Intermediate League Match v St. Mochtas

November 8, 2018

Louth Village was the venue for the Division 2 Round 3 match between St. Mochtas and Roche Emmets at 7pm.

This game was played in perfect weather conditions. The play was competitive and fast throughout with many turns in fortunes for both teams to excite and entertain the attending support.  The game had many fine scores with good fielding, carrying at speed and constructive passing.

St. Mochtas 1-16 (H.T. 1-6) Roche Emmets 1-14 (H.T. 0-7)

Play began with an exciting run along the wing from Martin Craven around several defenders before dispatching a high attempt into the square where it broke to Philip Quinn but his shot screamed wide. Within a minute Craven had the ball in the net but he was a judged to have been in the square before the ball, two lucky breaks for the home team. The Mochtas opened the scoring through Eamon O’Neill in the second minute with a point but Roche responded with four unanswered points, three good scores from Barry O’Hare followed by one from Gerry Murphy. After ten minutes Roche were scoring freely and looked good to keep their unbeaten run intact. Their inside line was on their game and Craven and O’Hare could not be contained while they had the lions share of possession in the midfield and their defence were comfortable. But the Mochtas burst into the game with three points in five minutes to draw the score level; two frees from Declan Byrne and one from play by Nigel Farrell between the 13th and 18th minutes. Byrne’s second on the right of the goals was waved wide but Liam Bird over ruled to give the score. Martin Craven added another point from play followed by a converted free from Farrell and another from play by O’Neill to give his team the lead again. Craven brought the game level before O’Hare pushed Roche a point up in the 29th minute. Dan O’Connell’s attempt from a sideline kick on the 45 metre line came off the crossbar and away to safety in the 30th minute. Roche were edging the play in this half but there was a sting in the tail; in the 31st minute Mochtas worked the ball forward with Gerry Connolly moving forward with the play found himself 20 metres out with the ball in his hand, his strong shot stayed low and found its way under the cross bar into the net off the hands of Sean O’Hare on the stroke of half time. His view could have been hampered by the setting sun in his face.
Roche moved from a dominant position early in the half to a state of being ‘just shading it’ until the last minute. Part of their slip from control was their failure to keep the quick direct supply of ball to their danger men and while they began over carrying the ball and using cross field passing which benefited in the main the Mochtas defence. The Mochtas started off the pace but moved into the grove through the half and were a bit fortunate to lead at the short whistle but their play from the midway of the half had brought them well into the game. Their defence were getting to grips with things,  midfield was gaining their share of procession while O’Neill and Farrell were becoming a handful for Roche. Half time score: 1-6 to 0-7.
The Mochtas introduced Liam Byrne into the forward line at half time while in the early minutes of this half David Quigley was moved onto the right half position with Robert O’Hanlon pushing forward onto Philip Quinn’s wing.
Again Roche started the half quickest with points from O’Hare off a free awarded to Craven and Craven himself from an excellent pass from O’Hare inside three minutes. Then Farrell and O’Neill responded with two points. Farrell and O’Neill were winning all the ball that was going their way and the game was heading their teams direction but it looked to be all put in jeopardy when seven minutes in Farrell received a second yellow card for an off the ball incident. But the Mochtas attack found greater freedom from then on and began over running the Roche defence but their wide count was creeping up. O’Neill made the gap three points again in the 41th minute but this lead was wiped out by a good Roche move which seen Craven whip in a goal in the 12th minute; score 1-9 apiece! The teams traded points through Declan Byrne and Dan O’Connell, both coming from play. The home team then scored six points without reply to take a ‘tight grip’ of the match. Roche’s decision to make Dermot Craven the ‘free man’ with Sean Kirk left to contain O’Neill was proving not to be the best option with the forward rampant. Sean Crawley, Liam McGranaghan, O’Neill, McGranaghan again, O’Neill again (when a goal seemed on with only the keeper to beat), and finally Byrne all pointed to make the score 1-16 to 1-10 in the 58th minute. Their wide count had now reached six and they should have been further ahead. O’Hare went on a solo run and finished with a good point in the 59th minute then from a close in free O’Connell attempted one of his speciality goals but the ball was blocked then blocked a further three times as it ricocheted from attacker to defender in a frenzied attack until Robert O’Hanlon sensibly put it over the bar in the 62nd minute. Again Roche rushed the Mochtas goals, again there was a multi-shot attack which was blocked multiple times before the ball was pushed wide. Roche won a free and O’Connell slotted it over, the question was how much extra time was going to be played and where did it come from? The Mochtas had brought their wide count for this half to six. Craven got his fourth point with 33 and a half minutes on the clock. Darren McConnon plucked a ball from high in the sky and began another Roche mass attack and again the Mochtas goal was bombarded with shots only to be double blocked again. Bird ended the match in the 35th minute, the Mochtas made it home with two points to spare for a merited win on a score of 1-16 to 1-14.
Roche were aggrieved with the manor by which a number of the blocks were executed and to further heighten their woes Barry O’Hare received a red card during the after match deliberations with the ref. However Roche will look back and wonder how on three occasions Paudie Callaghan had the ball while goal side of his man in the large square but Roche failed to register a score. Mochtas were a different team in the second half and the loss of a man was not any hindrance.

Roche: Sean O’Hare, Sean Kirk, Dermot Craven, Joseph Bishop, Robert O’Hanlon 1pt, Harry O’Connell, Duane Callan, Martin Carroll, Darren McConnon, Philip Quinn, Dan O’Connell 2pts, Paudie Callaghan, Barry O’Hare 6pts, Gerry Murphy 1pt, Martin Craven 1-4. David Quigley for P.Quinn, Aidan McCoy for S.O’Hare.
Best for Roche were Harry O’Connell, Barry O’Hare and Martin Craven.

St.Mochtas: David McCoy, Tommy Kindlon, Barry Mulholland, Aidan Homer, Donal Gernon, Philip Englishby, Gerry Connolly 1gl, Declan Byrne 4pts, Gareth Reilly, Liam McGranaghan 2pts, Ken Meegan, Nigel Farrell 3pts, Shane McMahon, Sean Crawley 1pt, Eamonn O’Neill 6pts. Liam Byrne on at half time.
Best for Mochtas were Philip Englishby, Gerry Connolly, Declan Byrne, Nigel Farrell, Eamonn O’Neill and Liam Byrne.