Mar 05

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A Four Star showing from James McGee

1sts v Ballymun Kickhams 03032019 (VI)Sun 03 March 2019 – Two weeks ago, the St Brendan’s Football 1st XV, commenced their 2019 AFL5 League campaign with an away tie against Ballyboden St Endas. Last year it was the Boden who emerged with a one point victory, but this year and playing in very windy conditions, St Brendan’s emerged with the two League points and a two point victory 0-08 to 0-06.
Onto the 2nd game of the season and the first home game of the season against Ballymun Kickhams, played at Grangegorman. After training for this game in lovely mild spring weather, the heavens opened in abundance and a bitter cold breeze blew throughout the game.
The Dark Force was dealt a blow 30 seconds into the game when The Notorious Ryan Egan was sent to the line with a black card, and the away side got the opening score. John Burns then hit a brace of points, the first from a free in and the second from open play after Niall Prenty made the most of a poor Ballymun kickout.
The Prince of Ballyhaunis then collected a long ball from Luke McDonagh and sent a shot goalward, but the ball dropped and found James McGee who calmly palmed the ball into the Ballymun net on what was the beginning of an unforgettable morning for the Milltown Goal King.

The score became 1-03 to 0-01 with a Burns free in from 13 yards as St Brendan’s after a Ballymun player was black carded for a pull down on Philip Kilcullen. Burns stepped up again with another close range free, with Adrian ‘The Abbey’ Murphy drawing the foul. Burns made it a hat trick of free in’s with a third free in a move that was started and ended by full back Jason Clarke.

The away side hit a brace of points from open play and Burns bid for a fourth consecutive score from a free ended when the kick from the wrong side for a left footer went wide and the last action of the first half.


Half Time Score: St Brendans 1-05 (08) to 0-03 Ballymun Kickums


The Dark Force hit the ground running in the second half, playing with the wind and not having to cope with the rain in their faces. Firstly Adrian ‘The Abbey’ Murphy hit a sweet point from 30 yards and secondly, Philip Kilcullen hit one from the other side of the pitch. A shot from Colin Folan was heading for the endline when Kilcullen played a spectacular blind back pass towards John Burns and onto James McGee whose low shot gave him his second goal of the game.


John Dolan may have retired from St Brendan’s GAA but his legacy lives on in the shape of ‘The John Dolan Special’ this time it was Burns who skimmed the endline and fisted over the bar in a move which started with a turnover ball from The Rob Kearney of Swinford, Jason Clarke. McGee got his hat trick when Frankin ‘Kepa’ O’Reilly played a great ball to Phil Bannon and onto McGee whose shot hit the butt of the post and rolled into the net. 3-08 to 0-04.
Lorcan Bannon came on to replace Niall Prenty and his first contribution was to supply the final pass to his brother Phil to pop the ball over the bar. Lorcan Bannon tried to pick up the ball off the greasy surface but managed to find James McGee who saved his best til last with a spectacular volley into the top right hand corner of the net and his fourth goal. Even Ryan Egan in the dugout got so excited that he hit his head on top of the dugout in celebration.

Following another point from the away side, Denis Galvin was brought on for James McGee who got a standing ovation from all the players in the dugout. Galvin picked up where McGee left off by notching up the next point 4-10 to 0-05.

Five minutes to go and Ballymun beat Mark Redican for goal. St Brendan’s responded when Lorcan Bannon tried to go for placement but was fouled outside the penalty area. Burns stepped up to convert the free and then won the next kick out and passed to Philip Kilcullen to raise St Brendan’s fifth green flag of the morning.

In reply, Ballymun hit a second goal in what was their best move of the game. Cormac ‘Skins’ Mullen won possession and played to Colin Folan who scored his first point of the day. Jason Clarke ensured Ballymun remained at 2-05 with another clearance to Gerard Bannon and onto Denis Galvin who despite being tackled, played a scrum half-esque pass to John Burns who finally found Luke McDonagh for a shot over the bar.

Galvin crowned off a tremendous Brendan’s performance by scoring the final point of the morning and the referee whistled up for full time. So two from two in AFL5 but now the team must wait four weeks till the next AFL5 outing with a short trip to Martin Savage Park in Ashtown and a clash against St Oliver Plunketts Eoghan Ruadh.


Final score from Grangegorman: St Brendan’s 5-15 (30) to 2-05 (11) Ballymun Kickhams



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