Monday, July 22, 2013

July 21 - Senior Football: Christopher's v Connemara Gaels

Connemara Gaels 1-14 Christopher's 4-5

It was a game that will leave the Gaels scratching their heads wondering where it went wrong.  A spectacular first half performance was followed by a flat second, and Christopher's netted 4 times, twice in each half, to earn a valuable point.  Chris Brady had a hat trick of goals, and a fourth from Shane Power propelled a Christopher's comeback.

Damien Comer tries to shake Chris Lordan.
The Gaels were in flying form in the first half.  The forward line were clicking on all cylinders.  There were goal chances at either end in a fast start to the game, but once the Gaels settled the westerners played some effortlessly smooth flowing football.  Ian Burke, Kevin McGrath, Cathal Mulryan, and Noel Graham all contributed to the scoreline.  McGrath scored an opportunist goal just after Christopher's had netted through Chris Brady.  With a finish that Luis Suarez, or any premier league striker for that matter, would have been proud of, McGrath turned on a rebound with his left foot and hit the roof of the net. The Gaels then turned it on and popped 5 points in a row over the bar as Christopher's searched for a spark to get them going.  Late in the half Christopher's were awarded a penalty and Brady netted only their second score of the half.  Christopher's were still very much in it however, and at the break the Gaels led 1-9 to 2 goals.

High Ball for Ian Burke and David Culhane 
Christopher's closed the gap with a much improved second half performance.  After 20 minutes the Gaels lead had shrunk to 2 points.  Dan Kenneally and Jason Lonergan had entered the fray and the Gaels enjoyed far less possession in the middle of the field.  Lonergan, Brady, and Michael Quinlivan put four unanswered over the bar, and eventually Graham pointed a close range free for the Gaels to make it a one goal game with 10 minutes to go.  The kickouts continued to be gobbled up by Kenneally, and soon the game was level.  Substitute, Kevin McAllister, fired home a goal from close range.  Mulryan put the Gaels ahead once more with a fine point, but Christopher's struck with a fourth goal, and Brady's hat trick.  A high ball into the box broke for Brady who wrong footed the keeper to slide the ball home.  Having had the game under control in the first half, defeat stared the Gaels in the face.  However, points from Mulryan and Burke leveled the scores to set up a tense final 5 minutes.  Each side had chances to covert the winning score, but neither side could get themselves over the finish line.  The draw keeps both teams in it, but the Gaels will look at it as a point lost rather than won, Christopher's will see it the other way around.

Gaels:  E. Conneeley, L. Cullen, C. Cullen, S. Conneeley (0-1), C. O'Donnell, E. Gorman, R. Hyde, D. Comer (0-1), D. Hogan (0-2), N. Graham (0-3), C. Mulryan (0-3), K. McGrath (1-1), I. Burke (0-3).  Christopher's:  P. Kenneally, C. Lordan, C. Davies, D. Culhane, M. Delaney, E. O'Neill, P. Lucey, D. O'Sullivan, G. O'Leary, P. Quirke, J. Kenneally, M. Quinlivan (0-1), C. Brady (3-3).  Sub:  J. Lonergan (0-1), K. McAllister (1-0).

By Rory O'Donnell

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