Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sun Aug 21 - Senior Football Semi-Final: Christopher's v Aidan McAnespies

Aidan McAnespies 1-15 Christopher’s 1-13

It was a game of two halves between Aidan McAnespies and Christopher’s. McAnespies looked unstoppable in the first half and the game seemed over as a contest at the half time break. Christopher’s came back in the second half and pushed McAnespies all the way to the finish line as their opponents seemed to have played all of their football in the first. McAnespies had done enough however, though if it was not for the post and a great Ciaran Kendrick save, things could have turned out very differently.

Gary O'Neill on the way to scoring his first half goal.
Aidan McAnespies went into the game hot favourites and went about the business of getting past Christopher’s and into the final right from the beginning. At times McAnespies scythed through the Christopher’s defence with their fine-tuned passing machine. By the time the game was 15 minutes old McAnespies had established a 1-5 to 0-1 lead. The goal came from Gary O’Neill who made his way along the endline and finished left footed into the rook of the net. The Macs were running and gunning. Christopher’s managed to get some traction and put some scores together. Aidan Walsh, Francis Usanga, and Adrian Greaney each pointed. McAnespies took over again and between Sean Cournane and Paul O’Donoghue fired over four points.

Sean Cournane is stopped by Eoin O'Neill.

The second half was a total contrast to the first in terms of the balance of play and excitement level. Dan Kenneally entered the fray in the second half, and Adrian Greaney in the full forward line lifted his game and Christopher’s fortunes immediately changed. McAnespies second half play was also a total contrast from their first half performance. Christopher’s opened the second half with a goal. Adrian Greaney was fouled on the edge of the box and took a quick free to Colm O’Driscoll who netted. Christopher’s then proceeded to inch their way back into the game. Shane Beston and O’Driscoll brought Christopher’s within three points. McAnespies seemed to have dropped their intensity, while Christopher’s picked up theirs. Adrian Greaney pulled off a point from sheer strength, and soon afterwards Shane Beston hit the post from an angle. It was a major turnaround from the one sided affair that was the first half. The sides continued to trade scores and Christopher’s were almost in for a goal again only for Kieran Kendrick to pull off a fine save from O’Driscoll. McAnespies took advantage of a turnover in midfield and won a penalty when Paul O’Donoghue was pulled down by Noel Ryan. O’Donoghue opted for the point since time was almost up. Christopher’s had a last kick of the game 21-yard free that O’Driscoll drove low, but not low enough and McAnespies will go on to face the Gaels in next week’s final.

Macs: C. Kendrick, N. Gallen, R. McCloskey (0-1), H. Gill, N. Kerr, S. Hughes (0-1), G. O’Neill (1-0), P. Kane, M. Little, P. Toner (0-1), S. Cournane (0-2), C. McCrory (0-2), P. O’Donoghue (0-6). Christopher’s: S. Kelly, N. Ryan, S. McNally, P. Kenneally, E. O’Neill, C. Nolan, K. O’Driscoll, A. Walsh (0-2), J. Kenneally, C. O’Driscoll (1-5), F. Usanga (0-1), S. Beston (0-4), A. Greaney (0-2).

By Rory O'Donnell

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