Peter's snatch draw from tie they should have won
St. Peter's 0-15 St. Benildus 1-12
St. Peter's needed a last-gasp Aaron Breen free to snatch a draw from a game they really should have won against hosts St. Benildus in their Top Oil Leinster Schools Senior 'A' football championship Group E clash on Wednesday.
The defending champions dominated much of the game but failed to put a mediocre south Dublin side away.
Indeed, they were heading for a disastrous defeat until a Dylan Lyne burst won them an injury-time free and Breen held his nerve from 30 metres out to earn the tie.
It was a peculiar game that swung on the St. Peter's mood at any given minute.
They kicked the opening score through Michael Carroll, were camped in their opponents' half for the first five minutes, but then went off the boil.
With the advantage of playing on their home astro pitch, the hosts nabbed three of their total of four points they managed from play before the end of the opening quarter. With free-taker Cian O'Rourke adding a couple of dead-balls, they quickly moved 0-5 to 0-1 clear.
Then the Wexford lads woke up and played some excellent football, scoring nine unanswered points in just twelve minutes. Adam Cantwell kicked the score that levelled the clash at five each after a fantastic interception by clubmate Ben Maddock in midfield.
The points kept coming from all over the attack as St. Peter's prospered. Liam O'Connor robbed a ball he had no right to win in the 27th minute and set Cantwell up for another point before Maddock ended the run with a fine score from deep.
An O'Rourke free just before the interval gave the hosts hope (0-10 to 0-6), but the visiors picked up where they left off after the resumption with Carroll and Cantwell registering either side of a great goal chance that saw Eoin Donnelly clear Jack Devereux's shot off the line.
Just after adding his fourth point, O'Rourke found the net from a placed-ball way out on the left wing.
It was a horror blow for a side that had been coasting. Suddenly it was game on and quickly St. Benildus moved into a shock 1-10 to 0-12 lead in the 45th minute.
Again St. Peter's responded with a period of pressure. Lyne and Carroll kicked points but five terrible wides in a row between the 49th and 54th minutes were a real kick in the guts.
Another pair of O'Rourke frees put St. Benildus ahead but Breen snatched the very least his side deserved with the second-last kick of the game.
Realistically, the Summerhill school will now need to at least beat Athlone C.C. to keep their hopes of a quarter-final place alive.
A win in that game may be enough to top the group and advance to the last eight, depending on the result between the Westmeath school and St. Benildus.
St. Peter's: Jake Clancy (Sarsfields); Jake Nobbs (Blackwater), Philip Dempsey (St. Martin's), Matthew Banville (Glynn-Barntown); Michael Codd (St. Martin's), Cian Meyler (OLI/St. Fintan's), Ben Maddock (St. Martin's, 0-1); Brian Deeny (Volunteers), Aaron Breen (Glynn-Barntown, 0-5, 4 frees); Conall Clancy (Sarsfields, 0-1); Michael Carroll (Glynn-Barntown, 0-3, 1 free), Adam Cantwell (St. Martin's, 0-3); Dylan Lyne (Glynn-Barntown, 0-2), Liam O'Connor (St. Mary's, Rosslare), Jack Devereux (St. Martin's). Sub. - Cathal Devereux (Crossabeg-Ballymurn) for O'Connor (31).
St. Benildus: Stephen Aherne; Eoin Donnelly, Fiachra McLoughlin, Cormac Tobin; Cian Mac Donnagh, Oisín Donnelly, Gavin Soraghan; Stephan Meagher, Joe Sweeney; Cian O'Rourke (1-8 frees), Killian Walsh (0-1), Niall Roe (0-1); Cian Sullivan (0-1), Rory Smith, Alex Timlin (0-1). Subs. - Oscar Bent for Meagher (37), Cathal O'Connor for Timlin (49), Emmet Bolster for Mac Donnagh (58).
Referee: Patrick Coyle (Meath).