11 August, 2008
Bray 1-11 Baltinglass
Nothing, they say concentrates the mind like a
hanging. And Baltinglass knew that if they lost to Bray in
Stratford last Wednesday, they would be drawn and quartered as
well, as far as this year's minor championship was concerned.
So the westerners, a team which had shipped heavy
beatings over the first four games of the league system, came out
with all guns blazing determined to give it their best shot. With
the wind in their backs, they went route one and when the
Bray defence gave them a few presents early on, they decided to
keep playing in the area where it suited them best - the
opposing goal area.
Bray were immensely obliging by allowing themselves
to be blocked, failing to hold onto the ball and kicking balls out
over the sideline. It charged up the home fans and for all the
world it looked as if Baltinglass had found some new players such
was the transformation in their display from previous outings.
Despite losing by 1-4 to 0-2, Bray still showed a lot of
courage to face down this adversity and by halftime, inspired by
Jordan Egan at midfield, they had reduced the deficit to a goal.
Indeed with a bit of luck Egan would have added a penalty but his
shot just shaved the post in going wide. Forced to lineout without
three of their normal forwards, Paul Cunningham and Ronan
Cunningham, both injured and Gearoid O Murchu due to holidays, Bray
stuttered to find a fluency in this sector, but two points from
Robin O'Sullivan and three from Egan kept them in
The arrival of Paul Cunningham put some pep into the
Bray attack on the turnover and within two minutes they had tacked
on two points through an Egan free and a John Breslin point.
Breslin then reacted quickest around the goalmouth to lash the ball
home and put Bray into a lead they would subsequently hold til the
end of the game. Cunningham put over points with either foot to put
daylight between the sides and Egan weighed in with two more placed
ball, one from a 45 to see Bray home on a 1-11 to 1-7
Mark Nolan was outstanding in the Bray defence, not just blotting
out his man, but clearing ball after ball. After a shaky start Sean
Byrne settled in to have a strong second half and Conor Power
returned to something like his old swashbuckling self with a number
of high catches and long clearances. Egan ruled the roost in
midfield for the entire hour with the forwards showing
up inconsistently except for the efforts of Dylan Kavanagh
and John Breslin, who made a great block at the other end of the
field near the end, when Baltinglass were looking for a goal to get
them back into the game.
BRAY EMMETS: S Carton; S Byrne, M Nolan, C Murphy; E
Wogan, A Benson, C Power; J Egan (0-5), A Keating; R O'Sullivan
(0-2), D haughton, F Devlin; S Prendergast, J Breslin (1-1), D
Kavanagh. Subs, P Cunningham (0-2), C Thomas, A Murphy, R Murphy, N