No Guts, No Glory!
There’s an old saying and it’s one of my favourite sayings “No Guts, No Glory” and I think this expression is very adequate to describe the performance of our minor team when they took on Mageracloone in the semi-final of the Maguire Transport division 2 football championship. If you want to achieve glory, you have to take risks and show guts and that’s exactly what the lads showed, particularly during the second half, when they trailed 0-5 to 2-5 at the break against a determined and well-organised Magheracloone side because they put in an immense effort to restrict Magheracloone to score only once while during the same period we notched over seven points to leave the final score Rock Sarsfields 0-12 Magheracloone 2-6.
The game was played in pleasant conditions in Doohamlet and the opening exchanges were dominated by Magheracloone and were first to register a score when they pointed after two minutes and they doubled their lead moments later with another neat point. Christopher Kilpatrick kicked wide on the 6th minute but the next five minutes it was all one-way traffic as Magheracloone stormed forward with wave upon wave of attacks but luckily for us they kicked wide on the 7th, 8th, 9th and 11th minutes. They did manage, however, to extend their advantage on the 12th and 13th minutes to lead 0-0 to 0-4.
Our first score arrived on the 14th minute when Christopher Kilpatrick collected a pass from Mark Quigley and he sailed over a lovely point from the right wing. Magheracloone kicked another wide on the 20th minute but shortly afterwards they banged in their opening goal to leave the score 0-1 to 1-4 after twenty-one minutes of the game played. We responded swiftly and had a glorious chance to reduce the gap when Gerard Graham broke through their defence and with only the goal-keeper facing him his shot went agonisingly wide when it appeared a goal was at his mercy. Christopher Kilpatrick scored a superb point on the 23rd minute after John McGuirk did all the hard work and Mark McGuirk added another point on the 26th minute to make it 0-3 to 1-4.
Lorcan Smyth made a well-timed tackle on the 28th minute and when Finnian Smith collected the loose ball he surged forward and off-loaded to Mark McGuirk who delivered a measured pass into Christopher Kilpatrick who bisected the uprights with a wonderful point to leave only three points separating the sides. With half-time fast approaching Magheracloone stretched their lead when they pointed on the 29th minute and we suffered a major setback two minutes into injury time when Magheracloone claimed their second goal. Mark McGuirk converted a free-kick on the 33rd minute to leave the score at the interval Rock Sarsfields 0-5 Magheracloone 2-5.
I imagine there was quite a strong pep talk during the half-time break because when our lads took the field they were more determined and got off to a dream start as Christopher Kilpatrick pointed after twenty-three seconds. Good defending by Ciaran Corr, on the 3rd minute, instigated a swift move down the field and when Keelan Clerkin was hauled down Mark McGuirk stepped up and tapped over the free-kick. Magheracloone missed scoring opportunities on the 5th and 8th minutes before Mark McGuirk glided over a tremendous free-kick and on the 17th minute he sailed over a peach of a point to leave the score 0-9 to 2-5.
When Fergal McGeough was brought down in the large parallelogram on the 19th minute we had a wonderful chance to take the lead but Mark McGuirk’s strike was well saved by the Magheracloone goal-keeper to deny us the opportunity. Unfortunately, on the 20th minute, we suffered a setback when we were reduced to fourteen men after Mark Quigley picked up a second yellow card and at this stage Magheracloone seized possession and with some good approach play they slotted over a point. The lads continued to battle away and narrowed the deficit to a single point when Mark McGuirk converted free-kicks on the 23rd and 26th minute to leave the score 0-11 to 2-6. With time ticking away we were awarded a late free-kick and Mark McGuirk showed good composure to fire the ball between the uprights to draw the sides level 0-12 to 2-6.
In truth, a draw was probably the fairest result as both teams served up an exciting game of football where there was no quarter given between these two evenly matched sides. Both teams had their spells of dominance and when Magheracloone asked the questions the lads showed great determination and real character, especially during the second half, as they raised their performance by several notches to dig out a deserved draw. So well done lads, keep up the good work, and hopefully you can get the right result the next time.
Please click the link below to view a slide show of action photographs.