Streamline Coaches Intermediate Football League, Round 12 – Wednesday 28th July
Rock on song as we cruise to comfortable victory
Team: Jamie Smith, Colin Reilly, Damien Matthews, Garry Calvert, Keith Daly, Johnny Reilly, Stephen McGuirk 0-1, Mark Daly 0-4, Niall McKeown, Liam Connolly 1-1, Martin Carroll 0-1, Noel Carroll 0-1, Mark McGuirk, Paul McKeown 1-1, Dwayne Rooney 0-2.
Subs: Barry Patterson 0-1 for Martin Carroll, Keelan Clerkin for Mark McGuirk, Anthony Tate for Dwayne Rooney, Colin Quinn for Garry Calvert, Conor McGeough for Mark Daly.
Our senior team had few problems overcoming Emyvale in this Streamline Coaches intermediate football league clash played on Wednesday 28th July. After a competitive first half we enjoyed a 2-6 to 1-4 lead at the break but in the second half we assumed complete control and outscored Emyvale in impressive style 2-6 to 0-2 to run out comprehensive winners on a score-line Emyvale 1-6 Rockcorry 2-12.
The game was played in ideal conditions, albeit a very strong and very unpleasant smell lingered for the duration of the match, and we started the game brightly as Noel Carroll opened the scoring in the 2nd minute when he kicked over a lovely point. Good defensive play by Johnny Reilly, a minute later, prevented Emyvale opening their account and play was stopped temporarily to allow an Emyvale player receive treatment. When play resumed, in the 6th minute, we worked the ball up field and when Martin Carroll delivered a pin-point pass to Noel Carroll his attempt at the uprights was, well let’s just say it was off target! We continued to apply all the pressure and it finally paid off as a minute Liam Connolly made no mistake when he sent a thundering shot to the back of the net to give us a 1-1 to 0-0 lead. Mark Daly had an opportunity to extend our lead but his shot fell short and into the goal-keepers hands and was cleared.
A well worked move, in the 8th minute, involving Keith Daly and Dwayne Rooney yielded a point from play when Martin Carroll finished in style. Moments later Jamie Smith showed his alertness when he was quick of his line to clear a ball for a forty-five and the resulting kick drifted wide. At this stage things were looking good with almost ten minutes of football played and we held a five point advantage, however Emyvale worked extremely hard and with some excellent attacking play they opened their account in the 12th minute when they converted a free-kick. Paul McKeown kicked wide in the 16th minute after collecting a pass from Martin Carroll and when Niall McKeown, Stephen McGuirk and Garry Calvert all combined in a swift downfield move to set up Paul McKeown his effort at the uprights drifted agonisingly wide. Emyvale scored their second point in the 18th minute and they drew level a couple of minutes later when they breached our defence and blasted the ball past Jamie Smith to leave both teams on 1-2 apiece. There was another lengthy stop in play after an accidental collision and when the game resumed Emyvale took the lead as they notched over a fine point.
We recovered quickly from this setback as we never panicked and reaffirmed our authority over the following minutes but we were guilty of missing some easy scoring chances in the 25th and 27th minutes. Firstly Noel Carroll had a wonderful opportunity to regain the lead when he collected a pass from Mark Daly and with only the goalie facing him he fluffed his lines and somehow shot wide when a goal was at his mercy and moments later Liam Connolly kicked wide. However, a couple of minutes later, we did manage to raise the green flag when Paul McKeown did well to win the ball ahead of his opponent, he then side-stepped the challenge of his marker and bravely went for goal and found the top-corner of the net with a rasping drive. Emyvale closed the gap when they adopted to employ the direct route to goal and pumped in a long delivery into our danger zone and it fell nicely to their corner forward who lobbed it over the bar to leave the score 1-4 to 2-2.
Emyvale were unable to sustain their charge as we enjoyed a dominant spell towards the end of the first half that yielded four points in six minutes. The first coming from the boot of Liam Connolly when he scored a sweet point in the 31st minute and less than a minute later Dwayne Rooney got his name on the score-sheet when he flicked the ball over the bar. Dwayne was in the action shortly afterwards but on this occasion his effort was off target. Mark Daly increased our lead when he finished off a wonderful move in the 35th minute and Paul McKeown fired over in the 37th minute to leave the scoreboard reading at the interval Emyvale 1-4 Rockcorry 2-6.
The second half started similar to the first and when Johnny Reilly surged forward and played a one-two with Paul McKeown he was hauled down and Mark Daly curled over the free-kick to register our first score of the second half. Colin Reilly strode forward from his corner back position, in the 4th minute, and when he was hauled down the resulting free-kick drifted narrowly wide. When Paul McKeown was fouled in the 6th minute, Stephen McGuirk most untypically under-hit a twenty metre free and when Mark McGuirk collected the recycled ball he didn’t connect properly and his tame shot was easily collected by the Emyvale goal-keeper.
Emyvale tried desperately to find an opening but our defence remained strong with Damien Matthews, Keith Daly and Johnny Reilly all ‘rock solid’ as they thwarted attack after attack and when we counter-attacked in the 8th minute Dwayne Rooney was brought down approximately forty-five metres from goals but it was brought up for dissent and Mark Daly sweetly struck the free over the bar. Two minutes later Dwayne was fouled again and this time Stephen McGuirk hit over a lovely point. From the ensuing kick-out we gained possession and when Dwayne Rooney collected a pass he sailed over a wonderful long range point to open up a 2-10 to 1-4 lead.
Liam Connolly kicked wide in the 12th minute and when Paul McKeown was penalised for over carrying a minute later it was an opportunity lost. Emyavle converted a free-kick in the 15th minute after Colin Reilly was adjudged to foul his opponent and they kicked wide a minute later. Great defensive work by Johnny Reilly and Keith Daly prevented Emyvale scoring in the 18th minute but a couple of minutes later they did manage to notch over their second point which proved to be their last score. Stephen McGuirk kicked into the goalie hands in the 21st minute and when Paul McKeown was fouled in the 23rd minute Mark Daly converted the free kick.
Thankfully, we could afford the luxury of squandering a few scoring chances as we kicked three wides in succession in the 24th, 26th and 29th minutes from the boots of Barry Patterson, Colin Quinn and Niall McKeown. However, when Barry Patterson showed a quick turn of pace in the 31st minute, his low trajectory shot shaved the crossbar for a point to finish the scoring and emerge deserving winners on a score-line Emyvale 1-6 Rockcorry 2-12.
While our performance was not the greatest but at the same time it was not unimpressive but it was still good enough to overcome a spirited effort by Emyvale. We were never in any great deal of difficulty apart from a brief flurry from Emyvale in the first half we totally dominated the game from start to finish but we certainly made hard work of seeing them off. The lads on occasions produced some fine passages of football and deserved the win but to use an infamous slogan of the Fianna Fail party “a lot done, but more to do” appears adequate as no doubt we will face sterner tests in the months ahead and it will require better performances in order to overcome these challenges. But nevertheless a win is a win and it keeps us in contention for a top four position so keep up the good works lads.