Two fairly evenly matched sides squared up to each other in Loughrea today as a 2-1 win for our ‘A’ team meant they leaped up the table a bit in a hard fought tough encounter. The first half was end to end with very little between the sides as both keepers ably dealt with anything half dangerous thrown at them while the game was played predominantly in the middle third of the field. Dermot O’Halloran maintained his position in goals for the injured Niall Gelston. On 20mins Loughrea came close when a bullet of a shot came off the crossbar while the resultant corner was well defended by Colemanstown’s rearguard who barely put a foot wrong all day. 29mins in and after a great run from Damo Wynne down the line crossed into Kegs who appeared to have beaten the offside trap but the ref didn’t agree. 8mins later Colemanstown had a let off when a powerful header from Loughrea was just inches off target. Alo Finn then had a thunderous effort to open the scoring from just outside the 18’box but the keeper saved well. The teams went in scoreless at the break and a welcome breather for both teams as Paddy Mullins saw the start of the second half in lieu of Damo Wynne who had ran his socks off on the wing. 2mins after the restart and Loughrea looked close on getting the opener after a slack back pass to O’Halloran and the striker nipped in but somehow a combined effort by our rearguard saw them scramble the ball away from danger. Minutes later as Loughrea had a period of pressure a shot from the edge of the box was well held by O’Halloran whose long kick out fell nicely for Flan who bulleted his effort at goal so high it nearly ended up in Loughrea town. The first 10 minutes after the restart certainly belonged to Loughrea who piled on the pressure which our lads sustained well as our defence put their bodies on the line. 17mins into the second half the breakthrough was made as Flan executed perfectly from the penalty spot after a blatant hand ball. The relief was palpable. But another major blow as Jayo Finn hobbled off through injury which saw Kegs drop back to centre back and the lightening fast Squelchy introduced. 13 minutes later Squelchy paid dividends as he made no mistake in front of goal when he latched onto a cross from Flan from the far side of the field. Once Colemanstown had that 2 goal cushion, Loughrea never really looked like clawing back the deficit. Then Flan had a great run down the wing drawing players on him before releasing a perfectly executed cross to the well positioned Paddy Mullins whose momentary hesitation gave Loughrea enough time to get a player back on the line to clear his goal bound effort. At this stage Colemanstown were well on top as a Richie Lally free kick into Flan who again was just inches wide. With 5 mins to go, Loughrea were handed a lifeline in the unlikeliest fashion as the ref adjudged Sean Hardiman to have handballed when it appeared the ball deflected off his shoulder instead. The penalty was bulleted straight down the middle which any keeper would have found difficult to stop. The intensity increased for the remaining minutes as we defended bravely while Tom Flan had another chance on the break as he found himself one-on-one with the keeper but as 2 defenders tracked back and put him under pressure to shoot, his effort went to the right of the post. Right at the death, as Loughrea floated in a free kick into the danger area, which was headed towards goal Loughrea were celebrating an equaliser, it looked like Dermot O’Halloran held the ball just on the goal line while the ref awarded a free out for an infringement on O’Halloran. It was sweet music to our ears as we certainly didn’t deserve to even draw this game. It was a dazzling win and a great turnaround in fortune for this team while the result was a testament to the effort put in. Well done lads on a super performance.
Our reserves also got themselves back on track after their first loss of the season to West Utd last weekend with a 2-0 away win over Oranmore/Maree with goals from Shane Bailey & Squelchy Walsh.
Next weekend sees a free weekend for all our teams apart from the U11’s who play at home in the U11 Developmental league.