Brogans fire big warning to rivals
Bernard et al pick Peregrines apart as Plunkett's march on
AN outstanding individual display from Bernard Brogan proved to be the highlight in Russell Park last night, when 2014 finalists St Oliver Plunkett's/Eoghan Ruadh sent out a serious statement of intent against an under-strength St Peregrine's in the opening round of the Dublin SFC.
The 2010 Footballer of the Year helped himself to an impressive personal tally of 2-7, and with his brother Alan also making an impact during his 43 minutes on the field, they are likely to be serious contenders for top honours this year.
With just 15 seconds gone on the clock, Bernard Brogan found the back of James Kelly's net at the second time of asking, and the in-form full-forward also added three points in as many minutes to offer the Navan Road outfit a significant platform during the early exchanges.
Peregrine's were struggling to deal with the pace and power of the opposition attack, and with Armagh star Ciarán McKeever leading by example in his first club championship outing in the Capital, Plunkett's also had a solid defensive structure.
Dublin panellist Eric Lowndes did finally open the Peregrine's account with a superb point five minutes in, and even though Kelly denied Alan Brogan with a superb point-blank save, his younger sibling Bernard eventually restored his side's six-point advantage just shy of the first-quarter mark.
Raiding half-back James Brogan finally lifted the scoring burden from the shoulders of his cousin by registering a 16th minute score, and despite conceding a point to Peregrine's full-forward Robert McCarthy, a second Plunkett's goal subsequently arrived through the industrious Paul Brogan (the youngest of the three brothers in action).
It was already turning into a damage limitation exercise for the Blakestown men, and in spite of the best efforts from Lowndes and McCarthy, points by Gareth 'Nesty' Smith (two), Niall Walsh, Ross McConnell and Alan Brogan offered Plunkett's a seemingly insurmountable 2-11 to 0-4 interval lead.
Peregrine's did persevere with their challenge after the restart, but following a brace of Walsh goals in the 34th and 43rd minutes respectively, the Plunkett's cushion had increased to all of 20 minutes.
A terrific Lowndes point did briefly lift the spirits of Peregrine's, however, and the tireless McCarthy did contribute a 0-4 salvo inside the closing moments of the tie.
Yet, Plunkett's were always in command of their own destiny, and after Bernard Brogan had clinically secured his second goal of the contest one minute from the end, the evergreen Smith concluded the scoring with a brace of fine points in second-half stoppage-time.
ST OLIVER PLUNKETT'S/Eoghan Ruadh 5-15 ST PEREGRINE'S 0-9
SCORERS: St Oliver Plunkett's/Eoghan Ruadh: B Brogan 2-7 (0-1f), N Walsh 2-1, G Smith 0-4, P Brogan 1-0, J Brogan, R McConnell, A Brogan 0-1 each. St Peregrine's: R McCarthy 0-7 (5f), E Lowndes 0-2.
ST OLIVER PLUNKETT'S/EOGHAN RUADH: A O'Mara; D Kelly, S Lyons, P Cuirtin; J Brogan, C McKeever, S O'Connor; C Dunleavy, R McConnell; C Walsh, A Brogan, P Brogan; G Smith, B Brogan, N Walsh.
Subs: E Clarke for Kelly (34), D Lally for O'Connor, D Matthews for A Brogan (both 43), P Lee for McConnell (57), O'Connor for B Brogan (59).
ST PEREGRINE'S: J Kelly; C Reddy, C Mackey, D Stephens; D Lynch, D Moran, S Costello; S Sweeney, M Duda; T Reilly, E Lowndes, J Fitzmaurice; M Sweeney, R McCarthy, G Carroll.
Subs: A Nolan for Carroll (43), A Kendlon for Reilly (48), C Heffernan for Duda (52), D McIntosh for Costello, J McDonnell for Fitzmaurice (both 59).
Referee: D McKitterick (Fingallians).