Now that was a gaelic football challenge match! St. Annes are never easy and arrived with a big squad, determined to get a result.
Our heros battled to the end, and were ahead for most of the game, very unlucky not to get something out of the match in the end. A little bit of tiredness played its part but a good lesson for the team and one to bank for later in the season.
These are the matches we need to develop out boys. Tough, uncompromising, fast, but played in a very good spirit with great skills on display on both sides.
St. Annes had a number of exceptional players, particularly strong high-fielding under the kick outs. We rued the missed chances early on in the game, hitting the cross bar on one occasion after a fantastic attacking move.
One hero was Conor B, in goals for the first half, with 2 point blank saves, including a full length dive to the right to turn the ball wide for a 45. Conor played the second half up front where he battled well in a fast paced second half. Our full back line were majestic! Brian H had his best match of the season so far, reading the game exceptionally well and taking on all comers, the bigger the better! A superb display all through. Seamus was the other full back, and again had one of his best games yet, cheered on from the side-line by his hill walking dad!
Our half back line ran all day. Conor K in the middle was his usual self, hard in the tackle and boundless energy, rounding off his performance with a fine point. Daniel C fitted in at half back rather than half forward and played very well, making his usual vital interceptions and covering back well, as well as forays up front. Paul battled up and down the field, getting in some great runs as well as one lovely point, getting on the end of a pass from Max to get past 3 defenders and over the bar! A hard stud in the knee (missed by the coach!) took him out of the game for 10 minutes in the second half, when Max stepped in to mark a very capable St Anne’s half forward, finishing off his game with a vital goal from a sideline kick.
Midfield dynamos were Byron (back after missing the last game) and Conor R (back after partying the night before!). Both had quite a job on their hands with a strong St Anne’s midfield, but stuck to their task very well and gave St Anne’s plenty of trouble themselves, with Conor bagging a goal and a point for his troubles.
Up front, the half forward line was Hubie, Matthew F and Cian M, with Cian M scoring 2 fine points for us, taking all the frees to help keep his eye in. Hubie used his speed to great effect and was unlucky not to finish off a few moves, but had a fine game none the less, particularly the second half. Matthew F again through himself about all over the field, and his stamina proved vital for us in the second half. Up front we started with Luke L and James. Luke winning plenty of ball and unlucky not to get his customary couple of points. James had a few runs in the full forward line during the game, with some nice one twos with Max in particular. Matthew B covered both half forward and full forward, again getting on the ball on a number of occasions, and unlucky not to convert.
Definitely one of our better work outs – showing how the team is developing but also showing what we’ve got to work on next. We need plenty of close matches to help stretch the squad.
See everyone at training on Monday night. Don’t forget to join up for the camp at Easter with Darren Magee.
Bryan, Dave, Ed and Shay