Monday, June 6, 2011

June 5 - Senior Football: Connemara Gaels v Wolfe Tones

Connemara Gaels 1-12 Wolfe Tones 1-12

Sean Manley mans the rearguard for the Gaels.
A fantastic result for the Tones who will take it as a point won. The Gaels on the other hand will look at the result as a point lost. The Gaels played with an extra man for three quarters of the game but could not make effective use of same. The Tones play actually improved immensely following the sending off as 15 minutes into the game, at the time of the sending off, the Gaels led by seven points to no score. Marty Farrell, Sean Kelly, James Doyle, and CJ Power were the heroes for the Tones, while the Gaels will be looking to see where it all went wrong.

The Gaels enjoyed the better of things for most of the first half and played some fantastic football. Sean Connolly had the forward line motoring to the point where the Gaels sliced the Tones defence apart time and again. The westerners played some great passing football with the players working for each other to open the spaces for the easy pass. Brian Connor opened the scoring with a point, and a flood of scores followed. Brian Carroll put the second over, and some great scores came from Eoin Ward, Steve Monaghan, and Niall Judge over the next ten minutes. The Tones looked in real trouble when Eoin Naughton was sent off for an off the ball incident. The South Boston side trailed by seven points and were now a man down. Luke Kavanagh got things started for the Tones with a well taken point after 15 minutes.  Now it was the turn of the Gaels back line to feel the pressure. James Doyle followed with a score as did Marty Farrell. Doyle caused problems for the Gaels backs and the early ball into the Laois man proved the key for the Tones to the Gaels defence. The sending off seemed to give the Tones an awakening as they steadily ate into the Gaels lead. Two more points from Doyle, one from Kelly and then a goal – that involved a great pass to and from Doyle – put the Tones into the lead late in the first half. Bart Blanchfield finished the move with a blast into the back of the net. Steve Monaghan relieved the situation with a point for the Gaels, and following a Marty Farrell free the Tones had turned what looked to be a hopeless situation into a two point half time lead.

Marty Farrell looks to get around Goose Murphy.
While the Gaels were the side with the extra man it looked as if the Tones had the advantage in personnel for most of the second half. The Tones continued to work hard and play smart in the forward line and Farrell, Kelly, and Doyle engineered some good moves. James Doyle and Luke Kavanagh pointed for the Tones to take the lead to four points. Incredibly, with the extra man, the Gaels failed to register a score for the first 22 minutes of the second half. Finally, Robbie Fox pointed to reduce the Tones lead to a goal. The Gaels then leveled the scores with a well worked goal starting in their own corner. Barry Murphy carried the ball out of defence and Brian Carroll found Steve Monaghan at the far post, Monaghan finished from close range and the sides were tied. If you thought that this would be the point where the Tones tired and Gaels took over you would have been wrong. The Tones restored the lead through an Andy Rooney point as it was all hands to the pump. Gaels substitute John Molloy leveled the scores with a 45 as full time approached. It looked as if the game was in the bag for the Gaels in injury time. Robbie Fox pointed from just inside the 45, but it was not over yet. Marty Farrell had the final say with a free from a similar distance and the final whistle sounded before the ball hit the ground behind the goal. A great performance from the Tones following the sending off, the Gaels on the other hand played their best football with the sides even in personnel. The next time out they may be hoping that the opposition keeps all their players on the field.

Gaels:  B. Joyce, L. Wylie, S. Manley, P. McNicholas, B. Murphy, W. Callaghan, P. McGonagle, B. Connor (0-1), S. Connelly (0-2), E. Ward (0-1), B. Carroll (0-2), N. Judge (0-1), S. Monaghan (1-2).  Subs: C. O’Neill, R. Fox (0-2), J. Molloy (0-1).  Tones:  C. Hynes, D. Maguire, A. Rooney (0-1), E. Naughton, K. Regan, M. O’Brien, L. Kavanagh (0-2), G. Brilly, B. Blanchfield (1-0), M. Farrell (0-3), S. Kelly (0-1), CJ Power, J. Doyle (0-4).

By Rory O'Donnell

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