Reserve team share the spoils
Our reserve team kick started their, Platinum Tanks Division 2B, league campaign on Sunday 3rd March when they played Castleblayney at Pairc Naomh Mhuire and after a high scoring and highly entertaining game both teams went away with a share of the spoils with the game ending Rockcorry 3-11 Castleblayney 1-17.
This was a very enjoyable game of football and all who attended were treated to a very competitive match where both teams played the game in the proper manner with no quarter asked or given and with good honest enthusiasm and commitment. We got the perfect start and opened the scoring, on the 2nd minute, when Cathal Sheridan found space behind the Castleblayney defence and blasted an unstoppable shot to the net to give us a dream start. However, the visitors then woke up and gave us the run around for the next five minutes as they bagged an impressive 1-4 without reply to lead 1-0 to 1-4. Thankfully, several astute positional changes from our team management, Gerard O’Brien & Finbar McDermott, started to stem the tide and bit by bit we rose to the challenge. Dwayne Rooney pointed on the 8th minute which seemed to settle the team and moments later Dwayne Rooney tapped over a free-kick to reduce the deficit back to a couple of points, 1-2 to 1-4. Castleblayney increased their advantage, on the 12th minute, when they slotted over a fine point from play but our lads worked their way back into the game and the roaming corner back, Cathal Sheridan, popped up again and curled over a splendid point. This was quickly followed by a terrific point from the boot of Ryan Sharkey to leave just a point separating the teams.
We continued to put pressure on the Castleblayney defence and on the 15th minute we took the lead, albeit in somewhat fortuitous circumstances! Dwayne Rooney delivered a dangerous ball into the square where Garry Thornton played a tremendous ‘dummy’ and allowed the ball to bounce which deceived the Castleblayney goal-keeper and the ball landed softly into an empty net, Rockcorry 2-4 Castleblayney 1-5. Castleblayney pointed on the 16th minute but this was swiftly cancelled out when Colin Quinn converted a free-kick from the right-wing. Garry Calvert added a point on the 20th minute following good approach play by Martin Carroll and Dwayne Rooney and shortly afterwards John Greenan showed good composure, under alot of pressure, to glide over a lovely point to put us four points ahead, leading 2-7 to 1-6. Castleblayney finished the half the strongest and with a late rally added three points, two from free-kicks, to leave the scoreboard showing Rockcorry 2-7 Castleblayney 1-9 at the midway point.
Within twenty seconds of the restart Castleblayney fired the ball between the uprights to draw the sides level and they slotted over two more points to lead, 2-7 to 1-12 after three minutes. On the 4th minute, Martin Carroll made a penetrating run through the heart of the Castleblayney defence and when he off-loaded to Dwayne Rooney he dissected the posts with a neat finish. However, Castleblayney once again gained the ascendancy and started to overwhelm our lads and stretched their lead to four when they scored points on the 5th, 7th and 10th minutes to lead 2-8 to 1-15.
After a shaky start we started to eat into the lead and when the hard working Garry Calvert weaved his way in, out and around the Castleblayney defenders the Castleblayney custodian was powerless to keep out a low shot. This was immediately followed up by an inspirational point from Garry Thornton to tie up the scoring on the 13th minute following a lovely build-up that included Keelan Clerkin, Cathal Sheridan and Dwayne Rooney. We continued to gained the upper hand at this stage and moved up a gear to take control of proceedings and a superb point from Colin Quinn on the 15th minute was followed up with a Dwayne Rooney free-kick to leave the score-board showing Rockcorry 3-11 Castleblayney 1-15 with twelve minutes remaining on the clock.
Castleblayney reduced the arrears when they converted a free-kick on the 20th minute and suddenly there was only a single point between the sides. We had scoring opportunities to go ahead on the 21st, 22nd and 25th minutes but unfortunately all our attempts drifted narrowly wide and with three minutes of regulation time remaining the game was in the melting pot and when Castleblayney were awarded a free-kick on the 28th minute they duly tapped over to level proceedings 3-11 to 1-17.
Despite the disappointment of his team securing only a share of the spoils reserve team manager Gerard O’Brien was keen to concentrate on the positives when he spoke to me after the game. He stated “it was probably a fair result as they missed some chances as well as us. It was a tight match and in games like these you have to take your chances. The lads gave a good account of themselves and it will be important that we keep our heads up and continue to work hard at training over the coming weeks”.
To view a slection of action photographs from the encounter please click the link below to visit our Flickr page.
Team & Scorers: Aaron Clerkin, Cathal Sheridan 1-1, Rory Carroll, Ciaran O’Hart, Colin Quinn 0-2, Keelan Clerkin, Ryan Sharkey 0-1, Martin Carroll, Garry Thornton 0-1, John Greenan 0-1, Garry Calvert 1-1, Christopher Greenan & Dwayne Rooney 1-4. Subs: Shane Wynne for Christopher Greenan, Andrew Carroll for John Greenan.