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Oct 16

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Colin Folan gives St Jude’s Hell

1sts Promo Semi Final v St Judes 15102017 (2)Sun 15 Oct 2017 – For the third consecutive year, The St Brendan’s 1st XV, Sponsored by the Best Western Skylon Hotel, found themselves in the AFL6 promotion play-off semi-finals. In 2015, The Dark Force, as Number 1 seeds, came unstuck against Fingallians. Last year, as Number 4 seeds, the team pushed Skerries Harps to extra time, only to lose in the 2nd period to a Skerries team who, not only went on to win the AFL6 Promotion play-off final, but also this year, won the AFL5 title outright.

This year St Brendan’s went into the play-offs as Number 2 seeds with a home tie against St Jude’s, victors when the two sides met in an early league game last March. It was the away side that got the opening score after 58 seconds after winning the throw-in and not allowing any St Brendan’s player to get a touch on the ball.

Phil Bannon won the mark from a St Jude’s kick out, but the referee penalised Bannon and awarded a hop ball! Bannon won this and passed to Eoin Kavanagh, who found John Burns. The Burns shot fell short but James McGee was on hand to palm the ball over the bar and level the game after 3 minutes.

Karl Feehan won the Jude’s kick-out and played a good ball to John Dolan whose shot sailed over the bar. Derek Brady intercepted a Jude’s attack, went on a 60 meter solo-run and was fouled 30 meters from the goal, but John Burns free-in sailed inches wide. Moments later James McGee was also fouled when in a good position, but the Burns free-in hit the upright and was collected by Kyle McLoughlin whose shot hit the knee of a Jude’s defender and was cleared.

That clearance went as far as Lorcan Bannon who then got fouled and at the third time of asking, Burns was successful in converting his free. The next Jude’s kick-out was too short and a hopball ensued. Despite Jude’s getting a fist on the ball it only went as far as James McGee, but his first time shot went wide.

Scoring chances were few and far between during the first half. Jude’s had a free-in which was punched clear by Mark Redican. A St Jude’s player got black carded for a high tackle on Lorcan Bannon.

A short St Jude’s kick-out was stolen by Karl Feehan and played to Derek Brady who found Burns for the score. 0-04 to 0-01. Burns had another chance for a free-in after a foul on Luke McDonagh but played it to Colin Folan and The Stamullen Hellraiser took his point extremely well which was the last kick of the first half.

 

Half Time Score: St Brendans 0-05 to 0-01 St Judes

 

St Brendans started bright in the second half with a point from Lorcan Bannon, in an all-Bannon move which started with Gerard bring fouled and Phil passing to Lorcan. The other Bannon brother, Hugh, also got in on the act by winning the next Jude’s kick-out and passed to Folan. Folan found John Dolan who drew the foul and sensibly placed the ball on the ground for Burns to strike, and the Longford Leader duly did to make it 0-07 to 0-01.

13 minutes to go and the score was still 0-07 to 0-01 when Luke McDonagh was given a black card for a late tackle and John Tuffy took his place. Oisin Carley came up from corner back to collect a pass from John Dolan but his shot went wide.

St Jude’s won a free-in and took it quickly but straight to Phil Bannon, who moved it forward to Colin Folan. Folan went on a solo-run and played the ball to Carley who passed to Phil Bannon who he seen from the corner of his eye and cool as you like, Phil slotted the ball into the back of the net to seal the deal for St Brendan’s to wild celebrations on the side-line.

A quick kick-out was snapped up by Ronan Bergin, but he was deemed to have picked the ball off the ground with his shot was going wide anyway. St Jude’s finally registered their second point of the morning, 54 minutes after their first.

Brendans finished the game strongly with Kyle McLoughlin hitting a wonderful point to make it 1-08 to 0-02. 28 of the 30 players on the field were inside the St Brendan’s half, only the Jude’s goalkeeper and Ronan Bergin were the exception, Eoin Kavanagh won a turn-over and played a quick ball into Bergin who was forced towards the side-line. Support came in the shape of Derek Brady who received Bergin’s pass and took the shot himself to shoot over the bar.

Seconds later the final whistle blew and St Brendan’s can look forward to one more game in the 2017 season, a play-off final against St Vincent’s who shocked #1 seeds Lucan Sarsfields by one point in the other semi-final. The good news for the Dark Force is that the Final will be in Longmeadows.

 

Final Score: St Brendan’s 1-09 to 0-02 St Jude’s

 

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