Wednesday 13 December 2017

Andrews seals it for shaky Brigid's


DUBLIN champions St Brigid's won't stop the music as long as they keep hearing the siren song of beckoning provincial championship glory and yesterday the Blanchardstown boys were in tune for a deserved quarter-final victory over Horeswood of Wexford.

Mind you, there were a few discordant notes for the Brigid's faithful among the crowd of over 1,500 assembled at Parnell Park on a lovely bright day that was ideal for football.

The Dubliners, showing no signs of fatigue in their seventh game in eight weeks, had the range and the vision to power over eight points in the first half.

They came courtesy of marksman Philly Ryan, who scored four in the first 30 minutes, plus two by Ken Kilmurray, and one each by Mark Cahill (free) and Cian Mullins.

That was the good news. The bad news, from Brigid's point of view, was that the Wexford side plundered three goals and two points to go into half-time having turned a three-point deficit at one stage into a three-point lead on a scoreline of 3-2 to 0-8.

Goal number one came in the fourth minute, when Horeswood corner-forward Declan Murphy cut inside defender Sean Murray to hit the net after good combination play by David Shannon and PJ Banville.

Full-forward David Shannon grabbed the second goal when put clear by Banville in the 22nd minute to put the sides level at 2-2 to 0-8. And Banville, the Wexford county stalwart who defied all expectations by managing to play despite suffering an ankle ligament injury a few weeks ago, got the third Horeswood goal in first-half injury-time.

St Brigid's goalkeeper Shane Supple made a rare mistake in added-time when he dropped the ball after it seemed to be safely in his grasp from a high shot pumped in by David Shannon.


Three points down after so much good work in the first half, and it was time for a rethink by Brigid's.

Dublin star Barry Cahill commented: "The first half was very disappointing, particularly from a defensive point of view. We outscored them numbers-wise in the first half but the three goals were real killers.

"At half-time we had a chat and tried to change a few things around and I think the subs that came in for the second half did very well. We were able to push on in the second half and get the win."

Horeswood, who hadn't played competitive football for five weeks, set out their stall to stay in touch with Brigid's for as long as possible, and then hope that fatigue would catch up with their opponents.

Player-manager Derek O'Reilly, who came on as a sub with 10 minutes to go, admitted they got it half-right. "We were hoping that Brigid's would tire after their six games in six weeks," he said. "That was something we were depending on.

"I thought with 20 minutes to go we were in a great position but Brigid's were able to lift it again. They're a great team. I didn't think they'd be able to do that after six weeks. They just drove on and had a big score by the end of the game."

Central to Brigid's powerful second-half display was the performance of half-forward John O'Loughlin, who drove repeatedly forward with the ball in the first 15 minutes of that half.

Paddy Andrews came into his own in terms of linking with O'Loughlin and the Brigid's danger men Kilmurray and Ryan.

In that third quarter, Brigid's notched up seven points compared to Horeswood's two, bringing the Dubliners a three-point lead on a 0-16 to 3-4 scoreline.

Horeswood were game to the end, but were three points in arrears (0-18 to 3-6) when Andrews struck the killer blow in the 56th minute.

The opening came from another Brigid's raid deep into Horeswood territory by Ryan, who raced down the left wing.

Ryan fired over a high, hard ball aimed at Andrews, who beautifully jumped across his marker, knocked it clear with one hand, then collected possession and lashed it in for a goal. Game over.

Perhaps it might have been different if Horeswood's Declan Murphy had scored in the opening minutes of the second half, but his goal-bound shot was superbly blocked by Brigid's defender Martin Cahill.

Over the hour, though, the better team won and now Brigid's have two weeks before they face Portlaoise in the semi-final, also at Parnell Park.

Scorers -- St Brigid's: P Ryan 0-6, P Andrews 1-3, K Kilmurray 0-4, K Darcy 0-2, C Mullins, M Cahill (f), L McCarthy ('45'), O McCann, B Cahill 0-1 each. Horeswood: D Shannon 1-7 (0-4f); D Murphy 1-0; P J Banville 1-0; C Deely 0-1.

St Brigid's -- S Supple; A Daly, Martin Cahill, G Norton; C Freeman, S Murray, G Kane; B Cahill, C Mullins; J O'Loughlin, P Andrews, Mark Cahill; K Kilmurray, K Darcy, P Ryan. Subs: D Plunkett for S Murray (39), L McCarthy for Mullins (41), O McCann for Mark Cahill (50), C Doyle for C Freeman (52).

Horeswood -- S O'Hanlon; Darren O'Reilly, J Hearn, D Larkin; E Shiely, L O'Brien, B Hearn; T Howlin, P Murphy; N Collins, C Deely, S Collins; D Murphy, David Shannon, PJ Banville. Subs: M O'Hanlon for P Murphy (40), Darren Shannon for Darren O'Reilly (43), D Hart for E Shiely (46), Derek O'Reilly for D Larkin (50), J Wall for D Murphy (58).

Ref -- D Brazil (Offaly)

Irish Independent

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