Winters' Late Score Gives Brigids A Share Of The Spoils in SHC 2014-04-27 20:38:00

SHC St Brigids 1-15 O Tooles 1-15

Harry Gerald Bissinger was absent from Parnell Park on Friday night but his spirit was there in the form of O Tooles and St. Brigids. Bissinger would have marvelled at how two teams battled it out under the lights on the pastures of Donnycarney. It was a Friday Night Lights classic of its own. Both sides fought tooth and nail until the death; with the emotions of both sides swaying from minute to minute. The fear of falling behind in the first of the group games spurred the passion that was evident; particularly in the final quarter when Brigids staged a grandstand finish.

In seamens terms it is unlucky to begin a voyage on a Friday. The superstition didn't seem to affect O'Tooles who set their sails out with some great passages of play in the opening minutes.Philly Brennan, Liam Ryan and Cunningham pointed inside five minutes while Ryan also had a glorious chance of a goal saved by Alan Nolan, the Brigids goalman. Paul Rohan opened the scoring for the Blanchardstown side when he found himself free of the shackles of the Blunden Drive defence and slotted over from forty yards.

O Tooles were dealt a major blow moments later when they lost Philly Brennan to injury. Brennan and Liam Ryan were building an attack when Brennan pulled up and was forced to retire. His loss left a gaping hole in the O'Toole attack for long stages as Brigids drew level through Aodain McInerney and Paul Winters.

Winters and Conor Carton exchanged frees before the game burst into life on sixteen minutes. Darren Farrelly had a shot on goal for O'Tooles which trickled out towards the endline failing to run out of play.

Sean Brady was as alert as a West Indies long field man and collected the sliotar before unleashing the pass of the day to Paul Winters who was forty yards out from the O'Tooles goal.Winters collected the ball first time and headed straight for the scoring gate, slotting the ball past the advancing Brendan McLoughlin.O'Tooles' response was immediate. Conor Carton saw his free come back off the upright but Liam Ryan was alert and placed Carton; who made no mistake second time around.

O'Tooles started to get a grip on proceedings again as Richie Walker, Kevin Ryan and Ger O'Meara began to hold off the Brigids challenge up front.GrassRootsGAA Star Man Peader Carton started to cause panic in the Brigids rearguard as his surging runs resulted in Conor Carton pointing two frees. Carton was at the end of a magnificent move in which Liam Ryan and Paul Bradshaw put their bodies on the line to secure possession, Carton re-establishing the lead with a sublime finish.

That lead was short lived. Aodain McInerney and Daire Plunkett started to stem the O'Tooles flow of attacks, with Paul Winters (free) and Paul Rohan sending the men in red and white into a 1-6 to 0-8 lead at the short whistle.When play resumed O'Tooles started like a train. Peader Carton was to the forefront again; he was fouled 30 yards out from goal with his brother Conor taking the free which came back off the butt of the post.

Liam Ryan pulled first time but Alan Nolan smothered his effort; Paul Bradshaw was lurking around the parallelogram and reacted fastest to the breaking ball, flicking it first time into the net.At the other end of the field David Smith placed Paul Rohan for a minor within moments of Bradshaw's goal. Once again O'Tooles flexed their muscles as Conor Carton (free) and Peader Carton extended the lead out to 1-10 to 1-7 on 37 minutes.

Michael Carton, Kevin Ryan, Ger O'Meara and Richie Walker seemed to have the measure of Brigids onslaughts; with the exception of Paul Rohan who pointed from play and Paul Winters who was unerring from two placed balls.

Conor Carton lofted over two more frees; and then sent over a splendid sideline cut from all of 50 yards. Dara Joyce pulled it back to three with ten minutes remaining after he collected a pass from Paul Winters who fetched a great ball but lost his hurl on his descent to the ground.

Winters used all his IQ to place Joyce who cut the gap to two from 30 yards. Winters followed it up with a free 45 yards out on the terrace sideline. Suddenly St. Brigids were only one behind and had their tails primed with the smell of victory.Peader Carton stemmed the tide when he raised a white flag after doing the groundwork himself. Paul Winters landed two frees to tie the game going into overtime. Tensions flared with both sides eager to get a win under their belt.Liam Ryan was fouled 60 yards out from goal and when Conor Carton landed the resultant free, one would have felt O'Tooles would have held on.

Enter Paul Winters who fetched the puck out before turning in mid-air, priming his effort which went sailing over Brendan McLoughlins crossbar.

O'Tooles will feel they probably should have taken the laurels. The loss of Philly Brennan so early in the game had a huge bearing on the make-up of their forward division.

Liam Ryan, Paul Bradshaw, Conor Carton and the roaming Peader Carton stood out up front. But one wonders what the outcome would have been if Brennan had remained on the field.He was starting to pose problems with his runs in the five minutes he was on the field including the attack that forced him to retire. Ger O Meara, Michael Carton, Richie Walker and Kevin Ryan held sway against St. Brigids' forays forward.

St. Brigids will be delighted at clawing their way back into proceedings in the manner that they did. The two Pauls, Rohan and Winters along with David Smith were a menace for the men from Blunden Drive throughout. While Aodan McInerney kept the rearguard together with some teek tough defending.

St. Brigids Squad List:

A. Nolan; S. Brady; M. Cussen; A. O'Leary; B. McInerney; A. McInerney (0-1); M. Kavanagh; C. Doyle; D. Plunkett; D. Smith; P. Rohan (0-4); C. Dolan; D. Doyle (0-1); P. Winters (1-9, 7 frees); K. Kellite; M. Kavanagh; C. Morris; K. Cahill; C. Woodgate; B. Lyng; K. Rogers; C. O'Sullivan; R. Dunbar.

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