With four losses so far in the goaheadireland.ie ALF5 South and with two games to go, The St Brendan's Men's 1st XV, sponsored by Michael Cox Furniture, did not to be involved in a relegation dog fight to keep the teams four year stay in Division 5 continuing for a 5th year.
Na Gaeil Óga travelled to Longmeadows for a Round 6 fixture in this new found rivalry between the two clubs. The last time we were in Longmeadows three weeks ago, the heavens opened in abundance, this evening, the heavens, well, opened in abundance, however, in between, we had a glorious heatwave.
But enough of that, St Brendan's have a game to win and started off encouragingly with a 45 converted by John Burns after an initial shot by The Wexican Oisin Carley was deflected, soon NGÓ had the game levelled with a free in.
The rain began pelting down on the already sunburnt Longmeadows pitch when The Dark Force made it two points to one with a point from Stephen Durcan. The Milltown Four Star James McGee tripled the lead following a free in after a foul on Cillian Morrison. But Morrison and Fintan Culhane were on hand to set up John Burns for this second point of the evening, his first from open play and St Brendan's fourth point.
James McGee ensured his side was in a commanding position going into the First Half Water Break when hitting the first goal of the evening after great play from both Ger and Lorcan Bannon, it was Lorcan who split the NGO defense open with a tremendous solo run and McGee's shot was low and into the net 1-4 to 0-1. A bid for a second goal ended when a shot by Stephen Durcan was saved by the goalkeeper, the ball hung in the air, Ger Bannon fisted the ball to the post and the ball was cleared by NGO, but only as far as Franklin 'Kepa' O'Reilly, Durcan was also involved in the build up which resulted in Luke 'The Miracle Worker' McDonagh, pointing to make it 1-5 to 0-1.
A second NGO followed, McGee made it 1-6 to 0-2 after Colm Harte won an Eoghan Clogher kick out and passed to Lorcan Bannon. St Brendan'a were penalised for Over Carrying, which occurred quite a lot from both sides, a NGO free in fell short to Mr Twitter Eoghan Clogher, who started the build up Downtown, Colm Harte made another lung busting solo run. Lorcan Bannon sensibly got out of the way to allow Harte pass the ball to Stephen Durcan and Boom Shakalaka, the ball was in the net 2-6 to 0-2.
Lorcan Bannon was on hand to supply the ball to John Maguire and onto Luke Mc Donagh to score the 7th point of the evening, Lorcan's evening however, ended abruptly when his hamstring gave way and was replaced by David Ryan.
A NGO shot that went wide and Clogher's kick out going over the sideline was the last action of the first half and at Half Time it was 2-7 to 0-2.
NGO were determined to make The Dark Force work hard for the win when, after four minutes, Clogher was beaten for goal after the ball was palmed in the net. Phil Bannon landed on his backside when trying to win a NGO kickout, the ball was still at his ankles and gave a kick pass to Stephen Durcan and onto James McGee for a crucial point to make it 2-8 to 1-3. NGO performed an end to end move which resulted in a second goal to keep the contest alive 2-8 to 2-3.
The pendulum was swinging towards the Clondalkin based outfit and struck a brace of points to put three between the sides 2-8 to 2-5 going to the second half water break. Maybe St Brendan's didn't need water and had fire instead because the fire had extinguished at that stage. Regardless, the fire inside The Miracle Worker was burning furiously when pointing a crucial 20 meter free in after a foul on John Burns.
Both sides traded points with McDonagh the point from play after Ger Bannon was the victim of a sliding tackle to keep the margin at 4 with 4 minutes to go. After coming on as a 50th minute Sub, hitting a wide and getting booked, Liam 'Oisin Mullin' Atkinson crowned off a rather action packed cameo with a priceless point, the other subs, Brendan Brogan and David Ryan were also involved in the build up.
Still desperate to snatch victory, NGO won a free in and spotted an unmarked player who exposed St Brendan's defensive frailties by hitting the third goal of the evening. Only a few more seconds were played which allowed Ger Bannon to win the kickout which was the last action of a rather pulsating game which could have gone NGO's way had more injury time was played.
However, survival is not yet secured and St Brendans will travel to Crumlin on August 8th to avoid the relegation play offs.
Final Score from Longmeadows St Brendan's 2-11 Na Gaeil Óga 3-6.
Yesterday, Monday 26th, The St Brendan's 2nd XV, in partnership with Stoneybatter Pride Of Place, travlled to 12th Lock in Lucan and a AFL10 South fixture gainst Lucan Sarsfields and despite team managers Billy Kelly and John Tuffy togging out, ran out 2-10 to 0-12 winners with, not only both Kelly and Tuffy scoring the goals, but also set up each other goals as well.
While on Wednesday the 28th, fresh form a 4-6 to 2-7 victory over Naomh Olaf, last Wednesday, in Round 1 of the Ladies Football Junior B Championship, The St Brendan's Ladies 1st XV, Sponsored by McGowans, followed up that win with an impressive 4-17 to 3-6 away victory over Foxrock Cabinteely. The 1st XV are back in Championship action on August 11st and have a bye week next week. The 2nd XV had a bye week this week and they too started their Junior G Championship campaign on a winning note with a 1-12 to 2-7 victory over St Jude's.