Round 16 – Streamline Coaches Intermediate Football League – Sunday 26th September
Senior team get back on the winning track
Team: Jamie Smith, Colin Reilly, Damien Matthews, Garry Calvert, Keith Daly, Niall McKeown 0-1, Stephen McGuirk, Barry Patterson, Mark Daly 0-7, Keelan Clerkin 0-1, Martin Carroll, Noel Carroll 0-1, Mark McGuirk, Liam Connolly, Colin Quinn 0-2. Subs: Paul McKeown 0-1 for Martin Carroll
We erased the memory of a poor performance against Inniskeen by getting back on the winning track when we recorded a valuable win over Eire Og on Sunday 26th September. With three teams competing for the last two qualifying positions it was vital for us to get a win and the lads achieved that with a five point winning margin that leaves us on the same points as Inniskeen and the issue now will be determined by the results of our last two league games against Aughnamullen and Currin. The game was played at Scotstown in perfect conditions and there was very little between the sides during the first half with one side eking out a slender lead only for the other to cancel it out and this trend continued for the entirety of the first half. Mark Daly went close to scoring our first point but his effort on the 1st minute drifted wide. Shortly afterwards, Colin Quinn’s persistence and dogged aggression earned him a shot at goals but it was saved by the Eire Og goal-keeper. Colin was in the thick of the action seconds later when we were back on the attack and while he found some space on the left wing his attempt was off-target. We got off the mark moments later when Martin Carroll gathered the breaking ball and he off-loaded to Mark Daly who set-up Keelan Clerkin and he slotted over to raise the first white flag of the day.
On the 7th minute, Colin Quinn and Liam Connolly prevented an Eire Og defender from getting out easy and they were rewarded with a free-kick but Stephen McGuirk’s attempt at the uprights was wide. Good defending by Garry Calvert and Damien Matthews on the 9th minute foiled an Eire Og attack but with some careless passing we were guilty of losing possession and Eire Og hoofed a hopeful ball into our goal-mouth but Stephen McGuirk was up for the task as he collected and cleared the danger. Eire Og opened their account on the 11th minute with a fine point from play and moments later they launched another attack but Damien Matthews, now back wearing the Nr. 3 jersey after a sojourn at Nr. 14, showed he lost none of his defensive alertness as he closed down the opposition in most emphatic style and shepherded his opponent over the end-line.
Barry Patterson was fouled on the 13th minute and Mark Daly converted the free-kick to take the lead but Eire Og were back on level terms a couple of minutes later when they pointed a free-kick after Garry Calvert fouled his opponent. Eire Og missed two scoring opportunities on the 17th and 20th minutes but they did take the lead a minute later with a majestic long range point. Thankfully, that lead didn’t last too long as we replied in true fashion as Mark Daly won the kick-out and he delivered a long ball into Colin Quinn whose low-trajectory shot whizzed over the bar via the outstretched fingertips of the Eire Og goal-keeper to draw the sides level on 0-3 apiece.
We quickly regained the upper hand and when Mark McGuirk was dragged down Mark Daly sailed over a free-kick via the upright but Eire Og equalized on the 27th minute with a neat point from play. Martin Carroll did well to win the ball right on the sideline and he fed a long ball into Mark McGuirk but he was quickly closed down and the ball went over the end-line for a forty-five and the resultant kick was kicked wide by Mark Daly. On the 29th minute, Colin Quinn won the dirty ball and he teed-up Mark Daly who fired over a sweet point to restore a one point advantage and the score-board at the break showed Eire Og 0-4 Rockcorry 0-5.
Whatever team management said during the interval certainly had the desired effect as on the restart we emerged the fresher and hungrier side and began to stamp our authority on the game and when we notched up an impressive six points in just eight minutes the game decisively swung in our favour. Noel Carroll kicked started the blitzkrieg after forty seconds when he collected a pass from Niall McKeown and bisected the uprights with a delightful strike. Eire Og replied when they converted a free-kick after Colin Reilly brought down his opponent but we then scored five unanswered points to put some daylight between the sides. Mark Daly finished in style on the 3rd minute after an intricate buildup involving Keith Daly, Barry Patterson and Noel Carroll.
Good work by Keith Daly and Noel Carroll a minute later was rewarded with a free-kick and when the ball was delivered into Mark McGuirk he was dragged down and Mark Daly split the posts with a glorious free. The ensuing kick-out was broken down by Niall McKeown and when Noel Carroll gathered he soloed towards goals and off-loaded to the on-rushing Mark Daly who was fouled and after composing himself he tapped over a simple free to open up a four point gap. On the 7th minute Niall McKeown galloped forward and when he collected a pass from Martin Carroll he got his name on the score-sheet with a sweet score from twenty-five metres. Mark Daly completed the blitz when he notched over another free-kick to leave the score 0-5 to 0-11. A couple of minutes later Liam Connolly had a wonderful opportunity to increase our advantage but his effort went wide via the upright after a well-engineered move including Damien Matthews, Niall McKeown, Barry Patterson and Martin Carroll.
On the 12th minute Damien Matthews was guilty off fouling his opponent but the free-kick lacked power and Jamie Smith easily collected and cleared his lines. Moments later Keith Daly looked to be fouled but amazingly the referee awarded a free to Eire Og and after a discussion the decision stood and they duly converted to narrow the deficit. Eire Og missed scoring opportunity on the 14th minute and following another attack a minute later, after some initial uncertainly as to the validity of a point, the referee correctly signaled a wide, as the ball clearly hit the outside of the upright.
However, they closed the gap to four points on the 17th minute after they pointed a free-kick and when Niall McKeown was penalized for over carrying moments later they failed to close the deficit further when they kicked wide. Eire Og added another point from a free-kick on the 22nd minute to leave 0-3 points separating the sides and at this stage there were some tense and nail biting moments particularly when Eire Og launched a high ball into our danger area but Jamie Smith and / or Garry Calvert punched the ball clear.
Stephen McGuirk should’ve have extended our lead but he failed to slot over a free-kick after Barry Patterson was fouled on the 25th minute but a couple of minutes later Colin Quinn notched over the insurance point following good approach play by Keith Daly and Noel Carroll to leave four points separating the sides. Colin thought he had registered his third point of the game but while his shot appeared to go between the posts, as indicated by the umpire Seamus Tate, the referee disallowed the score as he waved it wide. However, there was no denying our next score which came from the boot of Paul McKeown who was introduced for Martin Carroll as he showed great skill and trickery prior to firing over a sweet point to complete the scoring and the final score Eire Og 0-8 Rockcorry 0-13.