Reserve team slump to a 17-point defeat
Our reserve players kick-started their Platinum Tanks reserve football league on Saturday 8th March when they travelled to Smithboro to take on Eire Og. The game was played in chilly and windy conditions and underfoot conditions were heavy which made the challenge all the more difficult but as the cliché goes “it was the same for both sides”. Eire Og played with the aid of the slight wind blowing down the field during the first moiety and took control of the proceedings when they raised three green flags during a four minute blitzkrieg which ultimately eased them to an impressive 17 point winning margin as we suffered a heavy defeat on a score-line Eire Og 5-14 Rockorry 1-9.
While we got off to a great start with Andrew Carroll pointing superbly after just three minutes it was short lived however as Eire Og gained their rhythm and quickly took the lead on the 8th minute when they bagged their opening goal and within four minutes they stretched their advantage when they broke through our rear-guard and scored goals on the 10th and 12th minutes to lead 3-0 to 0-1 after twelve minutes. On the 13th minute Eire Og notched over a point but this was immediately cancelled out when Andrew Carroll showed enough resolve to finish in style with a neat score. Eire Og continued to show form and slotted over another fine point on the 17th minute and a minute later Dwayne Rooney got his name on the score-sheet when he finished in style to leave the scoreboard showing Eire Og 3-2 to Rockcorry 0-3.
Eire Og increased their advantage with two further points on the 19th & 20th minutes and when Stephen McGuirk was brought down on the 21st minute he took a short free-kick to Kyle Rooney who slotted over from close range. Martin Carroll closed the gap a minute later when he broke through the Eire Og defence but his low trajectory shot at goals skimmed the crossbar to leave the scoreboard reading 3-4 to 0-5. As the game entered the closing stages Eire Og took control in virtually every sector of the pitch and while they kicked wide on the 23rd and 24th minutes they extended their advantage with a neat point on the 25th minute and continued to pile on the agony when they yielded another 1-2, which effectively wrapped up the game, to lead by 4-7 to 0-5 at the half time break.
Facing a whopping fourteen point deficit a number of changes were introduced during the half time interval but unfortunately the team continued to be particularly fragile because every time the Eire Og side attacked they looked dangerous and within the first three minutes of the game resuming they stretched their lead notching up 1-1 to lead by an impressive 5-8 to 0-5. Dwayne Rooney managed to pull a point back from a free-kick on the 5th minute and Anthony Tate reduced the deficit on the 10th minute with an eye-catching point from long range. However, Eire Og’s youthful energy & pace shone through and they notched over two quickfire points to leave the scoreboard showing 5-10 to 0-7 after fourteen minutes.
The hard-working Colin Quinn drove forward on the 15th minute with a determined solo run and curled over a fine point but once again Eire Og had the ability to respond and lobbed over two more points to maintain a healthy advantage leading 5-12 to 0-8. Keelan Clerkin showed great tenacity on the 20th minute when he slipped past two defenders and fired superbly to the back of the net but the cherry was put on top of their win when Eire Og added two more points in quick succession. Colin Quinn closed out the game when he converted a long range free-kick during additional time but it was not enough as Eire Og secured and sealed a comfortable victory on a score-line Eire Og 5-14 to Rockcorry 1-9.
On reflection, this was our first competitive outing for many of the players in the campaign and while they showed admirable character and spirit there were times we showed a lack of match sharpness, particularly during the early stages, and were left exposed in too many areas of the pitch. There was no doubting the effort from the players and they kept plugging away and deserve credit for their labours and in fairness we did create chances but unlike the Eire Og side we were unable to convert them onto the scoreboard and this is something that will definitely need to improve on for future outings which incidentally will be a home encounter against Corduff on Sunday 16th March at 2.30pm.
Team: Dean Fay, Colin Quinn (0-1, 0-1f), Cathal Sheridan, Ryan Sharkey, Garry Calvert, Ross Murray, Keelan Clekin (1-0), Martin Carroll (0-1), Kyle Rooney (0-1), Stephen McGuirk, Andrew Carroll (0-2), Anthony Tate (0-1), Dwayne Rooney (0-1, 0-1f). Subs: Cormac McFadden for Stephen McGuirk (Injured), Aaron Clerkin for Ross Murray, Rory Carroll for Kyle Rooney, Christopher Greenan for Andrew Carroll and Shane Wynne for Ryan Sharkey.