Aidan McAnespies ended the Blues unbeaten run this year in a hard hitting, stop start encounter in which McAnespies prevailed, and they had to in order to avoid relying on the Connemara Gaels beating Donegal next week. Some great performances from Conor Daly at wing back, Luke Kelly in the half forward line, and Stephen Sherry in midfield was enough to carry the
men over the line at the end of a bruising encounter.
|Stephen Sherry getting some attention from Barry Hartnett.|
It was all square at the end of the first half. Neither side managed to get on top of the other, though for a time it looked as though the Blues had the measure of their opponents. After McAnespies opened their account with a Luke Kelly point the Blues floated 3 over the bar, substitute Kieran Hurley putting one between the posts almost immediately after entering the fray. McAnespies came into it as the game warmed up, and ended the half on a 4 points to 2 run. Conor Daly, Kelly, Jamie Doolan and Declan Lally hit the mark. Daly in the half back line worked hard, as did Stephen Sherry in midfield. For the Blues Sean Moriarty and BJ Keane got on the scoresheet and it was all 5 each at the break.
|Cathal McHugh with Eoin Delmar keeping an eye.|
In the second half the Blues lost midfielder Barry Hartnett to injury. However with about 10 minutes to go Declan Lally was sent to the line for striking out, and as he left the field McAnespies held a slender one point lead. Lally appeared to get frustrated after having his leg held, but swung out and referee Colm Schwer had no choice. Some great work by Luke Kelly, Lally, and Sherry led to points from Tobin, Francie Burke, Lally and a wonderful Jamie Doolan score. Doolan showed exquisite skill to beat his man, pick it up and pop the ball over the bar. Kelly pointed right from that kickout, and it was a 2 point McAnespie lead as the pendulum swung in their favor. Following the loss in personnel McAnespies urgently got some fresh legs on the field in the form of Collie Donnelly and David McKenna. The
men worked hard to keep the lead and successfully did so. It was edge of the seats stuff at the end
though, as the Blues had a last chance at a goal to try and win it, but the
McAnespie defence kept the door closed. Having
been in danger of missing out, McAnespies are all the way into a joint second
place now, such is the tight nature of the competition.
Blues: D. O'Brien, K. Hartnett, G. Ryan, S. Kelly, P. Domican, S. Brosnan, B. Hartnett, D. Treacy,
S. Moriarty (0-1), R. Blaine, Conor McHugh, Cathal McHugh
(0-1), BJ Keane (0-5). Sub: C. Hurley (0-2). Macs:
P. Coakley, E. Rigney, E. Delmar, N. Gallen, C. McClean, C. Daly (0-1),
S. Sherry, C. Shine (0-1), L. Kelly (0-3), D. Lally (0-2), C. Tobin, F. Burke
(0-1), J. Doolan (0-2).
By Rory O'Donnell