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Arklow Geraldines-Ballymoney, who stormed to an impressive win over Bray Emmets in the Minor football championship.

Arklow Geraldines-Ballymoney, who stormed to an impressive win over Bray Emmets in the Minor football championship.

Arklow Geraldines-Ballymoney, who stormed to an impressive win over Bray Emmets in the Minor football championship.

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AGB 5-15 Bray Emmets 0-4

NOT even a first-half black card shown to the otherwise terrific Aaron O’Brien could slow AGB’s momentum as they maintained their irrepressible challenge in the Minor football championship with a 26-point drubbing of Bray Emmets.

A frighteningly effective performance, underlined by five goals split between the unstoppable trio of Jack Flusk (2), Paul Moore (2), and Sean O’Neill saw them rampage to yet another convincing win in a competition they seemed destined to win.

There were fine displays from back to front. Kyle Kelly and Joe Kindlon were ferociously dogged in defence, while Ryan Scanlon provided a stable foundation at centre-back. Aaron O’Brien, while occasionally hot-headed in the first-half, continues to demonstrate how much of a gifted, natural athlete he is.

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Brian Hurley was the best player on the park, insatiably hungry both on and off the ball and a frequent outball when Arklow flowed up the field. Paidi Kavanagh was the calm playmaker amongst the storm, while the full forward trio have to be taken as a unit given how devastating their chemistry is.

Going into the game, both Bray and Arklow had 100% records from four games, setting the stage for a titanic battle. Arklow spent the first half comprehensively disproving that idea, as an authoritative performance put the game to bed by the time that whistle blew.

They were already leading by two points to one when they had their first goal chance, but for Brian Hurley to be denied by a good save from Eoin Khan.

On 12 minutes, they looked to have been dealt a blow when Aaron O’Brien was shown a black card by referee Eddie Leonard for unsportsmanlike conduct. An ill-thought, hot-headed action from a player potentially still feeling the Florida heat from which he had returned home as recently as last week.

Despite being down to 14 players, within a minute, they had their first goal. Sean O’Neill showed his electric pace by blazing down the outside left. He cut it back to Brian Hurley, who showed great awareness to touch the ball into the path of Jack Flusk, who lashed in.

They had their second moments later. It came in more fortuitous style, with Jack Mullen’s shot for the posts blocked down, leading to the ball looping into the path of Paul Moore, who only had to fist in.

The floodgates had well and truly opened, and Arklow had no intention of closing them. Tiernan Gahan intercepted a Bray kick-out and lifted the ball over the bar, before Paul Moore got his side’s third goal of the day. This time it was Aaron O’Neill, back on following the black card, who won a Bray kick-out. It was eventually worked out to the left to Paul Moore, whose left-footed shot dropped in over the head of Eoin Khan.

If their second and third goals were somewhat fortunate, their fourth was a stroke of sheer class. After Ryan Scanlon won the ball back in Bray’s half, he promptly moved possession on to Paidi Kavanagh. Without missing a beat, he helped it on to the marauding Sean O’Neill.

Once he was in full sprint, nobody was able to stop him. He charged in on Eoin Khan and when the goalkeeper came out to meet him, the silky forward deftly and mercilessly lobbed him to give his side their fourth goal.

When the half-time whistle blew, Arklow were in command and then some at 4-4 to 0-1. Bray introduced Oshin Denver at half-time but it was damage limitations. Paidi Kavanagh scored a free after Paul Moore was pulled down as he was bearing down on goal from a Jack Flusk through pass.

They were almost in for a fifth shortly thereafter, when Joe Kindlon took a quick free down his own left-hand corner. The counter-attack that followed ended with Flusk lifting the ball over the top to Moore, but for Khan to come out like a flash to clear.

The AGB counter-attacking was devastating. Ferocious In the pursuit of winning the ball back and quick and efficient in transition; all that was missing in the second-half was the finishing touch.

They continued to keep the scoreboard ticking over, though. Sean O’Neill and Jack Flusk both added to their tallies, with Paidi Kavanagh orchestrating proceedings throughout, while Bray helped their own tally through frees from Ryan Harrison.

Eventually, though, Arklow got their fifth of the day with seven minutes lef to play. Brian Hurley, in his last contribution before being substituted after a spectacular performance, sent Paul Moore down the right. He ran towards goal before trying to find Sean O’Neill with a cutback.

It didn’t find him but, when Bray failed to clear the ball, it eventually broke to Jack Flusk, who turned on a six-pence before dispatching the ball into the bottom corner.

Bray Emmets: Eoin Khan; Matthew McGovern, Tadhg Treacy, Charlie Patterson; Ross Hayde, Conall Butler, Max Delahunty; Sean Kenny, Andrew Murphy; Cillian Ryder, Robbie Murphy, Finn Redmond; Ciaran Kelly, Ryan Harrison (0-4f), Luke Doyle Subs: Oshin Denver for T. Treacy (HT), Adam Windsor for C. Ryder (35), Robert Munro for R. Murphy (51), Tristan Doherty for M. Delahunty (53).

Arklow Geraldines-Ballymoney: Adam O’Leary; Luke McGrath, Kyle Kelly, Joe Kindlon; Tiernan Gahan (0-1), Ryan Scanlon, Eabhan Kinch; Aaron O’Brien (0-1f), Fenn Wolohan; Jack Mullen, Paidi Kavanagh (0-2, 1f), Brian Hurley (0-2, 1f); Paul Moore (2-3), Jack Flusk (2-5, 3f), Sean O’Neill (1-0). Subs: Patrick Shaw (0-1) for J. Mullen (38), Conor Healy for F. Wolohan (47), Callum Dempsey for T. Gahan (50), Niall O’Donovan for R. Scanlon (50), Kyle Mills for B. Hurley (55).

Referee: Eddie Leonard (St. Patrick’s).


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