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Aug 28

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Luke McDonagh and The Miracle of Rolestown

1sts v Fingal Ravens 27082017 (6)Sunday 27 Aug 2017 –The Dark Force travelled to Rolestown for a meeting with Final Ravens in a match that had a 10.15am throw in to allow several players from the home side beat the traffic and head to Croke Park for the Dubs showdown with Tyrone.

For the first 95 seconds, not one Fingal Raven got a paw on the ball as Phil Bannon won the throw in and 30 odd handpasses later, Marcus Brady kicked the opening point for The Dark Force. But the home side showed their claws by beating Mark Redican for goal on their first attack. On the next attack the ball hit the frame of the goal and was collected and pointed, 1-01 to 0-01 after 8 minutes.

John Burns responded with a point from an old school free-in, off the ground following a foul on Ger Bannon. Burns himself got his arm dragged when passing to Derek Brady and due to the Ravens objections the referee moved the free closer to goal and Burns duly converted.

With St Brendan’s discipline lacking Fingal Ravens hit a brace of frees, the second of which was a result of an Eoin Kavanagh sliding tackle. There was also a third consecutive free in converted as Phil Bannon was the culprit of a needless foul.

Burns made it a three point game again with a free after Derek Brady had his arm dragged back when in a good position to score. Fingal Ravens then got a stranglehold on the game by hitting a second goal. Again Brendans responded well with a point from Karl Feehan after a pass from fellow Rossie Marcus Brady. 2-04 to 0-05.

Neil Mayock played a diagonal ball to Derek Brady who due to stretching to win the ball, lost some momentum and his low shot cross the face of the goal and wide. The home side closed out the half with a brace of points from play making St Brendan’s chances of a home play-off semi-final look remote.

 

Half Time Score: St Brendans 0-05 to 2-06 Fingal Ravens

 

Justin McCormack unleashed the Prince of Ballyhaunis, Niall Prenty in the second half who made an immediate impact by pointing a free after a Ravens player handled the ball on the ground. John Dolan made it a five point game with a well taken point after John Burns played him a short free following a foul on Marcus Brady. Mark Redican saw his kick-out go over the side line. The ball was worked in for another point for the home side 2-07 to 0-07.

Neil Mayock saw a goal shot half blocked down and cleared. Derek Brady was in a good position but was penalised for over-carrying. John Burns was fouled on the 20 meter-line and the ball was moved to the 13 for Ravens dissent, Burns drove the ball low but it was deflected over the bar for a five point game again.

Derek Brady kept attacking hoping to get a goal, but drew another foul, Up stepped Burns with the free but the shot hit the upright and back into play. Burns was the only one alert and the ball came back to him so with the citeog, he swung the ball over the bar for a four point game. 2-07 to 0-09 with 15 minutes to go.

St Brendan’s hard work was undone when Fingal Ravens hit a brace of points inside 45 seconds, the second of which came straight of a Redican kick-out. Like Kerry yesterday with Darren O’Sullivan, Fingal Ravens had an influential player black carded following a cynical foul on Oisin O’Meara, it would prove to be a turning point in the match. The Ravens goalkeeper did everything he could to distract John Burns and free went wide.

Derek Brady’s intended pass to Karl Feehan was thwarted when the formers arm was dragged. Feehan took over the free taking duties and pointed to make it a five point game again 2-09 to 0-10.

Phil Bannon won the mark from the Ravens kick-out and passed to John Burns who found Lorcan Bannon. Bannon kicked to Niall Prenty who kicked a super point to cut the deficit to four points with six to go. After another Ravens point, Derek Brady finally got the goal needed to give St Brendan’s a massive lifeline. It was a super strike from the younger of the Brady brothers following a Lorcan Bannon pass. 2-10 to 1-11.

St Brendan’s showed great resilience in the closing stages and won a turn-over. Sean Herron won the ball and passed to Karl Feehan, as Herrin continued his run towards goal. The Mayo duo of Neil Mayock and Niall Prenty both combined and it was the latter’s pass to Sligoman Herron whose shot went over the bar to put one between the sides.

In Injury time, Karl Feehan won a crucial turn-over, he found Prenty and finally onto Luke McDonagh who crashed the ball into the back of the Ravens net to conclude the most miraculous of comebacks. But there was still three minutes of injury time still to play.

Final Ravens, like Kerry yesterday, were all over the place and in desperate need to snatch a victory and managed to win a free-in which sailed wide. St Brendan’s kept attacking and John Burns had a shot that went wide.

Another Ravens free resulted after Lorcan Bannon was adjudged to have pushed his marker in the back. The free was turned-over by Eoin Kavanagh, and at the end of a passing sequence, Prenty’s shot just sailed wide. Five minutes into inury time Ravens managed peg a point back but it turned out to be the last kick of the game and St Brendan’s hung in to produce another miraculous comeback, that will certainly seal a play-off spot later in the year.

But will that play off be at home or away? Victory on September 10th against the defeated Junior B finalists, St Oliver Plunkett’s Eoghan Ruagh will guarantee a home play off spot.

 

Final Score from Rolestown, St Brendans 2-12(18) to 2-11(17) Fingal Ravens

 

1sts-v-fingal-ravens-27082017-1 1sts-v-fingal-ravens-27082017-2 1sts-v-fingal-ravens-27082017-3 1sts-v-fingal-ravens-27082017-4 1sts-v-fingal-ravens-27082017-5 1sts-v-fingal-ravens-27082017-7

 

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