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92nd minute winner keeps title race alive

By Harry Shorthose

St. Patrick’s Boys ………….3 New Oak Boys………………. 4

Nationalist Premier Division

A seven goal thriller at The Meadows ended in a 92nd minute winner keeping New Oak’s title chances alive. Pats battled hard and put the New Oak defence under pressure at times. However, their defence which has been their undoing so many times this season, was once again their achilles heel. New Oak, like champions do, dug deep and came from behind twice.

It was a dream start for Pats as they got the rewards that their efforts deserved in the fourteenth minute when Brian McGuire was on hand to tap in a cross from the left. New Oak responded in the twentieth minute as a corner from the left found Greg Sykula who was unmarked and made no mistake in slotting the ball past Brian McDermott in goal. They needed a stroke of luck to take the lead as Cian Dowling’s cross from the right swung straight into the far top corner with McDermott unable to clear it.

Pat’s didn’t give up and kept pressing and they got their reward three minutes after the break when Conor Clack chipped Kealan Gaffney in the New Oak goal from distance. New Oak dug deep and kept pushing and gave it everything to try get across the line.

Dowling shot straight at McDermott in goal before Lee Murphy’s corner was hit over the bar. However, it was the hosts who grabbed the next goal. Liam Byrne’s free hit off the wall before finding its way back out to the wing. The New Oak defence switched off for a moment as they thought the ball had gone out for a corner but the whistle never came.

The confusion allowed Chris Gaul to nip in and convert from a scramble in the box with twenty minutes to go. Pats will have thought job done and that the points were secure especially when Byrne blocked a shot off the line. New Oak drove forward through Tomo Badum on the left. McDermott came out to try and deal with the effort but he missed the ball and Badum slipped round him and drove the ball towards the bottom corner.

Cue the celebrations. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be as Byrne was on hand to to save their blushes. Pat’s surely thought that was it and that lady luck was on their side. However, their defence fell asleep from a corner with five minutes to go and Conor Byrne was on hand to equalise.

The draw would have been a fair result and neither side would have had any complaints. But luck was on New Oak’s side and Barry O’Driscoll’s shot deflected off Tomo Badum in the 92nd minute to give them all three points with the defence again falling asleep.

Teams:

St. Patrick’s Boys: Brian McDermott, Leven de Silva, James Reddy, Brian McGuire, Mark Boland, Johnny Dowling, Liam Byrne, Chris Gaul, Roy Byrne, Nathan Doyle, Gearoíd Cuddihy. Subs: Harry Taylor, Aaron Cullen, Conor O’Brien, Luca Hutton, Niall Murphy, Conor Clack, Tunde Ogunforwa.

New Oak Boys: Kealan Gaffney, Cian Dowling, Cian Cleary, Cathal Gaffney, David O’Shea, Brian Quigley, Lee Murphy, Conor Byrne, Greg Sykula, Jordan Harmon, Chris Bermingham

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