All square in Minor County Final

13 October, 2013

The Bray Emmets Minor Footballers took on St. Patrick’s Wicklow in the County Final on Sunday, 13th October in Aughrim and as predicted, the game was a closely fought encounter between two excellent sides with nothing to separate them at the final whistle.
Playing with the breeze, Daire Henderson opened the Bray account with a fine point before Marc Lennon danced his way through the Pats defence only to see his beautifully placed shot whistle past the post. St. Pat’s responded with an equalising point and then struck for a goal but Cathal McGee steadied the ship with his first point of the afternoon. Emmets were creating chances but frustratingly, weren’t getting the break of the ball in front of goal. Despite this, a late surge saw Marc Lennon, Dylan Terry and Daire Henderson add to the tally and at half-time, Emmets led 0-5 to 1-1.
The second half began with St. Pats dominating the game and unsurprisingly, this was reflected on the scoreboard as they added three unanswered points to lead by two. Ben Mac Cormaic and Marc Lennon linked up well on the left flank to reduce the arrears before the sides exchanged frees, Bray’s courtesy of the boot of Cathal McGee. The tit-for-tat continued when Gavin Dowling blasted over after St. Pat’s had worked a good score at the other end. Looking for the equaliser, Emmets began to exert real pressure on the Wicklow defence and cometh the hour, cometh the man as Dunni O’Midheach, who covered every blade of grass in Aughrim, kicked the levelling score. In a breathless and frantic finish, Bray desperately sought the winner and laid siege to the St. Pats goal but they just could not find an opening. And in a truly dramatic finale, a wonder save by Padraig Doyle right at the death kept Bray in the tie before the resulting 45 sailed wide much to the relief of Paddy Moynihan and the rest of the Emmets sideline. The final whistle blew with the game ending in a draw: Bray Emmets 0-9 St. Patrick’s Wicklow 1-6.
Best for Bray were Shane Lohan and Seanie Maloney in defence, Ishe Mnensa, Matt Thompson and Eoin Mac Cormaic dominated the middle while Daire Henderson, Dunni O Midheach and Marc Lennon were the standout performers up front. In a game as close as this, it is often small things that decide the outcome. And for me, watching a passage of play in the first half says so much about this panel of players. Dylan Terry bravely blocked a St. Pats shot at goal and in the process, received a cut to his head. Dan Cody replaced him as a blood substitute, won a ball and set up a badly needed point. He then rejoined the substitutes as Dylan returned to the field of play. His selfless cameo was small but vital and shows that from 1 to 28, this group play as a team.
So, the two sides get to do it all over again, not that anyone watching such exciting football will complain! It is expected that the replay will be played before the Senior Football Final on Saturday, 26th October but that is yet to be confirmed.
Emmet Bhré: Padraig Doyle, Sean O’Connor, Shane Lohan, Seanie Maloney, Dylan Terry, Ishe Mnensa, Peter Conroy, Matt Thompson, Eoin Mac Cormaic, Daire Henderson, Dunni O’Mideach, Ben Mac Cormaic, Cathal McGee, Gavin Dowling, Marc Lennon. Substitutes: Patrick Cunningham, Dan Cody, Ciaran Barnes, Paul Moran, Hugh Armstrong, Shane Anders, Ryan Ashworth, Conor O’Doherty, Ciaran Browne, Jack Doyle Rennix.
Management: Paddy Moynihan, Paul Barry, Matt Thompson Snr.