Brilliant Brigid’s sink Erin’s Isle

by Gazette Reporter
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ST BRIGID’S added the AFL11 league title to the promotion they won a few weeks ago as they won a goal-fest against Erin’s Isle 5-6 to 2-14 in Finglas.
They did so in fighting fashion, coming from six points down – despite playing with a stiff breeze in the first half – and almost being out of sight. Isles struck for two early goals and only for some brave defending by Stephen Dunning, it could have been worse.
From there, Rory Thyne and JP Costigan shored up the halfback line, and Sean McGeady used all his experience.
Jonny Cooper kicked two massive scores to help Brigid’s find their feet before James Campbell and John Dalton added scores but the gap was six points at the break.
But after a couple of switches, notably moving Kevin Bonfil to midfield, Brigid’s began to shift the momentum. A driving run inside by the impressive Cooper led to a penalty but James Campbell’s penalty was well saved.
The resulting 45 was recycled and Jonny Dalton’s low shot hung over the square and Campbell pounced to punch the ball home, and make amends.
From the resulting kick out, Cormac Kelly fed Brian Donovan who played Cooper in, and he blasted home from close range.
It was one-way traffic at this point; an Erin’s Isle short kick out was intercepted and Dalton made no mistake from 14 yards as he drove home the third goal.
The two sides exchanged further scores, with Kelly popping up from 30 yards to seemingly all but seal the game. But, encouraged by a large home crowd, Isles kicked two huge points inside stoppage time, and forced extra time.
Isles then went on to outscore Brigid’s by four points to zero in the first period of extra time to force another major shift in momentum.
Brigid’s needed something special and they got it via an inspired change with David Dempsey returning to the field.
His runs from deep created havoc. He tore through the middle and laid the ball inside to Dalton, who was tripped, as he was about the pull the trigger.
The referee awarded a second penalty, and this time Campbell made no mistake. Brigid’s, amazingly, then took the lead when they added a fifth goal as Dalton punched a high ball to the net.
An Isles free threatened more drama but Brigid’s managed to keep ball long enough to close out a thrilling win and the league title.

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