Wednesday, August 31, 2011

McAnespies Senior Football Champions

Connemara Gaels 1-12 Aidan McAnespies 2-15

Aidan McAnespies won the Boston senior football championship for the first time in three years in convincing fashion. The South Boston based side outplayed the Gaels for the duration of the game, and the balance in the McAnespies team served them well. The Gaels hung in for the first half, but a goal early in the second half established a six point lead, and from that point on the eventual champions were in control. The Gaels looked like they had a chance to pull off a comeback late in the second half as the westerners crept within three points, but McAnespies underlined their credentials by responding with three quick points to affirm their dominance.

McAnespies Captain Niall Kerr raises the cup.
McAnespies were off and running from the throw in. Colm McCrory pointed with the first move of the game, finishing in trademark style. Sean Cournane followed with another well taken point before the Gaels opened their account through a Robbie Fox point. McAnespies were full of running in the early going and the Gaels back line had to work hard to contain their opposite numbers. Gary O’Neill, Mark Little, Philip Toner and Colm McCrory opened up the spaces for the running game, spaces that the Gaels back line struggled to close down. The Gaels eventually worked their way into the contest. Brian Connor was the fulcrum for the Gaels in getting the early ball into the corner forwards, however the McAnespies back line were up to the task on most occasions. The Gaels managed to get on the scoreboard, but had to work hard for their rewards. Near the end of the half McAnespies had a great chance to put some daylight between the teams when Sean Cournane escaped his marker and was found all alone on the edge of the box but Brian Joyce pulled off a fantastic diving save to put the ball out for a ’45. At the half McAnespies led by three points, and might have felt that it should have been more.

The closest the Gaels came was immediately after the restart when Paul Conroy pointed a free to make it a two point game. McAnespies then took off in a real way. The cross field ball into O’Donoghue continued to work, once the Kerryman gets the ball into his hands the expectation is that a score will follow, and so it did after Mark Little provided the feed. The intensity level picked up with the hits coming hard and fast, each side looking for the breakthrough. It came for McAnespies after Sean Cournane and O’Donoghue had a two on one and O’Dongohue provided the finish into the net. Conroy pointed a free for the Gaels, but McAnespies hit with a second goal. This time it was a bit fortunate as Joyce made another great save from Courane, but the rebound did not fall kindly for the Gaels goalkeeper and now the difference was eight points heading into the final 15 minutes. The Gaels started to look a little desperate and brought Conroy into a full forward position and played the high ball in. The tactic paid off when Danny Cummins latched on one and goaled. Conroy pointed twice to make it a three point game and a miracle comeback looked possible. McAnespies turned it up however and re-established control with three quick points, two from O’Donoghue and one from Cournane to put any such notions to rest. It was a fully deserved win for McAnespies who ran the table and proved themselves to be ahead of the pack all year. Best of luck in San Francisco to represent the divison.

Aidan McAnespies Celebrate their Senior Football Victory.
Gaels: B. Joyce, L. Wylie, G. Kelly (0-1), B. Murphy, J. Duane, P. McNicholas, P. Conroy (0-6), B. Connor (0-1), S. Conneely, R. Fox (0-1), B. Carroll (0-1), N. Judge (0-1), D. Cummins (1-0). Macs: C. Kendrick, N. Gallen, R. McCloskey, H. Gill, N. Kerr, S. Hughes, G. O’Neill (0-2), P. Kane, C. McCrory (0-1), P. Toner (0-1), M. Little (0-3), P. O’Donoghue (1-4), S. Cournane (1-3). Sub: R. Bracken (0-1). T. Walsh (0-1).

By Rory O'Donnell

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