AHL 1: GAME OF THE WEEK - ST. BRIGIDS V CRUMLIN 2017-07-21 16:08:00





St Brigid’s moved up to second place in the Adult Hurling League Division One table on Thursday night, following their 12-point win over Crumlin at Pearse Park.

A 26th-minute goal from substitute Aodhan McInerney helped Brigid’s to open up a two-point interval lead (1-11 to 1-9), and despite the best efforts of Peter Elliott and Shane Ryan for Crumlin, the Russell Park outfit ultimately secured their sixth league win of 2017.

After suffering narrow back-to-back defeats to Ballyboden St Enda’s and St Jude’s last month, Brigid’s bounced back in July with morale-boosting victories against All-Ireland champions Cuala and Naomh Fionnbarra.

However, Crumlin claimed a superb 2-21 to 1-12 success at the expense of Jude’s last Saturday week (July 8), and they made a positive start to their latest encounter. Midfielder Kevin Byrne opened the scoring with a point from play, and this was quickly supplemented by similar efforts courtesy of Ryan and full-forward Darren Whelan (free).

Whelan amassed a personal tally of 0-8 in Crumlin’s triumph over Jude’s, but at the opposite end of the field, Paul Winters was once again proving to be a reliable source for scores. He split the posts from a ninth-minute free on the left-wing, and even though Whelan quickly responded with another point for Crumlin, Brigid’s corner-forward Conall Burke was on target from a tricky angle.

A second score by Ryan kept the hosts three points in front, but as the half developed, Brigid’s settled into a more familiar rhythm of play. A brace of placed-ball strikes from Winters cut the gap to the bare minimum at the end of the first-quarter, and the former Dublin underage hurler also cancelled out another Whelan point with a free from deep inside his own half.

Cian O’Sullivan’s first point of the contest levelled matters, before Crumlin issued their opponents with a hammer blow on 19 minutes. The ball broke to the lively Kevin Elliott close to the Brigid’s goal, and his low drive found its way past opposition netminder Alan Nolan.

This was swiftly followed by an outstanding effort from half-back Peter Elliott, but after unanswered points by O’Sullivan and Winters (two) worked them back into contention, Brigid’s moved ahead for the very first time.

Aodhan McInerney had just entered the action instead of Michael Cussen, and when the ball broke into his path, he fired past Adam Doyle from the right-hand side. This was the boost that Brigid’s required heading towards the break, and thanks to further scores from Daire Plunkett and Brendan McInerney (in between Whelan and Lee Coleman points for Crumlin), Brigid’s brought a slender advantage into the second period.

 John O’Loughlin was added to the Brigid’s attack when the action resumed. His ball-winning ability was a huge asset for the visitors, but it was Winters who kept the scoreboard ticking away initially.

Within the opening five minutes of the second-half, Winters contributed three points from frees, as Brigid’s sought to create significant daylight between themselves and Crumlin. A sharp score by Crumlin’s Alex Quinn interrupted this scoring sequence, but a superb effort by his opposite number - inter-county star O’Sullivan - left them trailing by five points with just under 20 minutes left to play.

The hard-working O’Loughlin and Peter Elliott traded points, before Winters hit double figures with a 46th-minute free. Conor Foley and Coleman helped Crumlin to keep in touch with well-worked points, but in addition to an Eoghan Dunne contribution, Winters (two) and Plunkett extended the Brigid’s lead to eight points by the 54th-minute of the tie.

This effectively placed the outcome beyond doubt, and although they conceded two points to Crumlin replacement Adam McGreal, Brigid’s ended the game in style. O’Sullivan assumed free-taking duties from Winters when he was withdrawn late on, and enhanced his personal haul with a brace of excellent points from set-pieces.

His fourth score from open play arrived in stoppage-time, and Aodhan McInerney subsequently registered his second goal with a neat finish to the Crumlin net.

Brigid’s will now face current league leaders Na Fianna in their next scheduled league game on September 2nd, while Crumlin are aiming to bounce back away to Naomh Fionnbarra in mid-August.

Scorers - St Brigid’s: Paul Winters 0-12 (12f), Aodhan McInerney 2-0, Cian O’Sullivan 0-6 (1f, 1 ’65’), Daire Plunkett 0-2, Brendan McInerney, Conall Burke, John O’Loughlin, Eoghan Dunne 0-1 each. Crumlin: Darren Whelan 0-4 (4f), Kevin Elliott 1-0, Adam McGreal (2f), Peter Elliott, Lee Coleman, Shane Ryan 0-2 each, Kevin Byrne, Conor Foley, Alex Quinn 0-1 each.

ST BRIGID’S: Alan Nolan; Sean Brady, Niall Scanlon, Jack O’Neill; Michael Cussen, Cathal Doyle, Ciaran Dolan; Brendan McInerney, Eoghan McKeigue; Paul Winters, Daire Plunkett, Donnacha Ryan; Cian O’Sullivan, Derry Murphy, Conall Burke. Subs: Aodhan McInerney for Cussen (26), John O’Loughlin for Murphy (half-time), Eoghan Dunne for Burke (46), Conor Morris for McKeigue, Cian McCarthy for Winters (both 55).

CRUMLIN: Adam Doyle; David Maher, John Cullen, Alan Byrne; Paul Devlin, Conor Murphy, Peter Elliott; Lee Coleman, Kevin Byrne; Shane Ryan, Stephen Cullen, Conor Foley; Alex Quinn, Darren Whelan, Kevin Elliott. Subs: Craig Gough for Cullen, Adam McGreal for Whelan (both 46), Jamie Maher for Doyle (55).

Referee: Chris Mooney (St Patrick’s, Palmerstown).

St Brigids GAA Club,
Russell Park, Navan Road, Dublin 15