Elphin v Brigids O’Rourke Cup Semi ’07

Saturday, October 13, 2007ELPHIN 0-6 V ST. BRIGIDS 3-10 There will hardly be a more low-key league semi-final anywhere in the country than the one played out between St. Brigid’s and Elphin at Dr. Hyde Park last Saturday evening. The fact that only 73 spectators and a dog turned up to view proceedings set the scene for what was to follow.The exercise served Brigid’s well in terms of preparing for the Connacht Club Championship. On the other hand, Elphin were just making up the numbers, having being knocked out of the championship at the quarter-final stage some weeks ago.  St. Brigid’s won comfortably without playing anywhere near their potential.Elphin were game opponents but they were facing mission impossible.They only scored six points with centre-forward John Collins accounting for five of those scores.The game marked the return of David O’Connor to the St. Brigid’s colours. The ace marksman wasn’t even on the panel for the county final against St. Faithleach’s.  However, his second-half introduction gave St. Brigid’s more direction in attack. O’Connor went on to notch up 1-5 in just 30 minutes, a timely reminder that he could have a major role to play in the provincial club championship next month.St. Brigid’s could afford to rest players like Donal O’Connor, Peter Domican, Cathal McHugh and Frankie Dolan. Team captain Dolan was carrying a slight knock so it made little sense to risk him in this contest. Elphin formed a guard of honour to welcome St. Brigid’s on to Dr. Hyde Park.   It was a nice gesture and for the first quarter, they more than held their own against the county champions. St. Brigid’s were sloppy in many aspects of their play with a laboured build-up in defence delaying any quick possession the forwards were looking for.In saying that, Matt Hynes was busy in the Elphin goalmouth. He did well to parry a Senan Kilbride fisted effort early on. He came to his side’s rescue again in the ninth minute when good play from Garvan Dolan and John Tiernan created a clearcut chance for Darragh Blaine. Hynes made a smart save but Gearoid Cunniffe was on hand to direct the rebound into the net.  John Tiernan added a point in the 11th minute after Karol Mannion and Brendan O’Brien engineered an opening. Elphin opened their account in the 22nd minute when a foul on James Callery gave John Collins the easiest of chances from a 13-metre free. The industrious Karol Mannion replied for St. Brigid’s before the midfielder added a bizarre goal to his tally on the stroke of half-time. A Senan Kilbride attempt for a point lacked conviction. Mannion beat ‘keeper Hynes to the race for possession and fisted into an empty net.O’Connor’s introduction added fresh impetus to the St. Brigid’s attack. While Elphin plugged away through Michael Glancy, Martin Travers, Shane Tiernan, Collins and Paddy Foxe, St. Brigid’s were more clinical after the break.   Two Collins frees within nine minutes of the restart suggested that an Elphin revival was on the cards.However, Brigid’s finally shrugged off their lethargy with O’Connor and Garvan Dolan finding the target from play. Collins replied from a placed ball before O’Connor and Blaine added further points. St. Brigid’s third goal arrived in the 50th minute. Impressive substitute Robbie Gilligan and John Tiernan released O’Connor and his emphatic finish gave Hynes no chance.    St. Brigid’s continued to probe with O’Connor (3) and Mannion increasing their side’s tally. Collins opened his side’s account from play in the 54th minute. Paddy Foxe, who had a fair old tussle with Ger Aherne, added another point four minutes later. However, in reality, the game was up for Elphin when this fixture was made. The experience gained by some of their younger players against a team of Brigid’s calibre may stand to them in the future.Apart from that, there was precious little to cheer about.ST. BRIGID’S: S. Curran, D. Nestor, G. Aherne, R. Kelly; E. Mannion, I. Kilbride, N. Grehan; M. O’Carroll, K. Mannion (1-2); D. Blaine (0-1), J. Tiernan (0-1), G. Dolan (0-1); B. O’Brien, S. Kilbride, G. Cunniffe (1-0). Subs used: D. Donnelly for Kilbride (29 mins), D. O’Connor (1-5, three frees) for Cunniffe (half-time), R. Gilligan for O’Brien (42 mins), J. Martin for Curran (47 mins), J. Mannion for O’Carroll (47 mins).ELPHIN: M. Hynes; M. Travers, P. O’Connor, B. Neary; M. Glancy, R. Brady, J. Callery; S. Tiernan, B. Cregg; B. Rock, J. Collins (05, four frees), P. Conlon; C. Rock, P. Foxe (0-1), S. Roddy. Subs used: M. Callery for C. Rock (34 mins), G. Brady for Callery (39 mins), K. Brady for Roddy (54 mins), M. Cregg for Glancy (54 mins), K. Beirne for Callery (56 mins). Wides: St. Brigid’s 7; Elphin 6. Booked: St. Brigid’s none; Elphin Tiernan (36 mins).Referee: V. Hardiman.
Source: Match Reports