After watching the 1st XV secure a Quarter-Final berth in the Junior 1 Club Championship, John Tuffy travelled to The Downs in Ballyfermot to see if the St Brendan’s Football 2nd XV, in partnership with Stoneybatter Pride of Place, can follow suit in the Junior 6 South All County Championship. The opposition was Ballyfermot De La Salle, who have caused St Brendan’s a lot of trouble in the past.
With regular goalkeeper Conor Hallissey unavailable, Billy Kelly sprung a huge surprise by putting Eoin O’Connor in goal and Ferdia Donohoe at corner back. A move that heaped rich dividends later for the former.
It took 8 minutes for the opening score to be produced and that went to the home side, the lead did not last long and O’Connor’s first ever kick out found Micheal Bruen who passed to Marcus Brady and finally onto The Ballagherdereen Bypass Andy Moran for the equalizing score, 1 point each.
Brady took one step too far when shooting for a point and was penalized for over carrying, the disappointment didn’t last long though as Brady supplied the final pass to Moran who crashed the ball into the Ballyfermot net, 1-1 to 0-1. Sean Whyte won the kickout and played the ball to John Tuffy and another shot over the bar to make it 1-2. Moran converted a free close range free in to make it 1-3.
Like this morning, there was a water brake in this fixture after 15.5 minutes, both Whyte and Tuffy combined to allow Fintan Culhane to make a triumphant return to The Darkest Force, after the dreaded cruciate ligament injury, with a point.
A Ballyfermot 45 fell short to Whyte, Ferdia Donohoe was also involved and Moran again making it a personal tally of 1-3 with a point with two minutes to go, but sloppy defence allowed Ballyfermot to notch up their 4th point before the half was out.
Dave Ryan and Donohoe teamed up to allow Marcus Brady to hit a long distance shot over the bar to make it 1-6 which was the last action of the half. Half Time score St Brendan’s 1-6 Ballyfermot De La Salle 0-4.
In the second half, Andy Moran opened the second half scoring with an old school Charlie Redmond style free in, without rubbing his knicks! Another free in this time from Sean Whyte with a new school free taking style from the hands ensure a 7-point lead for St Brendan’s 1-8 to 0-4. Whyte made it a brace when judging the wind perfectly to steer the O’Neill’s Size 5 between the uprights after a foul in Michael Bruen.
The Home side pegged a point back, The Wexican Oisin Carley made it an eight-point game with a point after Diarmuid Byrne won Eoin O’Connor’s kick out. Byrne himself when struck a lovely point to make it 1-11 to 0-5 as the teams retreated to the second half swig of the magic bottle.
The Darkest Force were dealt with a double whammy afterwards. Ferdia Donohoe, who was holding his own at corner back, was given a red card for a late challenge on a Ballyfermot player when disposing of the ball, then the home side pointed the free in.
Three minutes to go and substitute Trevor Screeney pointed a good point. However, Screeney’s bid for a goal ended when the Ballyfermot goalkeeper’s kickout went straight to the Offaly Man (and Cousin of rising Offaly Hurling talent Adam), but the adrenalin got to him, and his shot went woefully wide. Billy Kelly insisted that Screeney doesn't need glasses, but laser eye surgery.
In the final minute, Billy Kelly put on Richard Hannigan and The Romford Pele Patrick Oster and it was the former who essentially ended the game as a contest after Screeney won possession from a long ball and pass to Hannigan for the goal.
John Tuffy looked an awful lot calmer at the final whistle as St Brendan’s who are now in the Quarter Finals of the Junior 6 South All County Championship and will now face St. Judes away in two weeks time.
Final Score from The Downs: St Brendan’s 2-12 Ballyfermot De La Salle 0-7.