Intermediate League Match v Dundalk Gaels

November 8, 2018

Goals win games!

Roche Emmets and Dundalk Gaels met in Pairc de Róiste for the opening round of Division 2 on Sunday 25th April. The weather was perfect and the pitch in tip top shape so everything was set for good football. And this game had good fast football with both teams going full throttle for an opening round win after seven matches of contrasting results in the Sheelan Cup. The home team captured the spoils with a 3-10 to 0-12 win.

The game began brightly with a point a piece, two close in frees from Barry O’Hare and then Derek Crilly in the 2nd and 4th minutes, then Conail McArdle cracked a shot off the Roche crossbar which rebounded out the field to safety. Martin Craven wided from a good position before Dan O’Connell nudged Roche ahead with a point in the 8th minute followed by a converted 45 metre free kick from Kevin Callaghan. Enna McArdle made the quarter hour mark score 0-3 to 0-2 in Roche’s favour. Crilly slotted another point to draw the teams however the kick out found its way to Gerry Murphy who sent a long centre to the square where Martin Craven skillfully fisted the ball to the net on the 19th minute.

Roche conceded a 20m free in front of the goals from a swiping move forward from the Gaels which had the signs of a major score. The initial signal appeared to be a penalty but when the ball was placed it was a free kick which was converted to make the score 1-3 to 0-4. Gerry Murphy added two fine points from play within two minutes pushing Roche 4 points ahead. Conail McArdle added another point for the Gaels before they missed another goal opportunity; Crilly done the spade work and put Anto McSorley in with the keeper to beat but he managed to steer it wide to leave the half time score Roche 1-5 Gaels 0-5. Both teams had a number of misses during this half from good positions, the best, mostly goal chances, did fall to the Gaels.

The second half seen Roche up the pace and out score the Gaels 2-5 to 0-6 in this half. Roche showed a better ability to tag on scores with Martin Craven and Kevin Callaghan converting their goal opportunities from accurate direct passes to men running onto the goals.

Craven started with a smart point inside a minute of the restart followed by a point from Duane Callan who collected the ball from a short pass off a 40 metre free from Dan O’Connell to level the score 1-7 to 0-5. Crilly pulled one back from a well taken free along the left wing off the ground followed by another free from Enna McArdle and a point from play by again Crilly to leave the score 1-7 to 0-8. Then from a long shot O’Hare punched the ball away from the top corner of the net down to his defence but it was collected by McArdle 6 metres out but he ballooned it over the bar instead of taking the maximum dividend, another glorious chance wasted! To further highlight the difference between the teams, three minutes later Roche delivered another accurate pass to Murphy from O’Hare, who’s strong shot came off the crossbar but straight into the arms of Callaghan on the edge of the square who, as expected, dispatched to the net; score 2-7 to 0-9! The game was safe for Roche at the three quarter mark.

A minute later O’Hare added another good point followed by a converted free from Crilly. The Gaels were moving Crilly around to find a method to win and had added Paul Burke to the action for the injured Conail McArdle.

The Gaels suffered another blow when G. Murphy robbed the ball from a Gaels attack on his own ‘45’ line and delivered long and quickly to Craven who rounded his man and headed for the goals, then dispatched to the net on the 23rd minute.

Gerard Fee entered the play for Enna McArdle after Burke converted a close in free; the score was now 3-8 to 0-11. With three minutes on the clock and the Gaels mustering all their might to save the game, they got a break! A penalty! And Crilly was the man to take it. He stuck it powerfully and accurately towards the top right hand corner… but O’Hare was the equal of it and the county mans’ effort was deflected for a ‘45’; a great save by the young keeper and it was just rewards for a good game between the posts. Errol Boyle converted the ‘45’ but the game was gone. Roche tidied up with a good point from D.O’Connell and a free from K.Callaghan in time added on.

This game was indeed a case of ‘goals win games’. But Roche had the greater confidence and self-believe to overcome the Gaels. Each chance lost seeped the Gaels enthusiasm and belief but they tried until the end.

The Gaels had prominent periods throughout the game but did not get the return on the score board. Roche did defend well as a unit, especially in the second half and were good value for their win.

Final Score Roche 3-10 Gaels 0-12

Referee: David Loughran, performed his duties well.

Roche scorers: Martin Craven 2-1, Kevin Callaghan 1-2, Gerry Murphy, Barry O’Hare and Dan O’Connell 2pts each, Duane Callan 1pt.
Best were; Sean O’Hare, Robert O’Hanlon, Harry O’Connell, Dermot Craven, Darren McConnon, Gerry Murphy, Martin Craven, Dan O’Connell and Kevin Callaghan.

Roche: Sean O’Hare, Sean Kirk, Dermot Craven, Robert O’Hanlon, Paudie Callaghan, Harry O’Connell, Duane Callan, Martin Carroll, Darren McConnon, Enda Murphy, Dan O’Connell, Barry O’Hare, Kevin Callaghan, Gerry Murphy, Martin Craven. 

Gaels scorers: Derek Crilly 5pts, Enna McArdle 4pts, Errol Boyle, Conail McArdle and Paul Burke 1 pt each.

Gaels team: Stephen Faughner, Nichlas O’Callaghan, Jamie Faughner, Sean Martin, David Moley, Errol Boyle, Darragh O’Callaghan, David Maloney, David McComish, Conail McArdle, Sean Fee, Derek Crilly, Anto McSoreley. Subs used: Paul Burke, Gerard Fee.