Veteran Byrne gets Bray off to a winning start
Jason Byrne (left) scored the winner for Bray against Shelbourne. Photograph: Inpho
Bray Wanderers 1 Shelbourne 0: Veteran striker Jason Byrne was the Bray hero as his second-half header was enough to see Wanderers off to a winning start to their Premier Division campaign against ten-man Shelbourne at the Carlisle Grounds.
Shels came close to breaking the deadlock after just ten minutes when midfielder Robert Bayly’s 40-yard free kick was pushed round the post by alert Bray ’keeper Darren Quigley.
Gary Dempsey and Byrne had chances for Bray before Shels were reduced to ten men on 27 minutes. Paul Crowley was shown the red card by Clare referee Pádraig Sutton after a clumsy two-footed midfield challenge on Daire Doyle.
With their numerical advantage, Bray pressed forward and, from a corner on the left, Kevin O’Connor headed narrowly wide of the upright. Marty Waters’ shot then forced a fine save from Shels ’keeper Ger Hanley.
Bray eventually got their noses in front on 67 minutes when a high cross from Waters on the left allowed the industrious Byrne to head powerfully home from close range.
Shelbourne refused to throw in the towel and substitute Mark Leech and Philip Hughes both went close late on.