Gers 2-9 St.Peregrines 1-7
@ Bray Emmets GAA Club
The Foxrock Geraldine P. Morans adult team returned to Bray Emmets well tended pitches to sign off on their season where it had all started in late February with a magnificent 5 point win over St. Peregrines in the Top 4 final and in the process gaining promotion for the second successive year. This great feat was accomplished by a team collective that owed all to the selfless efforts expended by each and every one of those who togged out today and indeed all year long. Sport is littered with those whose noble efforts are recorded and who often end up empty handed, but the men of Cornelscourt have no such worry – Top 4 champions with silverware to come.
The game itself was a tense energy sapping affair, St. Peregrines opened the scoring with a point from the left that crept in by the near post after 2 minutes. Ceiteach MacStiofán was fouled a few minutes later and Donal McEnery slotted over the free, centre forward John “Seabiscuit” Doyle then swung his left foot and the ball sailed between the posts. On 11 minutes captain Dick Young ran straight through the opposition rearguard and bore down on goal, he passed the ball out to the clever running Dan Hussey who spun and finished low and hard past the helpless ‘keeper. Aido Greene got in on the action with a poachers point that left us 1-3 to 0-1 up after 21 minutes. The move of the match came then as Peregrines worked at pace from midfield along the right wing creating overlaps and the big no. 14 was left with a clear shot at goal that Neil Costello had little chance to stop. Game back on!
Aido got his second score when turning quickly and the ball snook in by the far post. The Blakestown road men had their most productive spell after this, a free by their centre forward was followed by 2 from play as they went into the lead again. A calmly pointed Doyle shot from 30+ metres out finished the first half scoring and levelled matters at 1-5 apiece.
The restart opened with a superb Hussey point after being found by a Doyle pinpoint pass. The hard running MacStiofán was constantly out in front on his man and was having his most influential game of the season, winning his ball once more he offload beautifully to Aido Greene whose shot high and right floated past the stranded ‘keeper. The Gers defence were being bombarded by long ball coming in but reacted brilliantly to whatever came their way. Craig Scollard’s penchant for turning defence into attack was a feature all along but his interceptions and graft broke his marker and there was only ever one winner in this duel. John Hynes in the other corner neutralised his man with another quality display that had Paolo Maldini in the past referred to as the new Hynsie! In between was the full-back; giving up a height, speed and strength advantage to his man, maybe even a year or two also, Eóin MacMaoilir showed how important a football brain is when playing. He shepherded his man out from goal and dispossed regularly as the big no.14 was not allowed capitalise on possession won. A point from play on 39 minutes and a free on 44 minutes was all Peregrines scored in the second half, a poor return on their possession but a glowing tribute to the Gers back unit. Evan O’Brien marshalled his troops from 6 and enjoyed a great tussle with the opposition no.11. Killian McCabe was everywhere at the rear, getting in his mandatory number of turnovers and getting stuck in where needed most. David Lavelle tidied up an amount of loose ball and was a ball of energy throughout.
MacStiofán won another free that McEnery pinged over on 52 minutes and then the Galwayman got his own score with 3 minutes to go to leave 4 between the sides…..there was no way a goal was going to be conceded! Hussey spun again to get another good point as Peregrines fought till the end but the Gers held out to win by 2-9 to 1-7.
There were plenty of tired bodies at the final whistle; Olof Gill, Dick Young, John Ahern and Donal McEnery had for the second week in a row emptied themselves for the cause. James Moffatt & Gary Bridges added fresh energy on introduction while Jim McGrath and Pee Flynn added much welcome graft. Where to from here? A well earned break for all and perhaps a celebratory cheer or two at the Magic Carpet to celebrate the feat!
John Hynes Eóin MacMaoilir Craig Scollard
David Lavelle Evan O’Brien Killian McCabe
Olof Gill Dick Young ©
Donal McEnery(0-2,0-2fs) John Doyle(0-2) John Ahern
Aido Greene(1-2) Ceiteach MacStiofán(0-1) Dan Hussey(1-2)
James Moffatt for A. Greene
Gary Bridges for D. Hussey
Jim McGrath for C. MacStiofan
Padraig Flynn for J. McGrath
Luke O’ Connor
Réiteoir: Hugh Finlay (Kilmacud Crokes)