Our senior team produced a real gutsy and spirited performance to clinch a semi-final spot in the McGuigan Builders intermediate football championship when they overcame a determined Donaghmoyne side on a score-line Rockcorry 2-4 Donaghmoyne 0-9.
The match was played in glorious sunshine on a perfect pitch and as games go it was not very pretty to look at but as a contest it ebbed and flowed throughout and we got the perfect start as a point attempt from Mark Daly, on the 3rd minute, rebounded off the upright and Martin “Suarez” Carroll ran onto the loose ball and vollied the ball into the corner of the net. Donaghmoyne registered their first score on the 7th minute when they pointed from a free-kick after Colin Reilly was adjudged to have fouled his opponent. Mark Daly sailed over a free-kick on the 9th minute following a foul on Mark McGuirk but shortly afterwards Donaghmoyne replied with a neat point from play to leave the score 1-1 to 0-2 after twelve minutes of play. Donaghmoyne notched over two quick-fire points on the 15th and 17th minutes and suddenly the sides were level but we responded in fine style with a lovely move down the field and when Paul Mckeown collected the ball he finished to the net with great aplomb. Good defending by Keith Daly on the 24th minute released Noel Carroll and he soloed through the heart of the Donaghmoyne defence before off-loading to his brother Martin who glided over a sweet point to leave the score at the interval Rockcorry 2-2 Donaghmoyne 0-4.
Trailing by four points at the break Donaghmoyne were right back in contention as they enjoyed a productive first minute and notched over two points to narrow the gap. After a somewhat timid start we reasserted ourselves and when Noel Carroll was hauled down, on the 6th minute, it was welcome relief and Stephen McGuirk, who was facing into a strong breeze, coolly split the uprights with a fantastic kick. This was quickly followed with a wonderful point from Keelan Clerkin, on the 7th minute, and instead of building on that score it amazingly turned out to be our last score of the game. Because, while we had our fair share of possession we struggled to convert it onto the scoreboard and were caught napping on the 13th and 16th minutes as Donaghmoyne forged a strong comeback and slotted over points to leave just two points separating the sides. For the remaining part of the game the lads continued to show fierce determination and hunger but our passing and decision making at times was frightful and when Donaghmoyne pointed on the 29th minute to leave a solitary point dividing the sides it was now a case of who wanted it the more!
There was definitely an exciting and dramatic finish to the game and when the fourth official indicated two minutes of added time, what followed was torture! The tension was unbearable and I became really exhausted (and I wasn’t even playing!) but the lads somehow summoned up reserves of energy as they defended like demons and never gave Donaghmoyne a simple scoring opportunity. However, two minutes into injury time Donaghmoyne had a chance to draw level when they were awarded a free-kick approximately thirty metre from goals. My heart started to beat as though it was about to explode, I held my breath, as others simply couldn’t watch, as the ball travelled towards the goalposts, but as we realised it was going to fall on the outside of the upright pure relieve was shown. Seconds later the sound of the final whistle was heard and it was like listening to the sweet sound of music because we secured victory, all-be-it by the narrowest of margins, on a score-line Rockcorry 2-4 Donaghmoyne 0-9.
I have to say, this was a courageous display by the lads and despite only scoring two points during the second period they hung on defiantly as they made tackle after tackle and withstood a lot of pressure from the men in red & white. Remember, this was a Donaghmoyne team who cut us to pieces in the league game but this time we simply did not afford them the same luxury of time and space and stood resolute to wave upon wave of attacks. After the game I caught up with our team manager Cormac McFadden and he summed up the game as gutsy, but not the best. He said “I felt the performance of the lads during the game was gutsy and hardworking, but it certainly wasn’t the best in terms of how we can play. The lads applied themselves fantastically and battled away and showed commendable character which is very encouraging but while we enjoyed a lot of possession and territory we were let down by poor handling, careless passing and bad decision making at crucial times which could off cost us dearly, but these are all things we will be working on at training”. Our prize for winning is a mouth-watering semi-final clash against Corduff and when asked about his opponents in the next round he remarked “Corduff are a good side and we had a tough encounter with them earlier in the league campaign and it will be another big test for us but in the meantime we have a couple of important league games to play first and that’s were our attention we be focused”. Well done lads and keep up the good work at training and always remember Don’t Stop Believin’.
Team & Scorers: Jamie Smith, Colin Reilly, Damien Matthews, Keith Daly, Niall McKeown, Barry Patterson, Stephen McGuirk 0-1, Mark Daly 0-1, Noel Carroll, Martin Carroll 1-1, Garry Calvert, Keelan Clerkin 0-1, Mark McGuirk, Paul McKeown 1-0, Dwayne Rooney. Subs: Fergal McGeough for Dwayne Rooney, Colin Quinn for Martin Carroll
Please click the link below to view a selection of action photographs on our Flickr page.