Gerry Moran’s charges were relentless in their quest yesterday to bounce back after their 3-1 loss to Athenry in their league opener 2 weeks ago. They were greatly assisted by the superbly in-form Niall Gelston who played a stormer from start to finish and had a massive say in how this game actually finished. As Gelston walked off the pitch to almost a heros applaud, I overheard a West spectator say to him ‘We should have put you in the bin’ There’s no doubt if Gelston was in the wheelie bin for this game, there may well have been a totally different outcome. That said, our defense were phenomenal and put in a tireless effort all through, smothering West’s attacks time & time again. One would have thought Ollie Crowes boots would be difficult to fill, but the combined effort of Jayo Finn & Sean Hardiman in central defence was insurmountable while young Lee Murphy has come of age and showed a maturity much beyond his years with a sterling display at right back with Alo Finn also up to his usual standard in the left back position. West had the best of the earlier exchanges putting Colemanstown under extreme pressure but Niall Gelston made 2 super saves, tipping one onto the crossbar with Kegs having the best chance for Colemanstown drawing a great save from West’s custodian in the process. Colemanstown came more into the game after the 20min mark. A long kick out from Gelston was flicked on by Tom Flannery at midfield for Kegs to run on to but somehow he rushed his shot which in the end was well off target. Kegs had another effort after some good Colemanstown pressure but from the moment he got a boot to it, it was always curling wide. Newcomer Dermot O’Halloran then found Kegs on 39mins with a long ball from midfield but he failed to beat the offside trap. Kegs was then gifted with a chance as he found himself unmarked in front of goal after a good run on the right flank from Paddy Mullins but somehow he fluffed his chance. Gelston was called to the rescue minutes later with another sharp reaction save to deny West after some rare sloppy defending from our rearguard and seconds later as West sustained the pressure Sean Hardy scrambled back somehow to clear the ball from danger. Paddy Mullins then drew a good save from the West keeper and as the rebound fell to Ray Moran; his effort was always curling wide. Manager Gerry Moran made a few positional switches before the break in an effort to make the break through as Ray Moran & Flan combined up front, with Kegs switched to right midfield & Paddy Mullins playing on the stand side of the field. It was newcomer Dermot O’Halloran who made the breakthrough 3mins into the 2nd half from close range after a great cross from Paddy Mullins on the wing, added to by Kegs who crossed to O’Halloran who made no mistake and what a way to mark your debut. The goal put Colemanstown on the front foot and minutes later Paddy Mullins showed some great footwork, dancing over the ball and then unleashed an effort from the edge of the 18’ box which went marginally wide. Gelston was again called into action, when the equaliser looked ominous for West but little Gelston made himself big crowding the striker to make another massive save and conceded a corner in the process. The resultant corner was safely plucked from the sky and well held again by Gelston. Moments later he laid another marker with two good stops from free kicks taken in quick succession. Then came the turning point as a West player saw red for an attempted head butt which helped ease our woes a little. From there until the end we survived a flurry of late efforts from West, one deflecting off the head of Sean Hardy while Richie Lally cleared another effort destined for goal. At this stage Damo Wynne, Johnny Lally, Ronnie Geraghty & Squelchy were sprung from the Colemanstown bench in this overall squad effort, with the latter having to retire due to injury, moments after his introduction. Lee Murphy then had an effort which almost evaded the keeper but bounced wide while Richie Lally almost wrapped up proceedings late in the game as the West keeper came upfield for a line ball and as Colemanstown attacked on the counter; Richie almost slotted the ball into an empty net but the defender got back in the nick of time to clear off the line. 1-0 it finished and a great 3 points in a ding dong battle. Everyone put their shoulder to the wheel in a high paced game but the day belonged to Gelston and to newcomer Dermot O’Halloran who scored the breakthrough goal so that Colemanstown could edge this one by the skin of their teeth!
Our B team were not as lucky as they were well beaten by Claregalway 4-0.
Next weekend sees a busy schedule starting on Saturday morning as our U13’s kick off their league campaign with an away game to Barna Furbo, KO 12.30pm. Our U15’s also play their first league opener against Cregmore/Claregalway in Cregmore at 1pm on Saturday. Our ‘B’ team are home to Craughwell United on Saturday at 2pm while our ‘A’ team are home to Corrib Rangers on Sunday at 11am. Support for all teams welcome!