gareth Catterson; Jack O'Connor, Stephen Aherne. Subs: Sean Fogarty (for O'Connor 13 minutes), Ross Lowe, Karl Holmes, Jordan Demery (all not used).

St Patrick's: Chris Canavan; Patrick Kennedy, John Harper, Wayne Kennedy, Joey Gilvarry; Niall Devereux, Chris Arthur, Gavin Wolohan, James Murray; Johnny Arthur, John Gilvarry. Subs: Stephen McCauley, Joe Long, Tommy Howlett (all not used).

Referee: Paul O'Brien.