After notching up the first Intermediate Championship win 10 days ago. The St Brendan's Football 1st XV, Sponsored my Michael Cox Furniture (but wearing the 2nds Stoneybatter kit this evening), went into the 3rd Round of the Dublin Intermediate Football Championship into the cauldren that is, Sean Moore Park in Ringsend where a capacity crowd of 200, (excluding spectatiors in cherry pickers, JCB buckets or standing on top of a Ford Transit) witnessed St Brendan's take on Championship favorites Clanna Gael Fontenoy. A Division 3 side taking on a Division 5 side.
Sounded like a walk in the Sean Moore Park for Clann!
Or so they thought?
The Dark Force started bright and despite an early Paul Coleman wide, Phil Bannon won the CGF kickout with a Mark, played the ball to John 'The Goods' Hunt, then onto Coleman, and finally to Derek Brady for the opening score. The home side equalised with a free in after a foul by Ger Bannon as the 200 partisan crowd began making noise.
Paul Coleman made amends with his opening effort by hitting St Brendan's 2nd point of the evening after a James McGee effort went across the face of goal and cleared, by the Clann player threw the ball instead of passing. John Feeney took the free to Coleman and the point for the Mayo Man, CGF had a free in to equalise but it went wide. 0-2 to 0-1 was the score at the first half water break after Clann had a chance for goal but hit the side netting.
CGF, despite hitting six wides before the swig of the magic bottle, took the lead with three points in the spin, the third of which saw Derek Brady produce a spectacular Mark, only for his kick pass to Hunt turned over by Clann and that yielded their fourth point of the evening with five minutes to go.
CGF hit a brace of points in the last two minutes of the game and a free in fell short and punched clear by Mr Twitter Eoghan Clogher. St Brendan's chances in the second half suffered a blow when The Notorious Ryan Egan was carried off with a knee injury and replaced by Padraig O'Reilly. Half time score CGF lead 0-6 to 0-2.
CGF hit the opening score in the second half with a point from play. A 45 from John Feeney fell short to James McGee, who got swallowed up and the ball went through his legs and cleared. Paul Coleman gave a thunderous shoulder but the referee judged it as shoulder to chest and Coleman was yellow carded. The Clann player played the free short and the referee played a hop ball, Ger Bannon was elbowed out of play, but Feeney's free in went wide.
CGF really took their fingers out of their arses and showed why they are a Division 3 side by hitting a brace of goals, the second of which was the result of sloppy St Brendan's defending. Another point followed and a free in from Kevin 'Carter' Curry went wide.
After the second half waterbreak, CGF hit another brace of points anf with eight minutes to go, St Brendan's finally got the third point of the game with a free in from Paul Coleman after a Clann player picked the ball off the ground. However, Clann unleashed the inner Corofin but hitting a third and fourth goal in quick succession even with the game well and truly over as a contest, with an excellent exhibition of hand passing an attack play that even Galway's three in a row All Ireland Club Football Champions would be proud of.
St Brendan's did salvage some pride near the end with a point from play from Ronan Cillian after fellow sub Shane Corrigan supplied the final pass and would hit a fifth point thanks to Lorcan Allan.
CGF saved the best till last with another Corofin-esque attack with yielded a 12th point as they rounded off winners of this fixture and in this writers opinion, Dublin Intermediate Football Champions Elect.
For St Brendan's it was a tough evening against a high class side two divisions above, but Declan Jennings could not fault the effort of the players who he wants to see the players reach that standard of football in the next few years. It's now the secondary Intermediate Cup Competition for the next few week as St Brendan's build on this Championship experience for 2021.
Final Score from Sean Moore Park Ringsend, Clanna Gael Fontenoy 4-12 St Brendan's 0-5