Monday, August 1, 2011

Sunday July 31 - Senior Football: Shannon Blues v Aidan McAnespies

Aidan McAnespies 3-14 Shannon Blues 1-14

Aidan McAnespies finished the season with sixteen points from their eight games. Shannon Blues needed to pull off an upset in order to get into the playoffs, and while they made a good fist of things McAnespies proved to be a bit too much to handle for the Blues in the second half. Colm McCrory tallied a hat trick as McAnespies finish the regular season with a perfect record.

Paul O'Donoghue looks to get around Steven Mann.
The first half was a tight affair as the Blues came out of their corner swinging. Featuring two American Born players in their starting 13, Conor Fitzgerald and Pat Murray, the Blues played tight at that back and Kieran Hurley was very much on form in the full forward line. Hurley got the Blues on the board with the first point of the game and quickly followed with a second. Plunkett Kane was the first of the McAnespies forwards to tally a score, and Colm McCrory leveled things. After Gary O’Neill put McAnespies ahead by a point, Colm McCrory then scored a fantastic goal with a great run through the Blues defence and finished low. The Blues stuck with it however and played some good football to keep themselves in contention. Mike Lyons worked hard at center forward and Hurley put some well taken frees over the bar. At the half McAnespies held a two point lead, 1-5 to 0-7.

The Blues Ciaran Murphy looks for a teammate.
The second half was not so close. McAnespies took over and put the game away. The table toppers opened with four points before the Blues responded. Philip Toner, Kane, and McCrory widened the distance between the teams as McAnespies switched into a higher gear. Hurley stemmed the tide with two points, one a fantastic effort, to make it a one-goal game. McAnespies found the back of the net a second time, however. McCrory was the finisher and was set up by O’Donoghue who had stole behind his man. McAnespies followed with three points and the outcome of the game was in little doubt by then. The Blues managed a few more scores before the end of the game but really needed a goal, and what chances they did generate were well saved by Ryan McCrystal. McCrory scored his third goal for the hat trick as the clock wound down. The Blues won a penalty at the very end for a foot block. Shane Cahill put the kick neatly into the corner to make the scoreboard look respectable. The Intermediate Final for the Blues while McAnespies wait to see who they will meet in the semi-final.

Blues: G. Kissane, S. Kelly, S. Mann, C. Fitzgerald, C. Murphy, C. Mullen, P. Murray, B. Shanahan, S. Sinnott (0-1), M. Lyons (0-1), K. Shea (0-1), S. Cahill (0-1), K. Hurley (0-9). Sub: S. Carroll (0-1). McAnespies: R. McCrystal, N. Gallen, R. McCloskey, M. Bogue, N. Kerr, H. Gill, G. O’Neill (0-2), R. Bracken, S. Hughes, P. Toner (0-3), P. Kane (0-3), C. McCrory (3-3), P. O’Donoghue (0-3).

By Rory O'Donnell

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