Our first away game of the season sees us taking a short trip down the M50 to Bushy Park, as we looked to build on last week’s victory, with this game against Templeogue SS 2nd team. 18 traveled but with Aodhán injured we had 17 players. James D was our captain for the day.
James K started in goals, Kevin and Tadhg were the full backs, Oisin, James D and Owen T completed the back line. Midfield saw Hugo and Max’s partnership continue, the half forwards were Johnnie, John and Mathew with Luka and Mark completing the line up. The subs were Owen G, Seán, Alex and Adam.
Playing against the wind things were going to be tough at the start and so it proved with us conceding a goal on 3mins. It wasn’t long before we got our first chance when we won a free around the 45 line. James D put his boot through it but unfortunately it drifted wide. Mathew wins the resulting kick out and shoots but with the same outcome. We seemed to be struggling to get into the game with some sloppy passing and silly mistakes stopping us from getting into a rhythm and we were lucky not to go further behind when a Templeogue forward puts it wide when put clean through by a great diagonal ball, well done James for closing down the angle. We eventually get a score on 7 mins when Mark finishes off a great team move by finding the back of the net to bring us level. Templeogue go straight down the other end and stick the ball over the bar. Our defence start to get grips on their opponents tackling harder and putting them under pressure forcing them to shoot from out wide or further out the field. With the defence winning their battles and our passing improving we started to create more chances for ourselves we missed the first few and their keeper was on top form making plenty of good saves throughout the game but we kept at it and John starts off a good scoring spell for us with a point. Luka then scores a Goal and Point in quick succession to put us in front for the first time on 14mins.
Hopefully this would see us start to pull away but fair play to Templeogue who didn’t crumble and hit back with a 2 goals and 2 points to retake the lead by the 18th minute. Mathew then slotted over a free before Hugo firstly has a shot smartly saved before he found the net a minute later to level it. The game had gone into end to end mode with the big crowd of families from both teams backing their teams with plenty of vocal support. Templeogue added on a point and it looked like they would take a slender lead into the 2nd half but Mark wasn’t going to have that and stuck over the equaliser right at the end. HT Gers 3.04 TSS 3.04
A few words of encouragement, asking them to up their workrate, support their teammates more and to work the ball in closer for the second half. We had started poorly but had improved immensely during the half so we asked them to continue this upward curve for the second half. Johnnie and James K swapped places and Owen G came in for Kevin.
With the wind now behind us we expected better things and we looked to take advantage of it straight away playing the ball in long to John but he put it wide under pressure. Templeogue take a quick kick out and look to attack but only get as far as Max and Oisin who win the ball back for us and lay the ball off to Owen T who works well with John before breaking through tackles to score a great goal. We changed gears and started to dominate all over the pitch, our half backs pushed into midfield denying them time or space to attack us. We set up camp in their half and it wasn’t long before John added another goal that our pressure deserved, they were struggling to get out of their half, it wasn’t from their lack of trying they were just met with a wall of bodies and some hard tackling. The odd time they did breach our half Tadhg and Owen G were deteminded they would be leaving disappointed winning the ball ahead of them or tackling/slowing them down until support arrived. Templeogue got their only score of the 2nd half with a point on 14 mins but not before James D had scored a monster point from downtown. Seán gets subbed in for James K who had played an important role in the other James’s point. Oisin not wanting to be the only half back not getting a mention in the scoring column knocks over an outrageous point from out wide. Alex comes into goals for Johnnie who goes into the full forward line for Luka who had a super game winning loads of ball and working well with all the players around him. Mathew scores a good point after the ball is played across their defensive line back and forth until a chance opens up. Adam comes on for Mathew before Johnnie completes the scoring with a nice point. Ft Gers 5.08 TSS 3.05
An excellent second half performance from the team made the game look easy but we were forced to work really hard especially in the first half when we had to grow into the game after a lacklustre start. Next up is Trinity Gaels who put 16 goals past TSS last week so we need to be ready right from the throw in. It was really good to see the desire and drive from the players to make sure we picked up our game when we needed to and didn’t let our early mistakes get to them. There was great performances all over the pitch and with all the starting forwards getting on the scoresheet along with all the half backs the spread of scorers shows that we have strength throughout the team. The defense had to work harder than last week but it is much better for them and the whole team that they are challenged during games. Thanks again to all the parents and siblings for the support and encouragement from the sidelines.