BRYANSFORDF 1-10 – 1-6 BURREN
Match Report by Peter McGrath Jnr
The rain and wind that battered Newcastle for the duration of this game was unrelenting. It started about an hour before throw in and worsened as the game progressed. Bryansford had the wind advantage in the first half so it was no surprise when the first ball they got was played in long.
Conor Gribben flicked it on but the ball came off the slippery surface and rocketed up onto the crossbar, it rebounded out as far as David McKenna and he composed himself and sent it over the bar. A Philip Bonny 45 and a Chris Brannigan point had Bryansford well in control by the time McKenna got his second point.
This time it was David McKibben who made a surging run, albeit unchallenged, from the Ford half back line and he found McKenna with a pass and the lethal corner forward made it two from two on the night. Burren were in desperate need of a score and got it half way through the first half when James McGovern drove his shot accurately into the wind to get his side off the mark.
McKenna and Conor Gribben each added another point for the hosts but with 22 minutes of the first half gone there was a sense that Bryansford might need at least one goal to be able to hold off the expected Burren storm when they had the wind in the second half. Ciaran Brannigan had the chance to provide that crucial score but he was splendidly denied by Cathal Murdock who dove onto the forwards boot but his efforts were in vain as the ball ricocheted out to Conor Gribben who squeezed his shot into the corner of the net from an acute angle.
Bryansford looked to push on and a Chris Brannigan free helped them into a nine point lead while Ciaran Brannigan’s point on the turn temporarily had the advantage in double figures but James McGovern got Burren’s second point just before half time to send them in at least with a little hope for the second half.
In the second half Burren piled on the pressure. Bryansford were not helped by their incredibly poor distribution which saw at least half a dozen balls played straight to Burren men within twenty metres of the kicker and Sean Murdock was the first to punish one of these mistakes as he pointed. Eamon McGovern knocked one over from play and Murdock got a second of the half but with 45 minutes gone Burren were struggling for scores.
Until two scores in a minute threatened to turn this game on its head. First a Sean Murdock point but secondly an Eamon Toner goal. A high ball was sent towards the Bryansford box from the road side of the field and when it dropped it was Toner who rose highest, with his fist closed he reached towards the ball, which given the wetness shot off the glove of Toner like a cannonball and nestled in the top corner giving Sean James Brannigan no chance.
It was to be Burren’s last contribution. There was 24 minutes of the second half played before David McKibben raised the Ford’s first flag of the half and Ciaran Brannigan rounded off the scoring with his second point. There were a few more late throes from Burren in a desperate attempt to salvage something from the game but ultimately they came to nothing and Bryansford came away with their fourth league victory of the campaign.