With their first League win registered and two points gained St Brigid’s can look back on this match with quiet satisfaction. The score-line shows St Brigid’s scored 14 times to St John’s 8 scores. Last week St Gall’s had a narrow win against St John’s so we knew we were up against tough quality opposition. St John’s started the game more brightly and had two quick points on the board. However some direct free flowing football from St Brigid’s finished off by two excellent points by Matt Kelly settled St Brigid’s down.
McCrudden and Mooney were starting to dominate midfield and with Donnelly and O’Brien as the target men the scores started to come. St John’s had briefly taken the lead but 2 quick goals by Mick Malone and Chris Donnelly put St Brigid’s in a lead they were not to relinquish. St John’s were playing strong counter attacking football and their first goal brought them back within touching distance of St Brigid’s.
Two points in the lead but St Brigid’s needed to watch out. A quick ball to Donal Connolly and with a great side step on the goalie Donal blasted the ball into the back of the net. Not to be outdone back came St John’s with there own well taken goal. Two further points by Chris Donnelly and Stevie McAleer ended the first half with the score line 3-4 to 2-3 to the blue and yellows.
The Johnnies started the second half determined to get back into the game but resolute defending by Nolan and Kervick with absolutely brilliant marshalling by Matthew Edgar frustrated the opposition time and time again. When they did manage to break through Quigg in goals pulled off two top drawer saves which effectively broke the resistance of St John’s.
Some quick substitutions to replace tired limbs saw the introduction of Conal Owens, Luke McGread and David Brennan. Such is the quality of the squad that St Brigid’s level of performance continued unabated. A great solo effort by Stevie O’Brien saw the ball in the back of the net and though Tim McCrudden thought he had scored St Brigid’s 5th goal [as did we all] the ref signalled a point. But the 2nd half will be remembered for the master class in score taking by Stevie McAleer. Four points with the last one being of county level class brought roars of applause from the large crowd of 6 who attended the match.
Final score: St Brigid’s 4-10 St John’s 2-6
This was a high quality match with some superb patches of football. It is hard to pick out a man of the match. Nolan’s kick outs certainly gave St Brigid’s great stability. Edgar in defence, with such a polished performance, was ably assisted with a faultless display by Thomas McKeogh. A ‘no-nonsense’ approach by Ben Sinnott frustrated St Johnnies forwards. However the defensive performance of the night with his two wonder saves goes to David Quigg.
Midfield dominance by McCrudden and Mooney set the basis for outstanding displays by Kelly, Connolly and Malone.
However Chris Donnelly’s tenacious perseverance and timely scores edged him as Man of the Match to Stevie McAleer’s performance and his own quality point scoring display.
Well done to the Squad, 29 players turned up and the quality of the squad continues to give team picking problems (of the best sort) to the coaches. This was a very important result against top quality opposition. Well done lads.
Team: D Quigg, R Kervick (C Owens 35mins), M Edgar, P Nolan, B Sinnott, T McKeogh, C McGrady (L McGread 35mins), T McCrudden (capt.), C Mooney, M Malone (v.capt.), C Donnelly, S McAleer, S O’Brien, D Connelly, M Kelly ( D Brennan 40mins)
Subs not used: D McKeever, C Connolly, C Keenan, P McBride, A McLarnon, R O’Reilly, C McLoughlin, C Fitzpatrick, S Murton, T O’Neill, R Ward.
Scorers: M Malone 1-1, S McAleer 0-5, C Donnelly 1-1, M Kelly 0-2, S O’Brien 1-0, D Connolly 1-0, T McCrudden 0-1
Man of the Match: