Gers 1-12 2-6 St. Sylvesters
What a finish! With 7 minutes left James Moffatt scored a point to edge us ahead for the first time only for St. Sylvesters to goal 2 minutes later to soften our cough. When Olof Gill pulled his citóg goal shot wide after being fouled on way through groans could be heard from all the Gers supporters. Would there be another opportunity? John Ahern calmly slipped over a point out on the right followed by a tap over free from Moffatt to tie it all up again. The next score could be crucial….on 59 minutes the Malahide boys got their own tap over free to lead by one with time at a minimum. What were we made of, could we respond ?
A high dropping ball into the Sylvesters 21 metre line was gathered smartly by kingmaker himself Jim McGrath, on turning for goal he slipped the ball to the clever running Moffatt who passed the ball into the net for us to lead by 2 with time almost out. Referee indicated 2 extra minutes to be played, oh jaysus! The visitors to their credit worked another attack that produced a goal scoring opportunity which ended high and wide right. From the kickout the Gers won possession and John Doyle finished the argument with his 3rd second half point as the referee blew his full-time whistle.
All this looked unlikely in the first half. Spurned goal chances along with an uncharacteristically off day from frees resulted in the lowest half-time total in over 4 years for the home side. The north county men had no such issues taking their points and indeed one point effort from distance ended up looping into the net after 25 minutes. Neil Costello had earlier pulled off a very good save to deny another goalbound shot. Heroic defending and great blocks by George Callery, Eóin MacMaoilir, John Hynes & co. kept the scoreline down and kept us in the game. The half-time score read an alarming 0-1 to 1-4.
The same 15 that re-emerged for the second half bore no relation to the first half rabble. Primary possession was being won around the middle, passing was more crisp, the team played with more energy and purpose. To the credit of all when the need was greatest we pulled together and drove forward not accepting what seemed to be fated for us. Whereas the defence kept us in it for the first half the midfield of Evan O’Brien and Olof Gill stood tall after the restart. The half back line of Karol Guerin, Craig Scollard and the excellent David Lavelle hardly let a ball past them for the second period.
Jim McGrath when asked afterwards how he continually manages to elevate those about him to greater heights responded: “When the seagulls follow the trawler, it is because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea”. He put up his SKODA sponsored collars and walked off into the light.
John Hynes Eóin MacMaoilir George Callery
David Lavelle Craig Scollard(0-1) Karol Guerin©
Olof Gill(0-1) Evan O’Brien
Donal McEnery(0-3,3f) John Ahern(0-1) John Doyle(0-3)
Aido Greene Keith Stephens Daniel Hussey
Gary Bridges(0-1) for Stephens
James Moffatt(1-2,1f) for Greene
Jim McGrath for Hussey
Conor Maher (Ballyboden St. Endas)