Joyce brace earns point for Jude's in dour affair
Dublin SFC St Jude's 2-6 St O Plunkett's 1-9
St Jude's and St Oliver Plunkett's/ER shared the spoils in their disappointing Dublin SFC clash at Parnell Park last night.
There was very little to entertain the small crowd in the early exchanges as both sides were happy to drop numbers back, cede possession and look to strike on the counter-attack.
However, Plunkett's settled the better and deserved to take a slight edge in the 6th minute as Bernard Brogan converted a straightforward free following a foul on Sean Bugler.
They maintained their early momentum as Brogan added a far more difficult chance four minutes later and the lead was enhanced as Ross McConnell found Adam Keating for s mart score in the 11th minute.
St Jude's finally opened their account after a patient effort from Ronan Joyce in the 14th minute but Bugler was on hand to restore his team's three point lead with a typically classy effort from distance.
Diarmuid McLoughlin and Brogan (free) traded scores as the half progressed before St Jude's finally brought some much-needed creativity to their play in the 21st minute with Joyce sneaking in behind the Plunkett's defence before firing a low shot beyond Padraig Brennan from eight yards.
Anything that Joyce could do, Brogan could do better and within two minutes he showcased his predatory instincts when racing onto Craig Dunleavy's centre before firing emphatically to the net past the helpless Paul Copeland.
Despite that setback and the loss of influential defender Chris Guckian to injury, St Jude's finished the half well as late scores from Niall Coakley and Tom Lahiff trimmed their deficit to two points (1-6 to 1-4) by half-time.
It took a rare sortie from defence from Paul Cunningham in the 44th minute to finally end the stalemate as he cut inside before releasing Joyce for another well-taken goal past Brennan.
Plunkett's responded well through Niall Walsh and Bugler and after McLoughlin and Coakley had edged Jude's back in front, Brogan landed his fifth free of the night to ensure parity by the final whistle.
Scorers - St Jude's: R Joyce 2-1, N Coakley (2f), D McLoughlin 0-2 each, T Lahiff 0-1. St Oliver Plunkett's/ER: B Brogan 1-5 (0-5f), S Bugler 0-2, A Keating, N Walsh 0-1 each.
St Jude's: P Copeland; O Manning, J Maguire, P Cunningham; T Lahiff, C Guckian, A Hassett; K Doherty, M Sweeney; T Devlin, D McLoughlin, R Joyce; N Coakley, K McManamon, P Clarke. Subs: C Fitzpatrick for Guckian (28), S King for Devlin (50), R English for Clarke (50), C O'Reilly for Fitzpatrick (55), A Sweeney for Hassett (58).
St Oliver Plunkett's/ER: P Brennan; P Curtin, R O'Connor, G McCormack; D Kelly, A Keating, J Brogan; S Bugler, C Dunleavy; D Brogan, B Brogan, N Walsh; I Popa, R McConnell, C Gurn. Subs: S Clifford for D Brogan (43), S Dunne for Popa (48), C Bresnan for Gurn (48), L Herron for Walsh (52), S Darcy for McConnell (60).
Ref: Dan Stynes (St Peregrine's)