June 26- Senior Football: Aiden McAnespies v Shannon Blues
Shannon Blues 0-9 Aiden McAnespies 2-10
Aiden McAnespies took the wind out of the sails of a high flying Shannon Blues side on Saturday afternoon thanks to a commanding midfield performance from Brendan McGarr and relentless attacking from wing forwards Donnacha Tobin and Conor Murray. Shannon Blues were hoping to follow up on their victory over Donegal, but spent most of the game trying to catch their opponents. The Blues looked like they would make a run at it in the second half, but when the momentum looked like it was changing in their favour, McAnespies regained control of the game and ran out seven point winners.
Shannon Blues Michael O'Brien runs at the McAnespies defence.
The first half opened with space at a premium as each back line was quick to shut off any window of opportunity for the opposing forwards to find room. The first clear shot did not come for 9 minutes and the first score came 10 minutes into the game. Thomas Corrigan put the ball over from a tight angle for McAnespies. Wing back, Simon Shortall, popped up for a second and Corrigan added a third for McAnespies as at the other end of the field, the Blues forwards struggled against a tight McAnespies defence. Alan Holland put the first score over the bar for the Blues in the 23rd minute and followed with a second shortly afterwards. Conor Murray answered for McAnespies and on the stroke of half time McAnespies goaled to put themselves in a commanding position. Corrigan, the lively Fermanagh youngster, fired home from close range and at the break McAnespies led by a score of 1-4 to 0-2.
McAnespies Colin O'Sullivan ships a hefty challenge.
The second half was a much more open affair from a scoring standpoint, but was marred by several scuffles. The Blues gained some traction, but as they crept within striking distance, McAnespies closed the door. Still trailing by five points, the Blues got within two thanks to points from Michael O’Brien and two from Holland. The manner in which the Blues swept upfield for their fourth point of the half looked ominous for McAnespies, combined with an impressive block by Shannon Blues center back, Noel Galvin, on Tobin who was bearing down on goal at the other end. McAnespies dug deep however. McGarr dropped back to help the defence, while Tony McClelland and Colin O’Sullivan in the half back line worked hard to change the tide. A point from Murray and another from McCrory from the ensuing kickout put McAnespies back into a four-point lead. Murray re-opened the gap to five points with a superb strike from near the sideline. After the Blues pointed from a Holland free, McAnespies hit with a second goal to kill the game. Tobin palmed a high ball played across the box by Murray into the net. The sides traded points to finish out the game. McAnespies will be pleased with the win, and judging from this performance are on track to regain the Boston championship. The Blues looked strong and at times played some nice football, but will need to find a way to spread the scoring if they are to go one better and raise the cup this year.
Blues: A. Garry, S. Kelly, T. Wallace, S. Lennon, D. McElligott, N. Galvin (0-1), P. Murray, M. O’Brien (0-1), JP Murphy, P. McGee, A. Holland (0-7), J. Burke, T. Maloney. Macs: S. Connolly, D. Wylie, M. Boyne, C. O’Sullivan, T. McClelland, S. Shortall (0-1) N. Donaghy, B. McGarr, D. Tobin (1-0), T. Diamond, C. Murray (0-3), C. McCrory (0-1), T. Corrrigan (1-3). Subs: L. Sweetman (0-1), C. Hands (0-1).