Christopher's went into their fourth game of the season needed to win to maintain a realistic hope of a playoff spot, but came out wondering what went wrong. Things seemed to go more or less to plan in the first half, but fell apart in the second. Mark Delaney's sending off with 15 minutes to go and two points in the game did not help matters, but Christopher's lacked the spark throughout the game to pull off their first win of the season. The Blues James Walsh in the middle of the field put in a masterful performance of consistent work and intelligent use of the ball to steer his side to the win.
|Shannon Blues edged Christopher's in an exciting game.|
At the end of the first period Christopher's held a two point lead. Lining out at corner forward, new signing Luke Connolly accounted for the first three Christopher's points; two frees and one from play. Christopher's played with confidence and moved the ball well down the field, though at times overplayed the ball when in the final third of field.
The Blues pointed through Sean Moriarty, Denis McElligott, Stephen Coogan, and James Walsh. Although the Blues intensity did not match that of last week's win over Wolfe Tones, they kept in the game. Playing in midfield, Walsh looked strong and was key to much of the good things happening for the Blues. As the teams took the field for the second half it was all to play for.
The game changed in the second half. Shortly after the Blues put a goal away to take the lead mid way through, Delaney was shown the red card. For the goal Paudie Kenneally made a brilliant initial save from Shane Kavanagh's shot, but Denis McElligott was there to put the rebound away. Judging from the groans from the Christopher's faithful, it seemed as if they were preparing themselves for another disappointing outing. The goal put the Blues into a two point lead.
|Paddy Dalton and Christopher's did well over the first 30 minutes,|
but could not see out the game.
With the man advantage the Blues controlled the game and kept possession well, not taking unnecessary chances. Christopher's introduced the subs in a final roll of the dice. Pat Delaney, Aldo Mattasse, Dan Kenneally, and Ivan Casey were brought into the fray to try and generate a lift for the final 10 minutes. It almost happened for Christopher's in injury time as after gatherine a breaking ball in the penalty area, Delaney almost netted, but his shot rolled wide of the post in the final minute. With three games left Christopher's need all six points to have any outside hope of earning a playoff spot while the Blues are well on track.
Christopher's: P. Kenneally, E. O'Mahoney, J. McGuire, E. Kiely, C. Murphy, P. Dalton, B. Shanahan, M. Delaney, B. Coughlan, D. Culhane, S. Leahy, K. McAllister, L. Connelly. Blues: C. Wallace, S. Kelly, C. Long, T. Wallace, D. McElligott, C. Mullen, C. Byrne, J. Walsh, D. Clifford, S. Kavanagh,
D. Wallace, S. Coogan.
By Rory O'Donnell