Seniors Rue Missed Chances!
Our senior team played their first game of the Monaghan Electrical intermediate football league last Wednesday evening (11th April) and the concession of three late points in the last five minutes propelled Aughnamullen to secure the win on a scoreline Rockcorry 0-7 Aughnamullen 1-6.
The game, for most parts, was a scrappy affair and was scoreless for the first seven minutes as both teams struggled to cope with the wet and very slippery underfoot conditions but then it suddenly burst into life. Mark McGuirk opened the scoring on the 8th minute when he converted a free-kick after Colin Quinn was brought down. Aughnamullen responded shortly afterwards when they pointed a free-kick after Damien Matthews was adjudged to have fouled his opponent. We restored our lead a minute later when Fergal McGeough collected a pass from Lorcan Smyth and glided over a sweet point.
Aughnamullen kicked wides on the 12th, 13th and 15th minutes before eventually drawing level on the 16th minute when they scored a neat point from play. At this stage Aughnamullen were dominant and some uncertain defending allowed them in for a goal chance but thankfully Jamie Smith once again proved his worth in goals when he showed quick reactions and produced a fine save to deny them a goal. Aughnamullen were guilty of kicking wides on the 18th and 19th minutes and they were made to pay when Mark McGuirk tagged on points from free-kicks on the 24th and 25th minutes to put us two points in front, leading 0-4 to 0-2. John Greenan kicked wide on the 27th minute and with the first half near up Aughnamullen completed the scoring when they blasted over a forty-five to leave the score at the interval Rockcorry 0-4 Aughnamullen 0-3.
On the restart we stretched our lead when Paul McKeown fired between the uprights on the 5th minute to put us two points clear. The game continued to be end to end and both teams spurned scoring opportunities during the next five minutes. A promising attack on the 11th minute failed to yield a score and when Aughnamullen launched a sweeping counterattack their corner forward fed the ball across our square and was punched into the back of the net ahead of the advancing Jamie Smith and Damien Matthews to put them ahead by 0-5 to 1-3. A minute later Garry Calvert could have added a goal, following a good move down the field, but his shot was well saved by the Aughnamullen goal-keeper. Lorcan Smyth kicked wide on the 13th minute and when Noel Carroll was hauled down, on the 18th minute, Mark McGuirk showed his accuracy by sending over a lovely curling free-kick to level the game at 0-6 to 1-3. We regained the lead on the 23rd minute when Paul Mckeown collected a pass, turned sharply and skipped past his marker and slotted over a trademark point. Sadly, that was as good as it got because, that score proved to be our last as we failed to build on this lead and Aughnamullen kept the pressure on and equalised two minutes later when they converted a free-kick to leave the score at 0-7 to 1-4.
The game was now at a crucial phase and one would have hoped that we had enough experience and composure to see out the game but unfortunately things began to fall apart as we were guilty of giving away possession on numerous occasions and Aughnamullen took full advantage when they came on the prowl and notched over a point on the 30th minute to take the lead, 0-7 to 1-5. While the lads continued to press for an equalising score they came up against a stern Aughnamullen rear-guard and as the seconds ticked away Aughnamullen finished the game strongly and put the result beyond doubt when they converted a free-kick two minutes into injury time to add the final nail into the coffin.
On reflection, we were left to rue what might have been as we failed to make the most of some good scoring opportunities that came our way. We certainly missed the influence of Mark Daly, Keith Daly, Martin Carroll, Eoin Fitzpatrick, Anthony Tate and Stephen Lynch due to injuries and their return to fitness will be vital to the teams progression.
To view a selection of action photographs on our Flickr site please click the link below:
Team & Scorers: Jamie Smith, Conor McGeough, Damien Matthews, Keelan Clerkin, Stephen McGuirk, Johnny Reilly, Colin Quinn, Noel Carroll, Niall McKeown, Lorcan Smyth, Garry Calvert, Fergal McGeough 0-1, John Greenan, Mark McGuirk 0-4 and Paul McKeown 0-2. Subs: Dwayne Rooney for John Greenan and Rory Carroll for Stephen McGuirk (injured).