Aidan McAnespies 3-13
Aidan McAnespies pulled out a rousing four point win over Connemara Gaels to finish the day's action. The Gaels finished the first half strong to go into the break with a lead, but in the second half McAnespies moved ahead and this time around the Gaels could not recover. With the game tied in the final 5 minutes McAnespies delivered the goods to now find themselves challenging for one of the two top spots in the table.
|Caolan O'Boyle sends Eoin Connolly the wrong way.|
After a rocky start the Connemara Gaels eventually settled and started to play good running football. Noel Graham opened the Gaels account with a well taken point, and the response from McAnespies came in the form of a Daniel McKinless goal. Ger Leech leveled matters with two points before McAnespies went ahead again through a well taken Caolean O'Boyle penalty that sent Eoin Connolly the wrong way. McKinless again was involved having been pulled down in the penalty area to win the kick. McAnespies now had the edge, and held a five point lead. The Gaels worked their way back into the game. Ruairí Corrigan started to motor at wing forward and the Fermanagh man's run resulted in Ian Burke palming home a goal into the far corner. With that the Gaels started to find their rhythm and points came from Graham, Corrigan, and John Egan. McAnespies stayed in touch with O'Boyle and Boland points. At the break it was a 1-10 to 2-5 Gaels lead, and the 2013 champions were sitting pretty.
|Ruairi Corrigan makes the opening for the Gaels first|
Just like the first half, McAnespies netted from the get go, and McKinless was once again involved. Collie Donnelly just had the tidy up to do to put the ball into the empty net after the ball was played across the goal. McKinless and Colin Campion followed up with points and McAnespies were in a three point lead early in the second half. McAnespies defended well far out the field, and forced turnovers with the Gaels trying to play the ball out of defence. The Gaels spurned some golden opportunities to turn the tide though. Calum McCormack was presented with a golden chance for a goal after intercepting a cross field pass, but with just the keeper to beat bundled his shot wide. Paddy Coakley denied McCormack shortly afterwards with a point blank save, and the ball ended up coming off the crossbar. McCormack was in again a third time, and the Westmeath man's placed effort went wide of the far post. Eventually a goal did come for the Gaels from Ruairí Corrigan, who made no mistake when through and the score tied the game with less than ten minutes to go. The game was now up for grabs.
It was McAnespies who grabbed the bull by the horns with the game on the line. Boland pointed a free following a turnover coming of defence, Peter Mallon followed with a second, and a third came from McKinless soon afterwards made it a three point difference, forcing the Gaels to go for goal with minutes left. After a couple of unsuccessful forays forward, Caolan O'Boyle made it a four point difference with the final kick of the game to move McAnespies to third in the standings and leave the Gaels looking at somewhat of a mid season slump.
Macs: P. Coakley, N. Gallen, C. McPartland, M. Bogue, D. Lally, D. Wrynn, C. Donnelly, C. O'Boyle, M. Quinn, G. O'Neill, M. Campion, D. McKinless, L. Boland. Gaels: E. Connolly, J. Donaghue, C. Daly, J. Egan, M. Shanahan, S. Connolly, J. Barrett, C. Jones, G. Leech, N. Graham, R. Corrigan, I. Burke, C. McCormack.
By Rory O'Donnell