Brigid’s lay down early marker in Johnstown
Hodson Bay Roscommon SFC Group A
St. Brigid’s 1-16
Pádraig Pearses 0-14
They may not be the St. Brigid’s of 2013, but the champions showed that they are still the team to beat in the SFC when they accounted for old rivals Pearses in this county final repeat played in beautiful weather conditions in Johnstown last Sunday.
Brigid’s were in control for the most part with Garvan Dolan and Senan Kilbride dominating, but Pearses staged a late revival and a tremendous save from Brigid’s goalkeeper Shane Mannion with five minutes to go saw the champions start their campaign with a valuable win.
This was a competitive and enjoyable game and it was clear from the throw-in that both sides were keen to get an early victory under their belts. But it was Brigid’s who totally dominated the first half exchanges. Within six minutes it was 1-3 to 0-0. In the second minute Senan Kilbride sent Brian Stack through and he blasted home. Points from Davy Cunniffe (2) and Jack McDonnell saw Frankie Dolan’s men six points to the good.
With Kilbride and Dolan dominating, Brigid’s continued to forge ahead and by the 23rd minute it was 1-6 to 0-3 with Hubert Darcy flying an almost lone flag for Pearses. In the 25th minute Brigid’s were awarded a penalty after Davy Cunniffe was fouled but Jack McDonnell fired the spot kick over the bar for a point. By half-time Brigid’s led by 1-8 to 0-5.
Pearses played better in the second half but Brigid’s were always able to keep them at arm’s length. Hubert Darcy kept up his one man resistance with some marvellous points but Garvan Dolan was still dominating the midfield exchanges and by the 48th minute Brigid’s led by 1-13 to 0-10.
Ronan Daly and Conor Payne points from play reduced the margin to four with five minutes left and then Pearses had a golden opportunity to narrow the gap even further when sub Leon Fehily was through on goal but Shane Mannion made a wonderful save to keep his side in the driving seat. Brigid’s closed out the game after that with points from Darragh Donnelly and Padraig Kelly with Pearses’ only reply a Seanie Fahy free.
Early days yet, but Brigid’s remain the side to beat in this championship and they will be delighted to have put down this early marker. For Pearses, they will have to improve on this showing if they want to be a factor this year and they face a vital second round game against high-flying Western Gaels next weekend.
Wides: St. Brigid’s 7 Pádraig Pearses 9
Red cards – None
Black Cards: St. Brigid’s 2 Pádraig Pearses 0
Yellow cards: St. Brigid’s 1 Pádraig Pearses 1.
Man of the match: Garvan Dolan (St. Brigid’s)
St. Brigid’s: Shane Mannion; Shane Furey, Niall McInerney, Johnny Murray; Ronan Stack, Peter Domican, Mark Daly; Garvan Dolan, Padraig Kelly; Eoin Sheehy, Brian Stack, Conor McNiece; Davy Cunniffe, Senan Kilbride, Jack McDonnell. Subs: Gavin Byrne for Daly (32, b/c), Cathal McHugh for McDonnell (42), Darragh Donnelly for Kelly (48), Darren Dolan for Cunniffe (53), Padraig Kelly for Domican (62, b/c).
Pádraig Pearses: Adam McManus; Shane Dolan, Mark Richardson, Shane Carty; Ronan Daly, Davy Murray, Conor Daly; Eamon Donoghue, Anthony Butler; Tom Butler, Conor Payne, Cathal Óg Sullivan; Emmet Kelly, Hubert Darcy, Seanie Fahy. Subs: Lorcan Daly for Butler (27), Leon Fehily for Kelly (h/t), Aaron Fehily for Donoghue (38), Daniel Glynn for Butler (42).
Referee: Anthony Naughton
Note: The Clann na nGael v Kilmore game
was postponed because of the
untimely death of Mrs Mary Donohue,
mother of Kilmore player John Donohue. RIP