Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Aidan McAnespies Junior Bs defeated by Pittsburgh in Semi-Final.

Semi-Final: Aidan McAnespies 2-4 Pittsburgh Celtics 1-9

Macs had a five point win over local side, Sons of Boru in the quarter final on Friday and headed into Saturday’s game with every expectation of making the final but it was not to be. The Boston representatives lost out by a score of 2-4 to 1-9. McAnespies played well in the first half. Willie Carroll and Jimmy Corrigan did well in the forward line as did old reliable, Peadar Nugent. At the end of the first half McAnespies led by a score of 1-3 to 0-4. Willie Carroll opened the scoring after 10 minutes with a pointed free. After Niall Mullen leveled for Pittsburgh, Peadar Nugent put the Macs into a four point lead with a point that was followed by a goal from close range. McAnespies played the ball well and held the Pittsburgh forwards to the single point for most of the first half, and things looked promising for the Boston side. The writing was on the wall as the game wore on however and fitness became a factor. Nate Mavrer in the middle of the field proved to be problematic for McAnespies. At the tallest man on the field, Mavrer won plenty of ball for the youngsters and gradually the possession battle swung to Pittsburgh. Late in the half the Celtics landed three points to close the gap to two points at the break.

Action from McAnespies v Celtics in Semi-Final.
Pittsburgh opened the second half with three quick points, and as McAnespies tired the Pennsylvania side took over. With plenty of running and a short passing game the Celtics opened up McAnespies back line with increasing frequency and points came from Niall Mullen, Ryan Dowd, and Niall Hawking. McAnespies looked to get the ball into corner forwards Benny McGettigan and Peadar Nugent at every opportunity, and McGettigan goaled to put Macs back on top for a brief period. As the game reached the later stages options coming out of defence were limited as tired legs got the better of the McAnespies players. When Pittsburgh goaled to take a one point lead with 10 minutes to go they looked to be in control. Another point followed and with time running out McAnespies needed a goal to pull off an unlikely victory. In injury time the Boston side almost did just that. The ball bobbled around the penalty area but a McAnespies boot could not connect for a decent shot and with that the final whistle sounded. Disappointing for McAnespies, though in truth a win would have amounted to stealing the game.

In the final Pittsburgh secured an easy win over their mid-west rivals Detroit, which makes you wonder what might have been.

Macs: E. McKenna, O. Guirke, P. McCusker, C. Traynor, G. Hennessey, M. Bogue, P. Nugent, E. McCusker, S. McGettigan, W. Carroll, J. Corrigan, R. McCrystal, E. Daly, P. Ryan, P. Nolan. Pitsburgh: C. Heaney, D. Kelly, F. Finnan, D. Coyne, R. McAleenan, D. Ruben, N. Mavrer, K. Hathaway, R. Macel, R. Dowd, D. Kennedy, N. Hawking, N. Mullen.

By Rory O'Donnell

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