Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Men's Senior Football: McAnespies take the points in late finish.

Aidan McAnespies 2-12 Christopher’s 1-14

The final game of the day pitted Christopher’s against Aidan McAnespies in a game that both teams needed in the playoff drive.  McAnespies featured Derry prodigy Emmet Bradley in the middle of the field, and the Maghera man played well.  In one way the champions were fortunate to get the win having won a penalty in the final minute, in another they almost kicked it away and should really have won it by four or five points.

Both Christopher's midfielders
up for this kick out.
Before I had time to peruse the team sheets, McAnespies had clocked up a 1-4 to no score lead.  Sean Cournane goaled from the get go, and Donie Kingston and Colm Donnelly followed with two points each.  A whitewash looked a possibility as Christopher’s appeared unable to cope with their opponents in the middle of the field and were in dire need of a score to settle the team.  Seven minutes played and McAnespies seven points up.  Christopher’s did settle after Gavin O’Grady pointed and went on to outscore their opponents for the rest of the half to the tune of seven points to two.  Daithi Casey and Eoin Gorman each put some great scores over the bar, and the key for Christopher’s was to get the ball into the hands of their dangermen.  While the Christopher’s defence tightened things up, McAnespies wasted several good opportunities and after the great start led by four at the half.  It really should have been more, and Christopher’s must have been relieved to see themselves still in it.

Christophers' Shane Flanagan
plays the ball out of defence.
The second half was as tight as it gets.  Early on Christopher’s won a penalty when Casey was fouled as he shot in the large area.  His Dr. Crokes cohort, Chris Brady, stepped up and put the keeper the wrong way.  The scores were now level as Brady had pointed to open the half, and that McAnespies lead generated by the dream start was completely eroded.  Again, McAnespies left a lot of chances behind them as three or four efforts went awry that were very scoreable.  Kingston finally tallied a score and was followed by Fergal O’Doherty as McAnespies now rallied from the half back line.  It seemed as if the push had to come from there as the backs supported the forward line.  Christopher’s picked it up in the middle of the field however, with Dan Kenneally and Pat Delaney getting more involved. 

Three points ensued, O’Grady, Casey, and Tom Clancy each scored and Christopher’s led by a point.  Kingston leveled the scores and then Casey put Christopher’s back ahead one more time as the game was in the balance.  There was still plenty of twists to come.  With each side vying for the decisive score, it was McAnespies who got the opportunity after Colm McCrory was pulled down in the area.  The Monaghan man took it himself and netted to put his side two points ahead.  His fellow countyman, Daniel McKenna added a point, and it proved to be the winning score since Christopher’s twice pointed in injury time.  McAnespies still in the hunt, and Christopher’s will need a win next week when they meet Cork.

Referee:  Tadhg Lucey (Corcaigh)

Man of the Match:  Colm McCrory (Aidan McAnespies)

Macs:  P. Coakley, P. McConway, M. Bogue, N. Gallen, N. McCrory, F. O’Doherty, E. Bradley, G. O’Neill, D. McKenna, C. Donnelly, C. McCrory, D. Kingston, S. Cournane.  Christopher’s:  P. Kenneally, D. O’Leary, C. Murphy, D. Culhane, B. O’Regan, T. Clancy, S. Flanagan, D. Kenneally, E. Gorman, D. Casey, C. Brady, G. O’Grady, P. Delaney.

By Rory O'Donnell

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