Monday, July 22, 2019

Junior A Football: Aidan McAnespies v Wolfe Tones; Donegal v Connemara Gaels

Wolfe Tones 0-16 Aidan McAnespies 1-14

Aidan McAnespies took the points in a to and fro affair versus the Wolfe Tones on a hot, steamy Sunday afternoon.  With each team guaranteed at least a semi-final place the game turned out to be an unexpectedly competitive encounter. A slight breeze proving some level of respite from the heat as McAnespies made a push in the final 5 minutes to turn a 2 point deficit and take the win.

Jimmy Rigney Tries to Outrun Keith Gill
McAnespies got off to a flying start and after 10 minutes were five points to the good.  It was one way traffic early on and the scores went over from all quarters.  Eoin Ward, Sean Walsh, Gareth McAlinden, and Owen Gormley each found the mark to score.  Sean Walsh and Eoin Ward had the upper hand in the middle of the field early on as the Tones were still stuck on the starting line.  Eventually the Tones got into the game and frees from Cormac Joyce-Power, along with a couple from play, combined with a lovely Conor Lamb point from a tight angle had the Tones on level terms following the water break.

A well worked goal from McAnespies put them back on top.  A move involving Sean Walsh and Barry Smith was finished by Gormley after Sean Walsh had pointed.  The Tones stuck with it and Joyce-Power kept the points column ticking over for them.  Walsh and Ward each pointed for the Macs before the break to make it a 1-9 to 0-10 lead in their favour at the break.

The game remained as tight as can be in the second half with Joyce-Power continuing to be the main outlet for scores for the Tones.  Sean Walsh was still flying in the middle of the field for McAnespies, and added another point along with Barry Smith.  Three from Joyce-Power for the Tones meant that there was just a point in it going into the final quarter of the game.

The Game Could have Broke Either way.
McAnespies started to lose their way a little with some wayward passes and the Tones took advantage with back to back points from Joyce-Power.  With the Tones now on a one point lead another was added by Joyce-Power and there was hardly any time left.  Every ball was crucial now.  There was life left in McAnespies to make a push and the teams were level with time almost up.  Walsh and Shane O’Brien pointed, though O’Brien was disappointed that he did not hit the back of the net as his shot from inside the 14 just cleared the bar.  O’Brien did find the winner with a fine effort as the game was in injury time and it was a great win for McAnespies as the winner take all games approach.

Tones: Patrick Carragher, Barry McShea, Keith Gill, Pat Collins, James Farrell, Michael Kerr, Jim Lynch, Ian Whelan, Marty Farrell, Cormac Joyce-Power, Cian Clifford, Ryan Lamb, Dylan Murtagh.

Macs: Paddy Coakley, Sean Clifford, Jimmy Rigney, Cian Sharkey, Gareth O’Neill, Colm O’Malley, Sean Walsh, Eoin Ward, Owen Gormley, Gareth McAlinden, Conor Bogue, Shane O’Brien, Barry Smith.

Connemara Gaels 2-5 Donegal 4-13

Donegal easily defeated the Connemara Gaels in the first Junior A Football match of the day, and top the table where a win in their final game against Aidan McAnespies would see Donegal into the final, with McAnespies and the Wolfe Tones facing off in the semi-final.  The Gaels were already out of the running having failed to win a game.  First half goals from Ashley Carr and Corey Gallagher after a string of points set the stage for the rest of the game as Donegal dominated.   The Gaels got some second half scores to add a measure of respectability to the scoreline, but the result was beyond any doubt by that stage. 
By Rory O'Donnell

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