The Geraldine Morans suffered their first defeat of the year in a close-run encounter at home to Ballyboden Wanderers. Mixed weather conditions saw rain showers punctuating the otherwise bright sunshine on a breezy day. The Gers Coach Dónall Ó Flatharta only added three new selections to the team that edged out St. Kevins Killians the previous Sunday: Eoin MacMaoilir donned the keeper’s jersey, George Callery was named at centre-back and Keith Stevens continued his rehabilitation from injury with his first start of the season.
Wanderers started the better of the two teams and broke the stalemate with a goal after just five minutes of play. Their long kick outs and bunching of the middle saw them mopping up much of the breaking balls in this area as the Gers were second to everything. The home defence were under constant pressure and despite great battling from Craig Scollard, Wanderers had soon added a point from play to their tally. After a number of misses, the Foxrock team eventually got on the scoreboard in the 15th minute, when the erstwhile Dick Young capitalised on a hard-won turnover by his midfield partner Irial Glynn by kicking a great individual score. Good defensive work by McGrath, Scollard and Stevens prevented some near certain scores from the opposition and a patient attack resulted in another Ger’s score from Doyle that dragged the team back into the match. Donal McEnery and Lochlann McCabe followed this with two more points as the home team began to enjoy a purple patch that saw them draw level with Wanderers.
The move of the match occurred just after 25 mins, when a rapid-fire exchange of passes between Doyle and Gary Bridges saw the ball laid off to the on-running Lochlann McCabe who stepped inside three defenders before rifling a shot into the top right corner of the net. While this may have been his third goal of the season, it was certainly his finest. Minutes later, another pointed free by McEnery meant that the Ger’s led by four points at half time (1-5 to 1-1).
The second half began much as the first, with Wanderers securing most of the breaks in the middle of the field to score an early point. Doyle responded with a left footed point for the Gers, after Scollard attacked from deep along the left wing. After a number of misses by both teams, each scored a pointed free. The home team hit yet more wides as Wanderers scoring another pointed free and then a goal either side of the 50th minute to make it a one point game. The Foxrock men responded with another point off the boot of Doyle, after some good work from Young. However the pressure exerted by Wanderer’s stranglehold of centerfield began to tell as the match wore on and the Ger’s defense conceded a total of six frees from scorable positions within the last 10 minutes. Wanderers scored from four of these to finish the game with a two point lead (1-8 to 2-7). Ultimately it was a disappointing day for the Foxrock men who were left to rue their tally of 10 wides, the mixed weather provided an apt analogy for their on-off performance.
J. Hynes (C) J. McGrath K. Stevens
C. Scollard G. Callery K. Guerin
D. Young (0-1) I. Glynn
L. McCabe (1-1) J. Doyle (0-3) K. McCabe
G. Bridges D. McEnery (0-3) D. Hussey
Ste Hedderman for K. McCabe –40 mins
Jonathan Lambert for Bridges – 50 mins
Padraig Flynn for Hussey – 58 mins