Late, Late Goal Sinks Season!

24 Oct 2013

The semi final of the intermediate league promotion play off saw the Joes hosting the Brides on a perfect floodlit evening for football. The two teams were very familiar with each other, having clashed twice already in the year, with Joes winning comprehensively in the league clash at the same venue, but the Brides winning a thrilling championship semi final clash. The prize on offer on this evening was a meeting with the Marys in the next round.


The Joes were playing into the road end and a stiff breeze that was coming from main entrance corner in the first half. The home team got off to a good start with two short range Alan Mc Kenna frees being followed by the first from play coming off the boot of Tomas Smyth, in an opening five minutes that was all Joes. The next five minutes went to the Brides though, as Kevin Kirk hit two good long range points from play with Ross Keogh levelling matters from the kickout of the second one. Conal Devine then put them into the lead in the 13th minute. The Joes response was a good one, working the ball from the right corner back position to the right corner forward position, before Conall Smyth levelled matters. Points from Paddy Reilly and Niall Mackin put the Brides into a two point lead, before Alan Mc Kenna fed Tomas Smyth to hit a point back for the Joes. There was an immediate reply from Kevin Hearty to stretch the visitors lead out to two again with the guts of ten minutes left in the half. The play had been even enough between the sides until this stage, with the Brides holding the advantage from being more economical in front of goal. However the remainder of the half would be the worst period of the game, with both sides guilty of poor play and missed chances. Just when it looked like the Brides would go in leading at the break, the Joes got a goal on the stroke of 30 minutes. Daire Smyth played a high ball into Robert Sansom, who flicked it to Derek Mulligan, with the corner forward sticking it to the corner of the Brides net.
Half Time Score: St Josephs 1-5, St Brides 0-7


The second half would be nip and tuck, with never anymore than two points between the sides at any time and scores being level on no less than five occasions, a lot of talk on the sideline was about the possibility of extra time. With only a minute gone in the period Conal Devin hit the opener of the half and had the sides back level again. A minute later Eamonn Neary had to pull off a brave save from Ross Keogh, before good defensive pressure saw the Brides come away from the move without even a point. From this the Joes got back into their stride with Alan Quigley driving along the sideline and fisting over before Tomas Smyth hit his third point of the game to open a two point lead again. This did not last long though as the game swung back in the Brides favour, Kevin Kirk was at the end of a good Brides move to hit his goal shot in off the inside of the post. The Joes rallied again, Mark Neary hit a point, before good fielding from Alan Mc Kenna built the platform for a good Derek Mulligan point. A free from Paddy Reilly and a point from play for the unmarked wing back Padraig Marry had the Brides back in front again, before Peter Mulligan levelled matters mid way through the half.


The Brides dominated the next five minutes and were eventually rewarded with another Reilly free being driven over. The Joes levelled again minutes later, when a direct ball from Alan Mc Kenna into Robert Sansom, saw the full forward turn and strike over. Alan Lynch worked hard to earn a free upfront in the 25th minute, which was duly despatched by Conal O Hanlon and when Mc Kenna hit a long range free with just a minute of normal time remaining the Joes were in that most precarious of two point leads with time running out! And so the scene was set for the killer blow, a minute and a half into injury time a nothing ball into the Joes defence from the left wing evaded all the backs and bounced up to Kevin Hearty outside the small parallelogram, he palmed it into the net to the joy of the Knockbridge support and the agony of the home team and supporters. In the remaining minute of play the Joes did not come close to fashioning the chance that could earn them a levelling score and so ultimately, as was the case in the championship, the Brides ran out close, but deserving winners.
Full Time Score: St Josephs 1-13, St Brides 2-11


St Josephs: Eamonn Neary, Philip Kinahan, Ben Mulligan, David Mernagh, Conal O Hanlon 0-1, Alan Lynch, Mark Neary 0-1, Peter Mulligan 0-1, Alan Mc Kenna 0-3, Tomas Smyth 0-3, Conall Smyth 0-1, Daire Smyth, Alan Quigley 0-1, Robert Sansom 0-1, Derek Mulligan 1-1.
Substitutions: Shane Mc Quillan for Mark Neary, David Reilly for Conall Smyth


St Brides: Darren Breen, Cillian Kirk, Conor Deane, Paul Prendergast, Niall Mackin 0-1, David Kettle, Padraig Marry 0-1, Paddy Reilly 0-3, Shane Kerrigan, Kevin Kirk 1-2, Kevin Hearty 1-1, Joseph Hanna, Ross Keogh 0-1, Aaron Hoey, Conal Devin 0-2.


Referee: Stephen Johnston

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