Elphin v Pearses SFC 2007

Sunday, 12th August 2007Elphin 0-10 Padraig Pearses 0-9    John Collins proved to be Elphin’s match-winner in this close-fought, and at times uncompromising encounter played at Pairc an Piarsaigh on Sunday.Collins scored an impressive eight points six from frees to help undefeated Elphin book their place in the quarter-finals of the senior football championship.Padraig Pearses now face the prospect of playing Kilbride in a play-off to determine who finishes in the second qualifying position.   The sides played out a draw in the first round of the group stages and another close contest is in store.Elphin were dealt a blow before the ball was even thrown in, when regular custodian, Shane Reynolds was injured in the pre-match warm-up. Matthew Hynes was sprung from the bench and proved himself to be a very capable deputy.  With the prize of a guaranteed quarter-final berth at stake, this game was always going to competitive, with very little between the sides.After a pretty even first half, the second half was scrappy and at times ill tempered. Referee Oliver Kelly was forced to issue seven yellow cards in total six of these came in the second half.  Padraig Pearses opened the scoring within three minutes of the throw-in, when a move involving Enda Barrett, Padraig Kelly and Pat Connell saw the latter raising a white flag.John Collins cancelled Connell’s score out with a free following a foul on Stuart Roddy. Pearses almost stole in for a fortuitous goal when a Sean Fahy free dipped viciously under the Elphin crossbar. Luckily for Elphin, centre-back Paddy O’Connor was alive to the danger. O’Connor fielded the ball on the line and cleared the dancer.   Pearses were dominating proceedings at this stage and they translated this superiority onto the scoreboard Mike Duignan set up Ja Egan for their second point, while a minute later, Padraig Kelly was on the receiving end of a Matthew Hynes clearance and he duly slotted over to extend Pearses’ lead to two points.Brendan Rock halved the deficit with an Elphin point and following a missed opportunity by Sean Fahy, John Collins squared matters with a 21st-minute free.Elphin hit the front a minute later when Collins converted a 30-metre free following a foul on himself.   Although a Pat Connell score had the sides level with seven minutes remaining in the half, another Collins’ free in the 25th minute gave Elphin a lead that they would never relinquish.Collins was central to almost everything good that Elphin created at this stage and on the stroke of half time he almost got in for a goal. His effort, however, scraped the wrong side of the crossbar. This score gave Elphin a two-point lead at the break 0-6 to 0-4.   Elphin extended their lead to three points within a minute of the resumption when Brendan Rock added to their account. Ja Regan reduced the gap to three once again, but John Collins added two more Elphin points to leave the score 0-9 to 0-5 after 37 minutes. With all their dominance, one would have expected Elphin to stretch away for a comfortable victory. Pearses to their credit raised their game and held their opponents scoreless for the next 19 minutes. Despite all their pressure, Pearses fell just short of levelling the game.  They scored three points on the trot, through Fahy (two) and Pat Connell, but failed to gain parity. A Collins free following a foul on Colm Rock proved to be the winning score, because although John Connell once again narrowed the gap to a solitary point, time eventually ran out for the home side.
Source: Match Reports