Bray Wanderers came from behind in this Leinster Senior Cup game, Ryan Brennan (twice) and Dean Kelly scoring after Billy Dennehy had opened the scoring for the visitors.
The Saints probed early on, but it wasn’t until the 23rd minute that they enjoyed their first chance, gifted when Alan McNally was sluggish in possession and Christy Fagan dispossessed him, but the Bray man recovered to apply pressure on the striker and the move ended with the shot ricocheting behind off Fagan.
A minute later, Gareth McDonagh played a rapid one-two with Dean Kelly and surged into the area, but his shot lacked conviction and was comfortably saved by Conor O’Malley.
The opening goal was begun by former Seagull Graham Kelly, who beat two Bray players and pushed the ball down the right for Conan Byrne, who in turn had time and space to deliver a pinpoint cross for Billy Dennehy at the back post and the former Cork stalwart opened the Dublin side’s account with a low shot past Peter Cherrie.
It could have been two when Cawley wrestled off a defender in the area before unleashing a low strike, but Cherrie made a good save.
The deficit was wiped out within four minutes by Brennan, who wasn’t closed down when in possession 30m out. His low drive skidded beneath O’Malley to the bottom corner.
The home side had a close call a minute later as Dennehy’s deep cross from the left evaded both Peter Cherrie and Conor Kenna, but in the end it also avoided Fagan.
Pats nearly took the lead again when a cross from Bermingham looped over Cherrie, but Kenna was there to head away from the waiting Billy Dennehy.
Fagan nearly had a further chance to add a second, but his effort was blocked once again by Kenna.
Ger O’Brien almost restored the lead for the visitors but his curling effort was tipped over by Cherrie.
McNally’s mixed evening continued when an air-shot landed him in trouble against Fagan, but his subsequent block bailed him out.
Less than ten minutes into the second period, Brennan received a pass in a tight space in the Pats area but he managed to twist and fire past O’Malley for his second of the evening.
And nine minutes later came what would turn out to the the winner. From a quick counter-attack Kelly finished off a rapid move up the right before flashing a shot across O’Malley and in off the inside of the far post.
In stoppage time, Fagan was still causing problems for the Bray defence. He controlled a cross on his chest and took a half-volley, but it flew high over the bar from close range.
Bray Wanderers: 1 Peter Cherrie; 24 Sean Harding (YC 45), 5 Alan McNally, 4 Conor Kenna, 3 Curtis Murphy; 7 Alan Byrne; 23 Gareth McDonagh, 8 Mark Salmon, 6 Ryan Brennan, 10 Karl Moore; 9 Dean Kelly
Subs: 17 Ger Pender (for Kelly 72), 2 Hugh Douglas (for Harding 85), 15 Sean Noble (for Moore 85), 32 Sean Fogarty (gk), 20 Paul Finnegan, 14 Paul Murphy, 19 Troy Carey
St Patricks Athletic: 16 Conor O’Malley; 2 Ger O’Brien, 15 Shane McEleney, 4 Darren Dennehy, 3 Ian Bermingham; 6 David Cawley, 18 Sam Verdon, 7 Conan Byrne, 14 Graham Kelly, 20 Billy Dennehy; 9 Christy Fagan
Subs: 1 Brendan Clarke (gk), 10 Dinny Corcorcan (for Verdon 72), 11 Fuad Sule, 17 Dylan McGlade (for Byrne 71), 19 Rory Feely (for Kelly 87), 21 Darragh Markey, 22 Michael Barker
Referee: Paul Tuite