It’s very rare that both St Brendan’s football teams play the same opposition on the same day. Indeed, the last occurrence this happened was in 2018, when St Brendan’s played St Finian’s Newcastle away in the Junior 1 Club and Junior 5 All County Championship (in the first year of the new Championship format).
On Sunday April 2nd, Both Men's Football teams were scheduled to play O’Dwyers of Balbriggan, with the 1sts away at 11am, and the 2nds at home at 3pm. Unfortunately, this was not going to happen today, because last Tuesday, it was announced that the 1sts game was brought forward from 11am to 10.30am and that the 2nds game was moved from Sunday Afternoon to Monday evening. However, the 1sts game was called off, indeed all 8 AFL5 games on Sunday were called off, leaving the 2nds match in Grangegorman, the only match to report on.
The game threw in at 6.50pm and the away side got the opening two points. Alan ‘Mack Hansen’ Pierce, using a coffee cup as a kicking tee, saw this third kick out of the evening caught by The Ballaghaderreen Bypass Andy Moran, then a pass to Brian Hobbins and finally onto Joe Kenny to beat three defenders to kick the ball over the bar and the first score for The Darkest Force.
The young legs of O’Dwyers showed and had scored two goals and a point by 15 minutes before St Brendan’s notched up the second point thanks to Moran after the Wexican Oisin Carley won Alan ‘Mack Hansen’ Pierce’s kick out, again using the coffee cup tee, and a final pass from Brian Hobbins to allow The Ballaghaderreen Bypass to score.
Indeed, that became a brace with the third point coming from Brendan Brogan in a move which started with a top-class Pierce save, that Colm Reape from yesterday’s League Final, would have been proud to produce. Eoghan Mc Cauley provided the clearance which lead to the Brogan score.
Following O’Dwyers third goal, drastic measures were introduced, and Niall Dwyer come into the field replacing McCauley, who wasn’t really at fault for the third goal. Dwyers Impact was instant and won Pierce’s kick out and Joe Kenny was dragged back when 25 meters out, up stepped Ferdia Donohue with the free in to make it 3-2 to 0-4.
O’Dwyers hit a fourth goal, much to John Tuffy’s annoyance who unleashed his inner Ciaran Fitzgerald from 1985 shouting “Where’s your f****** pride”. In all fairness, St Brendan’s did show some pride and Donohue hit his second point from a free in. Joe Kenny had his jersey tugged which lead to an advantage, which was not needed because Ferdia Donohoe scored to complete his hat trick of points.
Shortly before half time, St Brendan’s task was made more difficult when the referee sent off Niall Dwyer, for an attempted strike. Tuffy would however, be satisfied by the pride shown by his side when Malachi Doyle won a free in to allow Donohoe to notch his fourth point and St Brendan’s 7th, which was the last action of the first half.
The Happy Days Coffee Van Half Time Score: St Brendan’s 0-7 O’Dwyers 4-4.
The Balbriggan men hit the ground running with a point 10 seconds into the second half. David Ryan rolled back the years by hitting a points after 5 minutes following good work from Patrick ‘The Romford Pele’ Oster, Malachi Doyle and Brian Hobbins.
A shot from O’Dwyer’s hit the upright and cleared by Michael Bruen, the moved continued and a shot by Brian Hobbins hit the top of the upright and collected by Brendan Brogan and The Shoeman did a ‘John Dolan Special’ by skimming the end line and fisting over the bar.
The big Offaly man Joe Kenny hit a long distance shot for point number 10. The Wexican Oisin Carley won the kick out and did the donkey work himself to get on the scoresheet to make it 4-7 to 0-11 and despite the deficit, St Brendan's had a chance of getting something out of the game.
Indeed, St Brendan’s did get the goal they craved when substitute Diarmuid Condron found David Ryan, who then found Kenny and finally Brendan Brogan and his low shot hit the net to make it 4-9 to 1-11, Pride restored.
Alas, that was short lived when O’Dwyers awoke from their mid second half slumber to beat Alan Pierce for goal. Pierce, did produce another Colm Reape esque save however O’Dwyers did get the ball in the net, or so they thought, but the referee ruled out the goal for a square ball.
In the end, its a second consecutive 10 point defeat for The Darkest Force who now have a Friday evening road trip to Lusk to look forward to on April 21st and a meeting with Round Towers Lusk.
Final Score from Grangegorman St Brendan's 1-11 O’Dwyers 5-9