By Eamonn Kelly
St. Brendan’s senior footballers captured the Chicago City championship, the Gaelic Park Cup, with a 2-15 to 0-14 victory at Gaelic Park last Sunday. Following a second solid performance in two weeks, this current Brendan’s squad have laid a firm foundation in establishing themselves as a side to be reckoned with this year. With such high-profile players as Senen and Paul Hehir, Fergal Crossan, Martin Delaney and Niall Delaney, they are fielding one of the club’s strongest home-based teams in years. They were too strong for this Parnells team who were flattered to be only 7 points behind at halftime.
With the Hehir brothers in command at centerfield, the St. Brendan’s forwards received continuous supply of the ball but managed only eight scores (2-6) in the opening half. Tight defending in front of excellent goalkeeper Brendan McVeigh kept Parnells close during the first quarter. After the teams exchanged points, Senan Hehir broke the game open with a fine goal to give the Brendan’s a three-point lead at the beginning of the third quarter. Parnells responded with points from Gordon Weldon and Davy Shields to narrow the gap to a single point, but a "headed" goal by John Mc Donald and additional points by Mark Rooney and Paul Hehir just before halftime gave St. Brendan’s a comfortable interval lead.
They stretched their lead to 9 points midway through the second half. With center-fielders, Sean Kenny and Morgan Hughs being allowed more freedom, Parnells staged a late rally which netted them several points but not enough to save the game.
Cuchulainns, meanwhile, qualified to meet Limerick in the final of the senior hurling championship with a big 24-point (4-26 to 2-8) win over Erins Own. Despite the huge difference in scores at the end it was an enjoyable contest, particularly the first half. Cu Chulainns set the early pace and were leading 1-3 to 0-0 within 10 minutes, their goal coming from one of their top forwards, Fred Kelly. It took Erins Own all of 15 minutes to score their first point which was followed by a goal scored by Emmett McNaughton. However, Cuchulainns responded with several minor scores to take an eight point lead until McNaughton scored his second goal just before the halftime to cut the deficit to 5 points. It was all Cuchulainns in the second half as they out scored Erins Own 3-13 to 0-3. Cu Chulainns second half goals came from Carol Grand, Colm Egan and Oisiin Walsh.
In the Junior football semifinal, St. Brendan’s and Padraig Pearse lived to fight another day when they ended up on level terms after regulation time with the final score, St. Brendan’s 1-13 Padraig Pearse 2-10. It was a very entertaining game with little between the sides throughout the 60 minutes. Only two points separated the sides at half-time with St. Brendan’s the leaders, 1-7 to 1-5. The Brendan’s goal was scored by Brendan Coen, while Fergus McPhillip netted for Padraig Pearse. Declan Gallagher scored their second goal from a penalty midway through the second half to take the lead. After getting back on level terms, St. Brendan’s had an opportunity to win the game after being awarded a penalty but Coen failed to convert.
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In an earlier women’s football game, St. Brigids put on a great second-half performance to beat Erins Rovers, 2-6 to 0-9. Trailing 0-2 to 0-7 at the interval, they outscored the Rover 2-4 to 0-2 in the second half to gain a well deserved win.
Next Sunday’s Schedule
1 p.m., Junior Football replay, St. Brendan’s vs. Padraig Pearse; 2:15, Junior Hurling, Harry Bolands vs. Erins Own; 3:30, Senior Hurling, Limerick vs. Cuchulainn; 4:45, Senior Football, Wolfe Tones vs. Parnells.