Fr Murphy’s: 1-13
Bros Pearse: 0-15
By Fiona O’Brien
Father Murphys claimed a one point victory to maintain their unbeaten championship campaign against a highly fancied Brothers Pearse team.
The Pearses led by a point at half-time but an uncharacteristic lull in their passing play allowed the Murphy’s to catch up, especially when frees conceded allowed talisman Stephen Bardon keep the scoreboard ticking over. The Pearses were three points ahead, through two Kevin Reid scores and one from Eoin Shiels by the time that Fr Murphys opened their tally through a pointed free from captain Bardon.
The next score would see them go ahead for the first time as full-forward Michael Gordon forced his way through towards Philly Hogan for a goal, but the Pearses would respond straight away with a point to level the sides again through their full-forward Tony Clarke.
Reid would get the next score, before Bardon added another pointed free and Henry Ward got another soon after to go ahead by a point once more. Reid would get yet another when he won possession from intercepting a clearance, before he added another from a free from well inside his own half to bring his side a point ahead. Shiels stretched the gap to two next, before the ever-accurate Bardon pointed his next free opportunity.
To prove that his effectiveness stretches beyond set piece he got another from play as he held strong to get the better of fellow captain Paul Uniacke for his next score, to level the sides once more. But the Pearses would finish the break a point up after Reid pointed another free.
Within the first minute of the second half the Murphy’s had levelled the match once more through a Bardon free from the halfway line. Bardon’s accuracy from distance and the Pearses’ constant free-conceding would prove to be their downfall as the match went on.
Shiels brought his side ahead with a much-needed score from long-range, and it looked as if his side could build on that momentum when substitute, and renowned goalscorer Danny Connolly, ran in on goal, only to have not one but two attempts blocked in succession by Thomas Moore.
Reid would stretch the lead to two with a ’65 attempt before the Murphy’s drew level through Gordon and another set-play from Bardon, this time a ’65.
The Murphys would go in front again after some excellent play from none other than Bardon as he won possession from Uniacke and Muldoon on the left sideline, and they would go two clear when an excellent run from the half-forward line by Sean Howlin allowed him to claim a point. Shiels grabbed a vital point for the Pearses as he ran into the centre to score, and they would level when half-time substitute Stephen Page’s powerful goal attempt was put over the bar by Moore.
Bardon would scores again with a pointed free and in an ever-changing scoreboard the Pearses would level once more when Reid scored a point from a free won by substitute Stephen Frawley.
Another two frees from Bardon on the half way line put them in front, but Reid managed to pull one back after Uniacke won a free on the half way line.
With normal time finished, the Pearses were a point down but could not find an equaliser, with the wind forcing Reid’s next two set plays wide, through a ’65 and free.
BROTHERS PEARSE: Philly Hogan, Jake Greaney, Chris Lordan, Joe Birmingham, Padraig Muldoon, Dean Bruen, Shane Kelly, Paul Uniacke, Brian Conway, Darron Duffy, Kevin Reid (0-9, 4f, 1 65), Eoin Shiels (0-4), Jason Joyce, Tony Clarke (0-1), Mike Garvey SUBSTITUTES: Stephen Page (0-1) for Jason Joyce, Danny Connolly for Dermot Duffy, Stephen Frawley
FR MURPHYS: Thomas Moore, Daniel McLehicen, Darren Howlin, Patrick O’Donovan, Ant Griffiths, Kevin Kerr, Shane O’Reilly, Stephen Bardon (0-10, 7f, 1 ‘65), Kenneth Waterhouse, Conor Hallisey, Henry Ward (0-1), Sean Howlin (0-1), Sean Ellis, Michael Gordon (1-1), Christopher Welch