Monday, August 5, 2019

Sun Aug 4 - Senior Football: Connemara Gaels v Aidan McAnespies

Connemara Gaels 1-13 Aidan McAnespies 5-14

Aidan McAnespies underlined their unbeaten finish to regular season with an emphatic victory over the Connemara Gaels.  The game was almost over before it started.  Within the first few minutes McAnespies had rattled the net twice before the Gaels had worked up any kind of a sweat, and a third goal about 10 minutes in put the nail in the coffin.  Pierce Lafferty was flying at center back, and in the forward line former Gaels player, Tony Brosnan, and Evan Cronin were on form.

Stephen O'Hanlon looks set on making it hard for 
David Larkin to get the ball into his hands.
The Gaels had a handful of starters on the bench, as did McAnespies, who went at their opponents all guns blazing from the open.  A quick Robbie Smyth point was followed by goals from Monaghan man, Stephen O’Hanlon and Cronin.  McAnespies blew through the Gaels defence on both occasions leaving the finishers with simple tasks of palming the ball into the empty net.  Gaels keeper, Sean Fox, was audibly unhappy with his defenders, but the speed and strength of the attackers was impressive.

The Gaels got on the board with a Paul Donaghy point, but the McAnespies gale was still blowing strong and points were added by captain, Declan Hughes and Cronin, each finishing powerful moves.  The Gaels were further set back after the defence were forced into fouling O’Hanlon for a penalty, and Smyth finished it expertly.  Tony Brosnan and Laverty added two more and it was pretty much out of sight.  The Gaels finally got some traction and popped over three on the trot to restore some belief in their abilities.  David Larkin and Donaghy (2) were the scorers.  Keelan Sexton was introduced to try and stem the bleeding, and put over a wonderful sideline kick, followed by a nice point from Doanghy after dummying the marker.  At the break the three goals were the difference, 3-7 to 0-7.

A Score for Tony Brosnan by the looks of it.
The second half saw the McAnespies defence stifle any hopes of a Gaels comeback as they defended in numbers.  The Gaels benefited from 3 frees in a row for points each time, however, McAnespies went right back down the field and got it back.  The forwards were patient in making the pass until the right opening presented itself, and eventually a fourth goal came from Brosnan.  The man from Dr. Crokes in Killarney made a reverse chip and caught the Gaels keeper off guard as the ball curled into the near corner of the net.  One a positive note for the Gaels, Sexton’s kicking was impressive with several well taken dead ball points, but with the game essentially over, each side brought the players in off the line.

Cronin was withdrawn after another point, a well-earned rest following a productive outing for the McAnespies wing forward.  The Gaels did find the net after Donaghy sold another nice dummy, but it was canceled out with a second penalty from Tony Brosnan this time.  Fox saved the initial shot well, but Brosnan was on to the rebound to net.  A big win for McAnespies who will wait to see whether they will meet Wolfe Tones or Galway in the semi-final next Sunday.

Macs:  Robbie Croft, Conor Maunsell, Ronan Murphy, Daniel Guinness, Pierce Laverty, Oisin McConvey, Declan Hughes, Barry Kerr, Evan Cronin, Tony Brosnan, Anthony Cournane, Stephen O’Hanlon, Robbie Smith.

Gaels:  Sean Fox, Adam Fallon, Niall Kelly, Damien Doolan, David Larkin, Cian Murphy, James McKenna, Niall Collins, Nathan O’Neil, Sean Conneeley, Kieran Killeen, Padraig McAnenly, Paul Donaghy.
By Rory O'Donnell

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