Aidan McAnespies 0-8 Shannon Blues 1-9
The headline game of the day was a real humdinger between Aidan McAnespies and Shannon Blues. It was a game of high intensity where no ball was easily won and no score easily converted. McAnespies worked very hard in the first half to keep the Blues at bay, but in the second the Blues, who lined out with Waterford’s Shane Ahern in the middle of the field, pulled ahead and went on to win an absorbing contest as the McAnespies players tired.
|Shannon Blues had a great win over Aidan McAnespies Sunday Afternoon.|
It was clear that McAnespies were up for the challenge right from the get go. The defence worked extremely hard when the Blues were in possession, to the point that it was very difficult for any of the Blues forwards to find the room to shoot. The Blues had plenty of possession and would have hoped for more then the two points that they had at the end of the half. At the other end of the field it was not plain sailing for McAnespies either, their hard efforts yielded five points. Two came from each of Colm McCrory and Colly Donnelly, and one from Kieran Traynor. The Blues managed two points in the opening period, Dave Dineen and Gary Curran, who entered as a sub, were the scorers. At the break it was a three point advantage for the Macs and clear that if they were to turn the Blues they would need to keep up the same intensity in the second half as in the first or three points would not be enough.
|Aidan McAnespies were unable to keep it up for the full 60 minutes against the Blues.|
The Blues kept up the pressure from the start of the second half and the breakthrough came about 10 minutes of the second half. Kieran Hurley finished a sweeping move that involved a lovely tip on from James Hynes, with a goal from point blank range and the score put the Blues one point ahead. Hurley and Donal Kingston, the big corner forward for Macs, had exchanged scores to open the second period and things started to open up for the Blues. Dave Dineen and James Hynes extended the lead to three points. Changes were made on the McAnespies side of the field. Kingston was moved to the middle of the field to see if the big Laoisman could turn the tide there. McAnespies won plenty of possession but the ball into the corner forwards was not getting any change from Conor Phelan or Ross Callaghan manning the Blues full back line. The Blues always looked dangerous in attack now and swept down the field as possession changed hands. The scores came easier. Hurley, Hynes, and Brian Curran all pointed down the stretch, and a goal would now be required from McAnespies to get a result. The goal never came, a half chance fell to Daniel McKenna but Tom Sayers was up to the task and saved. Great celebrations from the Blues supporters, while disappointment for McAnespies was tempered with hopes of better things to come.
By Rory O'Donnell