White it took 288 days for the 1st XV to play their first match after their last one, for the 2nd XV (In partnership with Stoneybatter Pride of Place), that gap was much shorter, 259 days. Like the 1st XV, the 2nd XV also found themselves in the Southern section of Go Ahead Transport AFL10, Like the 1st's, the 2nd's first fixture of 2021 was also in Grangegorman, but this time against Crumlin.
The Darkest Force only had 15 players available for this fixture, only for the game to be played as a 14 a side after John Tuffy tweeked his hamstring during the warm up, despite the setback, St Brendan's 2nd XV hit the ground running and Ciaran O'Shea won an Advanced Mark in the opening minute, but his shot hit the upright and won back possession and played the ball to Enda Mannion for the opening score after only 50 seconds. Sean Whyte won the Crumlin kick out with a Mark and took possession himself but his shot skimmed the upright and wide.
Crumlin, with plenty of fresh legs to bring on later, levelled matters after seven minutes. The Darkest Force has good goal opportunity go a begging from Brian Hobbins and Mannion, after O'Shea sold a tremendous dummy in his pass to Mannion.
Brendan Brogan pointed a free in after Sean Whyte drove through the Crumlin defense and saw his shot footblocked, Brogan was then guilty of another guilt edged goal opportunity missed when going for placement instead of power. After missing a previous goal opportunity, Hobbins got the third St Brendan's point.
Yet another goal opportunity was missed this time by Maurice Kielter again choosing placement. Sean Whyte efforts earlier on in the game was rewarded with a fourth point after good work from The Wicklow Wizard Malachi Doyle. Brian Hobbins made it 5 points to 1 when, what looked like a vertical foot pass, instead connected the ball from the inside of his left boot for the point.
After all the goal opportunites missed, St Brendan's finally raised a green flag when a super solo run from a super slimmed down Padraig Pratt and his pass found Ciaran O'Shea who shot was half blocked down but only as far as Keilter who lobbed the ball over the goalkeepers head and into the net 1-5 to 0-1.
Crumlin went down to 13 players after a player was black carded for not wearing his gumshield. St Brendan's score became 1-6 with a score from Ferdia Donohoe after a Darragh Donnolly kick out was won by Paul Farrelly. Donnolly ensured that Crumlin was limited to 0-1 all half with a point blank save and clearance by Billy Kelly.
Indeed Donohoe made it a brace of points after a Crumlin shot was blocked by Farrelly and cleared by Niall Dwyer, Donohoe was on the end to make it 1-7, The Half time lead was 9 points but could have been 10 but a free in went wide in what was the last kick of the half, Half time score 1-7 to 0-1.
Crumlin dominated possession for the opening five minutes but could not convert the scores. The 10 point St Brendan's lead was eventually came to pass with Donohoe again, with a hat trick of point either side of the half time interval, but not for long as Crumlin pointed a free in to make it 1-8 to 0-2.
Donohoe made it a fourth consecutive point before the second half water break when an outrageous pass found Enda Mannion near the sideline, who found Maurice Kielter who went for a seocnd goal, but saw his path blocked before having to settle with a pass to Donohoe, and then he made it five points in a row after an Enda Mannion Mark.
Fresh from a 10 minute sin binning for an incident missed by this writer, Brian Hobbins made it 1-11 but could have been 1-3 at the other end but for super defending from Billy Kelly and Padraig Pratt with Hobbins pointing after a 80 meter solo run.
Both sides traded points injury time with Hobbins again pointing after John moore, who turned up initally as a spectator, but had a gear bag anyway with him, came on with 5 minutes to go to contribute in the move which lead to Hobbins' point.
By the final whistle, The St Brendan's 2nd XV became the first team within the club to win a competitive match in 2021, after losses to both Ladies Football teams on Wednesday, (1sts 2-11 to 2-13 to St Jude's and the 2nds beaten comprehensively by Na Fianna) and the Mens 1st's this morning, giving the 2nd's their first Oneupmanship of 2021. Next up is a trip to Kiltipper Road in Tallaght and a metting with Thomas Davis.
Final Score from Grangegorman, St Brendan's 1-12 Crumlin 0-6.