Our first game of the season was out in Finglas on a balmy morning in February (who would have thought it), Mid term break and a few injuries really affected our numbers so we arrived with 15 players, our opponents had 22 so 2 games of 9 aside were played with Erins Isle providing a couple of players to us. Both games were evenly matched with both sides on top for a half each.
Our B team started well and were unlucky to not open the scoring. Erins Isle grew stronger and kicked a couple of nice points, they maintained the pressure on us and if it wasn’t for the excellence of Christian Kenny in goals they would have extended the lead, one save in particular Steven Cluxton would have been proud of. A combination of good pressure and hard work from our defenders and midfield kept us in the game. Some nice football from both sides was being played and we were unfortunate to not score in the first half after creating good chances. Erins isle scored a couple of goals and a point more before the break. A quick chat at half time to continue to do what they are learning in training right and we could get back into the game and they took this onboard and scored early in the 2nd half with a nice point from Colin Lydon to get us started. We played much better in the 2nd half with everyone stepping up and doing their bit for the team. More heroics from Christian and later Owen Gibbons in goals kept erins isle at bay for large parts of the game. at the other end Eoin Daly, Max Maguire and Colin continued to get scores with Aodhan Kennedy unlucky to just put a chance wide. Johnnie Donohoe used his height very well to execute some lovely high catches. They all should be very proud of their performances and the fact that they kept working hard for each other until the final whistle.
Our other team put in a strong performance setting off at a blistering pace, scoring 2 – 6 in the opening 20 minutes. The entire team put on a foot passing masterclass throughout that first half with great space awareness and impressive accuracy. The full forward line of John O’Callaghan and Shane Coyne were constantly looking for space and provided attacking options, while Frankie Rowley, David Hopkins, and Harry Weir provided some great scores from midfield and the wings with super movement off the ball, and with Tadgh Davis and Owen Twomey providing an uncompromising defense hoovering up all possession in the Geraldines half of the pitch and completely shutting out the Erin’s Isle forwards for that first half.Erin’s Isle came back into the game in the second half, and their larger squad size paid dividends as their fresher legs and substitutions started to have an impact. Erin’s Isle dominated the scoring during that second half with wave after wave of strong running attacks, however the Geraldines lads fought on tirelessly and tackled relentlessly with some great blocking from a dogged defensive display. Our goalie Kevin Kavanagh provided some great accurate kickouts and we rediscovered our scoring ability late in that half with a point which proved decisive. All in all a great performance from these young players which they can be very proud of, and it was great to see their strong competitive spirit combining so well with their growing technical skills in the opening game of the season.