Seniors our outclassed by ruthless Doohamlet
I know what you’re all thinking; I billed this game as a “Clash of the Giants” encounter! In fairness, previous matches between these two sides have always been thrilling and close encounters and will be remembered for their closeness. However, on this occasion our lads provided very little resistance or threat to a powerful Doohamlet side as they proved an unstoppable force and as a result had little difficulty overcoming our feeble and lacklustre efforts to cruise to a comprehensive fourteen point victory but more importantly a place in the semi-final of the McGuigan Builders intermediate football championship on a scoreline Rockcorry 1-5 Doohamlet 2-16.
Doohamlet played with the aid of as strong breeze during the first half and went on the offensive from the first whistle and with less than twenty seconds on the clock Paul McArdle fired between the uprights. Ciaran McManus doubled their advantage on the 4th minute when he sailed over a long range point while at the other end a free-kick effort from Mark Daly drifted wide. Moments later we were awarded another free-kick which we took quickly but tenacious defending by Doohamlet it broke down and they swiftly counterattacked and Paul McArdle finished off in style to stretch their lead. The following ten minutes both teams kicked wides before Shane McManus tapped over the bar to leave the score Rockcory 0-0 Doohamlet 0-4 after eighteen minutes.
We were really struggling at this stage of the game as Doohamlet continued to dictate the pace and Ted Duffy got his name on the score-sheet on the 20th minute when he curled over a fine point. Mark Daly kicked another free-kick wide on the 24th minute while Doohamlet missed scoring opportunities on the 27th and 28th minute but Ollie Hughes increased their lead on the 29th minute with a neat point to leave the scoreboard showing 0-0 to 0-6. Remarkably, we had to wait until the 33rd minute to register our first score and it came from the boot of Stephen McGuirk who converted a free-kick following a foul on Colin Quinn to leave the score at the interval Rockcorry 0-1 Doohamlet 0-6
Having defended against a strong breeze and having been outplayed by our opponents in the first thirty minutes we were hoping they would come out a completely different, inspired team after the break but unfortunately further damage was inflicted on our spirit as Doohamlet controlled the game. While we began the second half brightly with Mark McGuirk opening his account on the 3rd minute with a great point from play following good defending by Damien Matthews this was nullified almost immediately as Doohamlet converted a free-kick and within seconds they literally walked right through our defence for their first goal to increase their already healthy advantage, leading 0-2 to 1-7.
On the 6th minute, Mark McGuirk stole a few yards and scored a superb point to keep us in touch but Doohamlet appeared to have that extra gear all over the field and when Kevin McArdle surged forward from the half-back position he finished with a classy point. Mark McGuirk added another point on the 15th minute but a rampant Doohamlet outfit extended their lead when they scored an impressive 1-3 to leave the scoreboard showing Rockcorry 0-4 to Doohamlet 2-11 after twenty-one minutes. Barry Patterson, who was introduced to the game for Paul McKeown, curled over a wonderful point from the right wing on the 23rd minute but once again Doohamlet stepped up a gear and rattled over five points without reply to leave the score 0-5 to 2-16. The game petered out at this stage but in a lethargic closing minutes we were awarded a penalty and while Mark McGuirk’s initial shot was well saved by James Casey, Barry Patterson showed the quickest reactions to tap in the rebound to leave the final score Rockcorry 1-5 Doohamlet 2-16.
Moments later, shell shocked players and management headed for the tranquillity of the dressing rooms, while equally downcast supporters trundled towards the exits bemused at what they had just witnessed! In truth, this was another body blow for the team as the margin of victory, 1-5 to 2-16, tells its own story! Need I say more?
Reflecting on the match and our performance, Doohamlet were never in the slightest danger of losing in a totally lop-sided game where it took us thirty-three minutes to register our first score (from a free-kick) and at this level this is not good enough. This was a real lesson for us and there is no doubt that our ‘game plan’ needs to be revisited and even changed! Doohamlet were the hungrier team, they hunted in packs, they asserted all the pressure and every time they got the ball they caused consternation in our rearguard. This was yet another depressing result, in the space of a week, and we will know that we were beaten today by a superior team, many of whom won their respective duals across the field. We can’t have any complaints, we were out thought, out fought and out played on the day and all players will have to do some serious soul searching before our next game. In my mind, we are losing these games in our heads, confidence just seeped out of our team as Doohamlet grew in stature. If we can get our heads and the preparation right then the team can deliver.
To view a selection of action photographs please click the link below:
Team & Scorers: Jamie Smith, Keith Daly, Damien Matthews, Conor McGeough, Colin Quinn, Stephen Lynch, Stephen McGuirk 0-1, Mark Daly, Martin Carroll, Niall McKeown, Fergal McGeough, Johnny Reilly, Lorcan Smyth, Paul McKeown and Mark McGuirk 0-3. Subs: Barry Patterson 1-1 for Stephen McGuirk (injured), Anthony Tate for Lorcan Smyth, Keelan Clerkin for Paul McKeown.