A beautiful sunny Saturday evening in Colemanstown; kids up for it, players up for it & the top 2 of the RDFL Masters league taking on each other – Colemanstown & Glen Cletic. With Sayers unavailable, Cian O’Toole put his hand up to act as stand in keeper. Would his loss, Alan Walsh’s & Gary Broderick’s loss be immense in defense in a tight encounter & the one-armed bandit up front? Would the after effects of a stag-do have implications for Kenny Duane? However, everyone seemed enthusiastic as gaffer Barry Forde gave a pretty rousing pre-match team talk.. Colemanstown had to withstand much of the early pressure but stood the test well with Niall Cunningham, Garry O’Grady, Ross Sullivan & Barry Forde in commanding form. Colemanstown’s first half chance fell to Liam Flannery but just as he was about to pull the trigger, the ball was whipped off his toe. Immediately up the other end, CianO made a spectacular one handed save while Barry Donnellan had a half chance which he drilled wide.
The best chance of the half came after a long delivery from Ross Sullivan at the back for Barry Donnellan & Mark Kirby to run on to, but both having exhausted themselves in a run half the length of the field, Barry Don won the race against Kirby but bulleted his effort even beyond the playground. In a tit-for-tat first half, Colemanstown began to take control in the last 15mins of the half. A pop at goal from right back Niall Cunningham was well held by the keeper.
Within 4mins of the restart, Barry Donnellan had another good chance but again got excited when he had a glimpse at goal and drilled wide. Everyone loves a bit of banter but when you’re a grown man and the ref gives you a telling off for mouthing, well tis time to have a little chat with yourself Barry……. Immediately from the kick out Cian O’Toole made another good save to keep the game in stalemate. One got the feeling 1 goal would win this game given the even balance & match of both teams. The breakthrough was made on 47mins but it was from the opposition. CianO came out to the edge of his box to gather a low shot, failed to hold on to it and the spilled ball found the empty net.
Then saw the introduction of Prince Philip in full kit this time. Colemanstown threw everything at it in a bid to earn the equaliser. A great ball by Donnellan sent Fintan Finnerty off in space and this lad is fast but with just the keeper to beat he shot straight at him. In a great passage of play by the hosts, Barry Forde found Finnerty again, who was surging down the left flank and as he cut across the box he was taken down and the ref pointed to the spot… but there was no spot. Barry Don shaped up for the peno as the ref walked 6 yards. With Barry dreaming of his former days, he hit straight at the keeper and the rebound was bundled out over the line for a corner. Barry was given 3 hours digger work at the pitch by the Chairman yesterday evening for his penance.
Colemanstown maintained the pressure on Glen Celtic. Fintan Finnerty was taken down as he throttled towards goal and Glen’s keeper had to dive well to push David Kirby’s free kick around the post. David Kirby then had a pop shot from the edge of the centre circle but his effort was well off target. Barry Donnellan then was taken down but this time Finnerty took the resultant free kick which was drilled well over. Colemanstown threw everything into the final minutes. A lovely floated cross from Marcus Malone on the right wing was met by Garry O’Grady but he couldn’t pull off the bicycle kick. It would have been spectacular had he connected with the boot rather than his shin. In the very last kick of the ball, Colemanstown got caught on the break & the visitors bundled another past CianO to put the game to bed. As the ref blew the final whistle the lads were already eagerly looking forward to the 2nd leg fixture. Final score: Colemanstown 0 – Glen Celtic 2.
Squad: Cian O’Toole, Niall Cunningham, Garry O’Grady, Ross Sullivan, Barry Forde, Liam Flannery, Adrian Burke, Rob Byrne, Kenny Duane, Barry Donnellan, Mark Kirby, Marcus Malone, Fintan Finnerty, David Kirby, Philip Dee.