24 MAY 2017
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Burren leave Bridge with all the spoils

18 May 2017

Both Mayobridge and Burren came into this Division 1 clash off the back of defeats but it was the latter who saw this game out and nabbed only their second win from six fixtures played.

This was a gritty hard-fought affair played in slick damp conditions as the good weather finally broke and gave way to rain, and neither side ever really got going, especially the Bridge who put more balls wide than they got on target.

A row broke out midway through the first half and after that the game got scrappy. Burren did play the better football however and deserved the two points. 

Donal O’Hare opened the scoring for the visitors after 20 seconds. The same player proved to be a real thorn in the side for the Bridge as he scored all four of Burren’s first half scores. Cathal Magee put the first wide of eight for the Bridge in the first half from a long-range free. Conleth O’Hare kicked their second wide moments later but he made up for it on five minutes when he knocked over the Sky Blues’ first point.

What started as a cagey affair soon descended into a scrappy low-scoring half after the aforementioned row. Mayobridge midfielder Cathal Killen lay on the ground injured after taking a knock but Burren were on the attack and Referee Gavin Finnegan let play run on as the ball passed through a number of players. Eventually he blew the whistle but right as he did, a ruckus erupted on the far side of the field involving a number of players from both sides and others from both camps on the sideline. Nobody was booked as the ref and linesmen were all unsighted and as such a throw-ball was given. 

Any measure of rhythm in the half dissolved with that. Donal O’Hare scored from a free to make it 0-1 to 0-2 but there were two wides at each end before Cory Quinn levelled the match on 22 minutes. O’Hare responded for Burren however with a wonderful free curled in from an impossible looking angle close to the left corner flag.

The last eight minutes saw Mayobridge try to press forward but every time they did their passing in the final third either let them down, they shot wide, or Burren closed in and the Bridge lost the ball. There were wides at the other end too, five in total for the half, but Burren did come close to scoring a maximum with a shot from the right wing across the face of goal by Shay McArdle that CJ Barr did well to punch to safety.

O’Hare nabbed another free before the short whistle to make it 0-2 to 0-4 and it was still anyone’s game.

Mayobridge began the second half as Burren began the first when Kevin O’Rourke opened the scoring on 20 seconds and with traded frees between Cathal Magee and Quinn for the Bridge and Burren keeper Cathal Murdock with a long-range effort and sub Cathal Foy with a point from play, the match was still in the balance at 0-5 to 0-6. 

Burren kept their noses in front however when Mayobridge yet again overworked the ball and lost it only to see Sean Murdock deliver to another Burren sub Declan Murdock who hit between the sticks.

With 15 minutes left on the clock, Quinn made it a one-point game again with a free but the St Mary’s men, who had shown they had the edge throughout, pulled away with another long-range free from their keeper, plus two excellent points from Kevin McKernan and one from David McEntee to put them into a 0-6 to 0-11 lead.

The Sky Blues weren’t quite ready to throw in the towel yet though and with two minutes remaining Conleth O’Hare narrowed the gap. Shane McNamee then delivered a terrific ball into the Burren square where it was almost swatted into the net twice before Declan Rooney managed to clear.

O’Rourke made it a three-point game at 0-8 to 0-11 when he pointed his second on 29 minutes and another great ball into the Burren square might have levelled the game were it not for a good save by their keeper.

As it turned out though Burren survived that late spell of pressure and when the final whistle blew, on the balance of play, it has to be said that they were deserved winners.

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