Saturday, July 31, 2010

Saturday July 31 - Senior Football: Connemara Gaels v Cork

Connemara Gaels 0-17 Cork 1-11

Senior championship playoffs were not on the minds of these teams who met Saturday evening in Canton, Mass. Cork are pretty much out of contention, however, should the Gaels win their final two games there is a chance of the intermediate semi-finals. As it was, the Gaels played the better football over the 60 minutes on an evening that was ideal for football. The field had a little give, humidity was low and there was a slight breeze to keep things cool.

Cork's David Sheehan is closely watched by Pat McNicholas.
By the end of the first half the Gaels seemed to have the game locked up and in the bag. The forwards clicked and some neat interchanges resulted in scoring chances, most of which were taken advantage of. Martin Coady and Arlen Ahern exchanged points to get things going, and then the Gaels took over. Michael Lundy worked hard in midfield, while the Gaels defence was able for anything thrown at them by the Corkmen. Up front Pearce Clancy, Coleman Mulkerrins, and Coady were busy making the most of the possession sent their way. With the sides level at two points each after 12 minutes, the Gaels sent eight points over the bar without reply. Clancy, Coady, Tom McDonagh, and Lundy each thumped points over the bar from distance and the Gaels looked to be comfortably dealing with the rebels attack. At half time it was an eight point Gaels lead.

Martin Kane of the Gaels sidesteps Niall Devlin.
Cork won the second half, but not by enough to overturn the deficit. The rebels did not waste any time cutting into the Gaels lead. After Coady had put the Gaels nine points ahead just after the restart, Cork had reduced the lead to five points with scarcely five minutes of the half played. Niall Devlin, Niall Coakley, and two points from Sean Callinan brought some anxiety to the Gaels sideline. The Gaels settled back into the rhythm that they had found in the first half and the points began to flow again. McDonagh pointed, followed by a two lovely scores from Mulkerrins, and Coady point restored the lead to nine. Coady almost goaled but John O’Toole in the Cork goal was up to the close range shot. With the Gaels comfortably ahead, Cork hit with a goal ten minutes from the end. Devlin found David Sheehan who gave Bernard Power no chance from close range. Devlin follwed with a point and then there was only 4 points in it. It was backs to the wall for the Gaels as Cork saw their chance for a comeback and went for it. There were two badly missed goal chances, and Devlin almost netted but Power pulled off a great save. Cork were camped in the Gaels half for the last few minutes, but the westerners held out for a win and still with a chance to get something out of the season.

Gaels: B. Power, E. Sullivan, M. Kane, P. McNicholas, D. Ryan, S. McKiernan, P. Clancy (0-2), J. Donnelly, S. Cashin, C. Mulkerrins (0-2), T. McDonagh (0-3), M. Lundy (0-3), M. Coady (0-7). Cork: J. O’Toole, K. O’Leary, J. Crowley, S. Caulfield, C. Caffrey, A. Seymour, S. O’Donoghue, N. Coakley (0-2), A. Ahern (0-1), C. Crowley, D. Sheehan, K. Cashman, N. Devlin (1-2). Sub: Sean Callinan (0-5).

By Rory O'Donnell

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