As nice a day as you would get in March and as nice a playing surface with an equally beautiful view met our A team last Saturday in Letterfrack. The 2 hour journey was made by 12 of our lads to take on high flyers West Coast in their own back yard in this latest league encounter. Some lads didn’t fancy the spin it seems. But it’s days like this that show you the true enthusiasm and heart our adult players possess.
While West Coast are chasing promotion our A team unfortunately are at the other end of the table. There was no evidence visible to suggest opposite ends of the table on the day however as Colemanstown started strong and played with heart and determination. The first 20 minutes seen small chances for both sides. Colemanstown were holding their own with our back 4 of Jack Kennedy Garry O Grady Garry Lally and Ronan Carr playing a solid high line seeing West Coast being caught for offside time after time. Squelch and Alan Finn on the wings saw limited ball at their feet but when they got it they looked threatening. John O Brien played in the number 10 role behind the striker and while he was unlucky not to feature on the score sheets had one of his finest games in the green shirt.
On 20 minutes Squelch took a mistimed tackle to earn a free. The resultant free was whipped in by Alo Finn and seen the 2 Garry’s clear at the back post and unlucky not to score. In the next 5 minutes Colemanstowns chins were up. Shane Lally playing up top on his own tried no end to keep the back 4 under pressure on the ball. Successfully forcing the West Coast right back into a mistake where Squelch got on to the ball; off down the right he went beating 2 West Coast players and earning a corner. The resultant corner was taken and after a couple of Scrappy attempts of clearances and efforts the ball swept across the goal where Padraig Quirke popped through and drilled the ball to see it deflected to the back of the net. Colemanstown deserved their 1 nil lead. Our Central midfield pairing of Jason Finn and Padraig Quirke lead with hard work and physicality. West Coast responded well to the goal, notching their game up a gear but Colemanstown were again equal to it.
On the cusp of half time a through ball from the West Coast centre back found one of the wingers in a central position. He played a nice through ball to their striker who finished well past the Colemanstown custodian John Gormally who had made a welcome return from his injury he received against St Bernards before Christmas.
Our lads came off the pitch at half time a little despondent knowing they had more in them and that the goal was maybe conceded too easily. They knew they were still in the game and had the advantages of the wind and “hill” in the second half.
West Coast were riled up at half time and came out like a bat out of hell. With high pressure and good play through the middle seen them through with the ball again at the striker’s feet and he made no mistake in putting them 2-1 up. In the circumstances this could be the point where the flood gates opened. Not on this day. Our lads again lifted their heads and battled. Shane Lally was replaced by Ja Healy and Squelch moved further up with Ja taking his perch on the right. This move worked well with Squelch really looking threatening. Squelch excelled on his “free” role. A darting run from the right of the field across to the left wing seen him in space. He was played through well by a Jason Finn pass; where he dribbled past defenders to send the ball across the goalmouth to be tapped in only to be narrowly missed by Ja whose momentum took him past the ball. On 70 minutes our lads were tiring. John O, Squelch and Alo worked and worked up top. Quirke, Jayo and Ja closed out any danger while our back 4 held strong. West Coast who had a squad of over 20 players to choose from on the day started making substitutions. The fresh legs stretched our lads all the more but they never gave in. As the game petered out and Colemanstown took more risks in the look for that elusive goal we conceded our 3rd quickly followed by the 4th in the last kick of the game.
The scoreline really does no justice. On another day with more to play for and a bigger squad this would probably tell a different story. It was a long day for the lads who made the effort to travel. They must be commended for representing our club with pride. Saturday sees them play Moyne Villa at home at 2pm with a win or draw guaranteeing 1st Division football again next year.