Darren Clarke of Ardee St. Mary's opposed St. Bride's last weekend. (Pic: Ciarán Culligan)
St. Bride's 0-12 Ardee St. Mary's 1-9
St. Bride’s and St. Mary’s played out an entertaining draw on Friday night at Páirc an Chuinnigh, but, in truth, the match could have gone either way.
The Ardee men opened proceedings with a pointed free kick from Ronan Carroll on seven minutes and three more points from the men in blue through Darren Clarke, Cian Commins and Carroll again had the visitors well in control.
Their efforts were hampered when they had RJ Callaghan red carded and this allowed the Reds to get back into it, registering their first score on 19 minutes from Seán Marry. St. Bride’s found their form with three unanswered points from Patrick Reilly, Andrew Smyth and Marry again to level proceedings with 23 minutes played.
Ronan Carroll edged his side in front with another minor, but his effort was cancelled out almost immediately at the opposite end by Kevin Hearty.
Against the run of play, St. Mary’s found the net on 28 minutes through Cian Commins, following a defensive mistake. The sides exchanged points, from Clarke and Seán Brennan, to leave the scoreboard reading 1-6 to 0-6 in favour of the visitors at half-time.
After the restart St. Bride’s reduced the deficit to the minimum with points from Ciarán Deane and Andrew Smyth. However, Darren Clarke steadied the ship for St. Mary’s with a pointed free on forty 40 minutes.
Soon after Ciarán Deane scored from a tight angle to leave the minimum between the sides again. Within a minute Cian Commins notched over his second point of the evening and substitute Paudy Clarke restored his side’s three point advantage with a point, with his first touch of the match. This, however, was the Ardee men’s last score of the evening with quarter of an hour still to play.
St. Mary’s defended well, but full-back James Costelloe fired over as did Hearty at the end of normal time, which left the minimum between the teams once more.
There was some time to be added for stoppages and during this period Emmet Kirk calmly slotted over a free-kick right on the final whistle to leave the match all-square.
St. Bride’s: Frank Noonan; Ronan Bailey, James Costelloe (0-1), Niall Brennan; Philip Tynan, Conor Deane, Liam Molloy; Mark Hoey, Alan Dunne; Neil Thornton, Seán Marry (0-2), Kevin Hearty (0-2), Ciarán Deane (0-2), Patrick Reilly (0-1), Andrew Smyth (0-2)
Subs: Seán Brennan (0-1), Emmet Kirk (0-1)
Ardee St. Mary’s: Gavin Douglas, Niall Eccles, Barry McCoy, Conor Keenan; Brendan Matthews, Karl Faulkner, Éimhín Keenan; RJ Callaghan, Robert Leavy; Jamie Rooney, Darren Clarke (0-3), Tom Jackson; Conor Gillespie, Ronan Carroll (0-3), Cian Commins (1-2)
Subs: Tiernan Corrigan, Paudy Clarke (0-1), Calum Noade, Philip Trainor