Poor second half gives Sean’s the spoils
Over the years, experience has taught me that never to write a match report when feeling upset and always resist the temptation until one’s emotions have cooled down and then start! So before I begin, I was just wondering does anyone else have a soft spot for the classic westerns? I do admit I am a fan, I love a good western and one of my all-time favourites is Sergio Leone’s ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”. In a similar fashion, when our reserve footballers played Sean McDermott’s in the Platinum Tanks reserve football league on Sunday 20th April their performance undoubtedly showed up all three elements as we produced a lot of the good but sadly we also displayed some bad and a bit of the ugly!
The game was played at a really high and competitive pace and in truth we produced some of the best football of the year especially during the first half. All the positive qualities you would associate with the game were very much evident, the movement up front was excellent, our defenders were solid and tenacious in the tackles and the midfielders were on top form showing plenty of aggression, intent and being adventurous. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same about, our level of performance during the course of the second half where we struggled to find any fluency and rhythm in our game and quite simply it was very disappointing and as a result Sean McDermott’s secured the victory on a score-line 1-9 to 3-8.
There was a tentative start to this match with both side’s defences on top and neither team registered a score during the opening ten minutes. Having said that, we did enjoy the better chances and missed scoring opportunities on the 2th, 5th, 10th and 11th minutes. However, Christopher Greenan registered our first score, on the 12th minute, with a lovely point after good approach play by Garry Calvert. We continued to exert our authority on the game and when Anthony Tate threaded a nice ball through to the on-rushing Christopher Greenan he hit the back of the net. Martin Carroll won the ensuing kick-out with some magnificent high fielding and after a penetrating solo run he off-loaded to Christopher Greenan who again finished in style with a superb score. Dwayne Rooney stretched our lead on the 19th minute with a long range point and he repeated the feat moments later, following another super catch by Martin Carroll, to leave the scoreboard showing Rockcorry 1-4 to Sean McDermott’s 0-0 after twenty minutes.
Sean McDermott’s eventually opened their account on the 21st minute when they converted a free-kick after Cathal Sheridan was adjudged to have fouled his opponent but two minutes later Stephen McGuirk showed he still had an eye for free-taking when he curled over a sweet point from the right wing. As this stage we were playing strong confident football but as half time approached Sean McDermott’s fired over two points to leave the half time score Rockcorry 1-5 Sean McDermott’s 0-3.
When play resumed we continued to look sharp and Colin Quinn rounded off a nice move with a terrific score on the 3rd minute and moments later Dwayne Rooney lobbed over to put seven points between the sides, leading 1-7 to 0-3. Sean McDermott’s remained in touch when they converted a free-kick on the 6th minute but we responded positively and when Damien Matthews was brought down moments later Dwayne Rooney took the free-kick quickly to Garry Calvert who split the uprights with a delightful chip.
At this juncture it appeared we had the game all under control, we had Sean’s on the ropes and we should have been pushing on for the victory but for some unknown and strange phenomenon we failed to score again for the next ten minutes as all of a sudden we pushed the big red button with “self-destruct” written all over it! Maybe it was the warm weather but all I know it was harrowing to watch as our play became scrappy, we made a few uncharacteristic errors, our work-rate evaporated and our cohesion simply dissolved. Sean McDermott’s, on the other hand seized the initiative, they grew in confidence and went from strength to strength and during a ten minute blitzkrieg they staged an impressive turnaround to score 2-3 without reply to overturn a seven point deficit into a two point cushion, leading 1-8 to 2-7.
Dwayne Rooney stopped the rot on the 22nd minute when he converted a free-kick following a foul on Shane Wynne but Sean McDermott’s restored their two point margin a couple of minutes later with a neat score. Our game continued to crumble and the term shell-shocked comes to mind to describe one’s feeling as players lost confidence, they lost unity and lost their self-believe which was so evident during the opening half. As a result, frustration set in, we lost our nerve and on the 24th minute things got a whole lot worst when Colin Quinn was given his marching orders for his misdemeanour and sent for an early shower. While we tried hard to get back into the game nothing seemed to be going right or going in our favour and Sean McDermott’s delivered another major blow when they bagged their third goal which ended any hopes of a revival as they sealed the victory on a score-line Rockcorry 1-9 Sean McDermott’s 3-8.
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Team & Scorers: Dean Fay. Keelan Clerkin, Cathal Sheridan, Ryan Sharkey, Colin Quinn (0-1), Stephen McGuirk (0-1f), Martin Carroll, Damien Matthews, Garry Calvert (0-1), Dwayne Rooney (0-4,1f), Anthony Tate, Ross Murray, Christopher Greenan (1-2). Subs: Kyle Rooney for Ross Murray, Shane Wynne for Cathal Sheridan.