A Big turnout from both Players and supporters as we embarked on our League journey in a Friday evening game at Cornelscourt. Firstly the support from the sidelines was outstanding with plenty of encouragement from parents, siblings and other members of the club. It was especially great to see Tadhg and Max, who are both injured down supporting their teammates and friends.
We had a squad of 20 for this game with James K starting in goals, Aodhán and Owen G our fullbacks, Morris, Owen T and Oisin were the half backs. In Midfield we partnered our captain for the day Hugo with James D. In the half forward line was Mathew, Frankie and John with Luka and Eoin D up top. Our subs were Colin, Jack, Adam,Johnny,Sean,Mark and Christian.
St Marks wins the throw in and come at us straight away and score a nice point, we respond with a cooly taken goal by Luka who won the ball in the air, sidesteps the keeper and scores into the empty net. St Marks come down our end and after a they put a chance wide score a goal of their own from a free. Again we respond when Eoin D puts over a point. 3 minutes in and the score at 1.01 each it looked like it was going to be a good free scoring game. The next 2 minutes were impressive firstly Hugo wins the kickout and plays the ball into Luka GOAL, Frankie wins the kickout and plays the ball into Luka GOAL, Mathew wins the kick out and plays the ball into Luka GOAL. St Marks couldn’t deal with his fielding and strength in front of goal and panicked when we turn over the next 2 plays and foul us, Frankie converts the first one but puts the second one just wide. They break through our midfield and put a shot wide after good pressure from Aodhán and the 2 Owens. What an opening 6 minutes!!!!!! There was no way that this could keep up and over the next 5 minutes both teams exchanged wides as attacking football was the order of the day with first Frankie then Mathew and finally Hugo missing for us and then St Marks having a spell in our half missing a couple of long range point efforts before they scored a super long point. Yet again we respond quickly when James D scores a nice point before John turns over the ball and passes to Eoin D who puts it over everyones head for Luka to palm into the net for his 5th goal. Entering into the last 5 minutes of the half and St Marks score a couple of points before James D bags himself a goal. Mathew takes a bit of a knock and is replaced by Jack on 22 minutes but their was still time for 3 more scores with a St Marks point sandwiched between 2 more goals for us. The first from Eoin D and the second from John, both were the result of brilliant team work in turning defence into attack with slick hand passing and clever running off the ball. Half time score Gers 8.03 St Marks 1.05
Not much needed to be said to them during halftime, their workrate was good as was their intensity and decision making. A few changes sees Morris coming off, James D drop into the half backs, Jack going midfield, Eoin D going HF and Colin coming on and going up top. James K going into the Full forward line with Luka going in goals.
We start the 2nd half well and attack from the off playing the ball around our forwards looking for space to shoot and forcing them to foul us. Frankie scores two nice points from frees before James K scores a point from play. St Marks scores a point of their own before Aodhán has to come off injured. Oisin drops into the FB line with Christian coming into the HB line, Hugo comes off with John now playing midfield, with Johnny coming in at HF. Frankie scores another free on 8 minutes and we bring on the rest of the subs. St Marks get their final score of the game with a well taken point, they had other chances but Luka made some fine catches on the line as well as John who finished the game in goals. The subs coming in did well with Christian, Sean and Adam playing their part in defence keeping them out while up front Johnnie, Mark and Colin slotted in and did their bit to keep our attacking play effective. With all the substitutions done and with the earlier players off coming back on for some of the starters it was natural for the teams flow to be disrupted somewhat but it was great to give everyone on the squad a good runout. John got a well deserved rest in goals after all his hard running and this allowed Luka to play in midfield for the final 10 minutes. It was pleasing to keep st marks scoreless for the last 15 minutes or so of the game but that was down to good defending sometimes last ditch stuff but when we were so far ahead you can expect the desire in some players to fight for every ball to drop a little but credit to the lads they kept the workrate levels to a high standard and didn’t want to let st marks have easy chances. There was still time for Frankie to score a couple of frees, for Mathew to rattle the crossbar with an outrageous bullet from way out, for James K to add a 2nd point to his name before Colin lashes a loose ball over the bar with the final score and play of the game. Final score Gers 8.11 St Marks 1.07
We don’t like to single out players as we win and lose as a team but there has to be a mention for Luka who had an outstanding game, not only did he score 5 goals in the first half which on its own is enough for a mention but when he went into goals for the second half he easily saved 2 certain goals for St Marks catching the ball from under the bar under pressure from their forwards and breaking out to clear it coupled with his kickouts finding their target he capped it off with a display of high fielding and smart passing when in midfield. The part that impressed me most and which says alot about what Luka offers the team didn’t even happen while the game was on, at halftime when we told the team about our changes for the second half and that James K and himself were swapping positions he took it apon himself to go to James and give him tips on how to play against his marker. Well done Luka on an outstanding performance from an outstanding team player.
Our next game is on nearly in a months time away to Erin Go Bragh on the 11th May. We will probably try to get at least 1 Friendly game in too.