Aidan McAnespies 2-8 Christopher's 0-13
There was drama and controversy aplenty as Aidan McAnespies condemned Christopher's to their second successive championship defeat, and in doing so took their first 2 points of the championship. Christopher's lost the services of key players, Eoin O'Mahoney and Mark Delaney in the first half. The former to a red card and the latter to a black. In spite of the loss in personnel, Christopher's held a 2 point lead into injury time only to let slip their hopes of a heroic win after conceding a last minute penalty that was converted by Caolan O'Boyle.
|Christopher's looked like they had done enough,|
only to see it slip away in injury time.
In spite of Eoin O'Mahoney being given his marching orders within the first 10 minutes of the start following an off the ball incident, it was McAnespies who had to call on the services of Paddy Coakley to pull off two great saves, one from a David Culhane shot and a second from Kevin McAllister.
Christopher's looked like the team with the extra man, often attacking with an overlap. Culhane, Eamon Kiely, and McAllister each slotted over for Christopher's, while in the McAnespies column it was scores from Liam Boland, Jonathan McGourty and Mattie Campion. Delaney was shown the black just before the break, by which time Christopher's held an unlikely 0-6 to 0-4 lead.
Christopher's continued in the second where they left off the first, with Culhane producing a great display. Two Shanahan frees and a McAllister point added to the difference between the teams as McAnespies play remained somewhat disjointed.
The goal that McAnespies needed came mid way into the second half. Corner forward Liam Boland was the man to find the net after pointing. The goal leveled the scores, and surely McAnespies would drive on to win the game. Christopher's, however, held the slightest lead following 3 points between Culhane and Shanahan, with Sean O'Kane and Boland on the mark for the Macs. The controversial ending came after a penalty was awarded in injury time for a foul on Boland who was pulled down in the box. Caolan O'Boyle took it with authority and with the ball billowing the net the points went to McAnespies. Relief for McAnespies and disbelief for Christopher's with the final twist.
Macs: P. Coakley, C. McPartland, M. Bogue, N. Gallen, P. Meade, P. Daly, C. Donnelly, C. McGuirk, S. O'Kane, M. Campion, J. McGourty, L. Boland, C. O'Boyle. Christopher's: P. Kenneally, E. O'Mahoney, J. McGuire, P. Dalton, C. Murphy, E. Kiely, M. Delaney, B. Shanahan, S. Leahy, D. Culhane, J. Spillane, K. McAllister, I. Casey.
By Rory O'Donnell