Monday, August 3, 2015

Men's Senior Football Championship: Shannon Blues v Aidan McAnespies

Shannon Blues 1-12 Aidan McAnespies 1-13

Shannon Blues fell to a second one point defeat in a row, this time to Aidan McAnespies.  McAnespies turned a 5 point half time deficit into a one point victory and saw some great performances from Tony Donnelly, Fergal McGeough, and Callum Comiskey.  It was a nail biting finish as a spent looking McAnespies just about hung on until the final whistle.

Conor Jordan tries to break through the McAnespies defence.
Shannon Blues looked well worth the five point lead that they took into the break.  There was not much between the teams until Greg Horan was found unmarked inside the McAnespies 14 and the Tralee man buried the ball.  There could have been two goals, however, Paddy Coakley saved well from Eamon Wallace to deny the Blues.  Later in the half Darragh Treacy had a chance to add another goal but the Limerick man blazed wide.

Gareth O’Neill toiled hard in the full forward line for McAnespies and won plenty of ball.  McAnespies tallied points from Fergal McGeough, Tony Donnelly, and Eoin Kerins.  Donnelly put one fine score over from just inside the sideline.  For the Blues it was Sean O’Connor, Eamonn Wallace, Dara Roche, and Darragh Treacy who put the ball between the posts.  At the break it was the Blues ahead, 1-8 to 0-6.

McAnespies Fergal McGeough bursts forward.
It was touch and go in the second half.  McAnespies pushed hard. Tony Donnelly showed well early and made some strong runs, likewise some great running from Fergal McGeough from half back saw McAnespies turn the deficit into a two point lead.  Donnelly was involved in McAnespies goal, Gareth O’Neill provided a well placed finish into the far corner.  The score brought the teams level, and two points from Fergal McGeough saw McAnespies into the lead.

The Blues kept in touch with the free taking of Sean O’Connor and on a couple of occasions threatened the McAnespies goal.  Coakley was on hand at least once to pull off a save and then disaster struck for the Blues.  After the Blues had put three points over to two for McAnespies, Kieran Hurley who had entered as a sub, was red carded for a challenge on Mickey Boyle.  The Blues would be down a man for the last 10 minutes and had a point to make up.  Collie Donnelly extended the lead to two before Fergal McGeough was black carded for a challenge as the Blues were breaking through. 

A very tired looking McAnespies tried to hang on to possession and were just about holding on.  A Sean O’Connor free reduced the gap to a point and with every Blues possession there were cries for the full time whistle from the McAnespies faithful as the Blues moved downfield.  McAnespies hung on however, and claim a famous win over a big rival.

Blues:  D. O’Brien, T. Wallace, C. Jordan, T. Grey, D. McElligott, P. O’Shea, W. Guthrie, G. Horan, S. O’Connor, B. Dwyer, D. Treacy, D. Roche, E. Wallace.  Macs:  P. Coakley, M. Boyle, E. Kerins, B. Greenan, R. Kennedy, F. McGeough, J. Brickland, M. Day, T. Donnelly, D. Fitzpatrick, G. O’Neill, C. Comiskey, D. Tallon.

By Rory O'Donnell 

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