Sport Gaelic Football

Friday 24 November 2017

Dolan shows vintage class to deny plucky Pearses

St Brigid's 2-8 Padraig Pearses 0-9


Frankie Dolan rolled back the years with a man-of-the-match performance to confirm St Brigid's as the undisputed kingpins of Roscommon football.

The former county star kicked 2-4 as last year's beaten All-Ireland semi-finalists edged out rank outsiders Padraig Pearses in Kiltoom.

It was St Brigid's second three-in-a-row since 2005, but the overwhelming favourites were pushed all the way by a determined Pearses team who refused to throw in the towel.

It took a Dolan goal in the fourth minute of injury-time to seal the deal as a late rally by Pearses threatened to cause a huge upset.

It was a forgettable game overall, with Dolan's class in front of goal, alongside the steady influence of Karol Mannion, the only highlights.

Padraig Pearses opened the scoring inside the opening minute when Niall Daly, operating at full-forward, pointed on the turn.

Dolan equalised from a free in the eighth minute, before Ian Kilbride took advantage of a short '45' to bisect the posts.

A foul on Niall Carty resulted in a free for Aaron Feehily, before quickfire points from Senan Kilbride (a free) and Dolan pushed St Brigid's 0-4 to 0-2 clear after 18 minutes.

The defining score of the opening half arrived when a last-ditch tackle by Darragh Donnelly denied Shane Carty, who was bearing down on goal.

Brigid's worked the ball downfield, and a precise pass from Damien Kelleher found Ronan Stack. He fed the supporting Dolan, who finished expertly to the net.

Pearses were furious that they hadn't been awarded a penalty for the block on Carty, but Brigid's speed of thought to work the ball to the other end of the field produced the game's best score.

Emmet Kelly responded with a free in the 30th minute, but Pearses still trailed by four points at the break, 1-4 to 0-3.

The second half was no better than the first as the disjointed nature of proceedings led to frustration. The introduction of Sean Fahy sparked a Pearses revival and his four points in a 10-minute spell reduced Brigid's lead to just three with two minutes remaining.

However, Dolan proved to be the match-winner as he goaled deep into injury-time to confirm Brigid's as champions.

SCORERS -- St Brigid's: F Dolan (1f) 2-4, S Kilbride (1f) 0-2, I Kilbride, K Mannion 0-1 each. Padraig Pearses: S Fahy (3f) 0-4, A Feehily (2f), E Kelly (1f, 1 '45) 0-2 each, N Daly 0-1.

ST BRIGID'S -- C Sheehy; R Stack, N Grehan, J Murray; P Domican, D Donnelly, I Kilbride; K Mannion, G Dolan; G Cunniffe, R Blaine, D Kelleher; S Kilbride, C McHugh, F Dolan. Subs: C Sheehy for McHugh (h-t), D Dolan for Kelleher (43), G Aherne for G Dolan (48), P Kelly for Blaine (56), D Sheehy for I Kilbride (60)

PADRAIG PEARSES -- D Donnellan; S Dolan, P Kelly, D Murray; C Daly, E Barrett, R Daly; A Feehily, N Carty; E Kelly, D Duffy, S Carty; J Whyte, N Daly, P Corbett. Subs: S Fahy for S Carty (45), D Grehan for Whyte (45), M Donoghue for Feehily (51), D Whyte for R Daly (60).

REF -- P Neilan.

Irish Independent

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