Castleblayney 1-11 Rockcorry 0-10

First league point(s) thwarted by Faugh’s late, late show

If you awarded league points for hard work, effort and determination then our senior team would have been entitled to a couple when they played Castleblayney in the Drumlin Credit Union senior football league on Wednesday 1st May. They worked extremely hard and gave a very gutsy performance, in this highly entertaining match, which seemed destined to secure our first league point of the campaign but it was thwarted by a late, late rally from Castleblayney that yielded 1-1 which turned the game in their favour and ultimately clinched the victory on a score-line Castleblayney 1-11 Rockcorry 0-10.

The game was played in lovely conditions, at St. Mary’s Park, on a perfect sod, and the football displayed from both teams matched the beautiful sunny evening. We started the match very tentatively with Castleblayney stamping their authority on the game straight away and with five minutes on the clock we were trailing by 0-3 to 0-0. After a slow start we eventually found our stride and started to compete well and played some outstanding football and Fergal McGeough registered our first score when he pointed a free-kick on the 11th minute. Castleblayney spurned a scoring opportunity on the 13th minute but they made amends shortly after with a fine point from play to restore a three point lead. Dwayne Rooney superbly struck a point on the 16th minute and when Fergal McGeough was fouled moments later Mark Daly converted the resultant free-kick to leave the score-board showing Castleblayney 0-4 Rockcorry 0-3 after seventeen minutes. Castleblayney added a point from a free-kick on the 19th minute but our response was swift with Dwayne Rooney finishing in style with a high looping effort that just managed to drop over the crossbar.   With half time approaching we gained parity when Fergal McGeough added a brilliant point following a good build-up that involved Keelan Clerkin and Noel Carroll to leave the scoreboard showing Castleblayney 0-5 Rockcorry 0-5 at the midway stage.

The second half started extremely well for Castleblayney as they got the ideal start and pointed within sixty seconds and a couple of minutes later they could have scored a goal but their attempt whizzed over the crossbar to move two points ahead, leading 0-7 to 0-5. Both teams missed scoring opportunities during the next five minutes but when Fergal McGeough collected a cross-field pass from Dwayne Rooney he slipped past his marker to cut the arrears to just a single point. Castleblayney, however, responded quickly to maintain a two point advantage and they should have increased their lead further but kicked wide on the 11th and 14th minutes. Mark Daly glided over a splendid free-kick on the 15th minute and two minutes later when Noel Carroll was brought down, Fergal McGeough bisected the uprights with a sensational effort to level proceedings at 0-8 apiece.

An even contest continued to unfold as both sides battled bravely and on the 21st minute Castleblayney restored their slender advantage with a neat finish. When Keelan Clerkin was fouled, on the 23rd minute, sharpshooter Fergal McGeough got a chance to equalise and he duly obliged, showing his accuracy from the placed ball to leave both sides on 0-9 each. As the half concluded, we took the lead for the first time, on the 24th minute, when upfront talisman Noel Carroll rifled a great shot over the bar but unfortunately this was nullified within thirty seconds as Castleblayney converted a free-kick to level the game going into the last five minutes.

On the 26th minute, it looked as if Fergal McGeough had put us ahead with what appeared to be a lovely point but to everyone’s amazement the umpire deemed it wide! At this stage, it was all about which team could take it to the next level and with the final whistle approaching Castleblayney called on all their resolve and experience to dig deep, very deep and in a devastating couple of minutes they turned the spoils in their favour with a late, late show that produced 1-1. They first scored a point on the 28th minute and with only seconds remaining of normal regulation time they broke through our defence to tap home a goal. We tried to recover and threw everything into attack to try and muster some vital scores but Castleblayney held firm to emerge victorious on a final score-line Castleblayney 1-11 Rockcorry 0-10.

Reflecting on the game this was a brave performance from the team. They all showed great character, worked hard for each other and the they deserved to take something from the game but sport, like life, can be so cruel sometimes but you just have to take it on the chin and bounce back stronger for the next challenge which by the way is against our neighbours Latton this Sunday 5th May in Pairc Naomh Mhuire at 2.00pm. Well done lads keep up the good work, hold your heads high lads and keep on going. These are the moments why you play football, to compete against the best, to be the best. As one man famously texted “Believe”!

P.S. On behalf of the club I would like to wish Garry Calvert a speedy recovery after sustaining a broken nose in last night’s match.

Johnny Reilly looks ahead for options as he carries the ball out of defence

Johnny Reilly looks ahead for options as he carries the ball out of defence

To view a selection of action photographs please click the lick below to visit our Flickr page.

Team & Scorers: Dean Fay, Lorcan Smyth, Damien Matthews, Conor McGeough, Johnny Reilly, Keith Daly, Stephen Lynch, Keelan Clerkin, Mark Daly (0-2f), Noel Carroll (0-1), Paul McKeown, Mark McGuirk, Garry Calvert, Dwayne Rooney (0-2), Fergal McGeough (0-5, 3f). Subs: Anthony Tate for Johnny Reilly (injured)