Colemanstown took on Sligo side Gurteen Celtic (Tubbercurry) yesterday afternoon at home and were on the back foot as early as 3 mins when a ball squared across the box was tapped home by Gurteen Celtic’s striker to leave Jason Connolly with no chance. 6mins later another speculative lob from the edge of the 18’box saw the visitors go 2 goals to the good and one wondered would a drubbing from this Sligo side be on the cards. On 11mins and some good work on the stand side of the field from Ryan Noone found Michael Flattery who finished superbly and a goal feast looked ominous. Gurteen Celtics keeper pulled off a great save from Ryan Noone from a tight angle while there were sufficient red jerseys back to clear the ball in defence. Sean Hansberry who was recovering from injury was introduced and immediately saw his effort from almost the half way line go over the bar. Michael Flattery then won a corner, duly taken by Conor Moran who slipped on striking the ball, but the ball fortuitously found Sean Hansberry who again unleashed an effort wide of the post. Jason Connolly made a massive save right at the butt of the post on 32mins. Colemanstown had another good chance just before half time to level matters when Sean Hansberry’s free was turned out around the post with Conor Moran taking the resultant corner which Micháel Ryan put wide. 2-1 to Gurteen Celtic at half time.
Jason Connolly was called into action immediately after the restart with a superb finger-tip save. Then Sean Hansberry spotted the visitors’ keeper off his line and his lob from a long distance out was caught on time by the back-tracking keeper. Gurteen then had the ball in the net but were adjudged to be off-side by the vigilant ref. Michael Flattery got his 2nd, doing all the hard work as he worked the ball in across the end-line and lobbed the keeper from the most difficult of angles to jubilant celebrations. Straight from the kick off and the visitors put themselves in front from the doorstep despite the best efforts of Darragh Roche who cleared the goal line with our keeper stranded but the rebound fell to Gurteen Celtic and in fairness the momentum of the ball didn’t even find the back of the net, but it mattered little to the visitors as they went 3-2 up. With 5mins to go, Sean Hansberry’s free kick found the net after a low hard drive evaded the keeper to make it 3-3. Jason Connolly made a great save in the last kick of the game to force extra time. Colemanstown’s joy was unconfined, and if manager David Gilligan had been there he would have carried Hansberry shoulder high five times round the pitch in celebration. But instead it was caretaker manager Jayo Finn, Niall Cunningham and newbie Edo Flannery who were joyous on this occasion and even at this stage Sharon Noone was seen hopping out of the car with such excitement.
5mins into extra time and the visitors pulled the trigger again and spoiled the party as they squeezed the ball inside the post for a hectic finish. Would we come back for a 3rd time? With only minutes left on the clock, Ryan Noone found Sean Hansberry but somehow the ball got lodged under his feet and he was unable to get his shot at goal. 4-3 it finished to Gurteen Celtic . But this loss was cruelly inflicted on a Colemanstown team that deserved parity. The lads gave their full commitment but the result didn’t go their way. But at least they all looked the part as they were donned out in their new togs and socks thanks in the main to Garry & Sharon Noone for their kind sponsorship. Thanks also to all who helped out with the splendid hospitality after the game and to caretaker manager Jayo Finn who looked after the academy in the morning, played an A team game and then went on to manage the U14’s. If Carlsberg did managers he probably would be one of the best……. Manager David Gilligan had a nerve biting encounter across the pond as he spent most of the match checking in on updates from Colemanstown. But at least Liverpool didn’t lose.
Next weekend, these boys can dust themselves off as they play Salthill Devon in Drom on Saturday at 12.30pm.
Panel: Jason Connolly, Micháel Ryan, Dara Hansberry, Luke Lally, Liam Molloy, Conor Byron, Micheal Kelly, Conor Moran, Mark Donnellan, Michael Flattery, Ryan Noone, Josh McGuire-Greaney, Sean Hansberry, Darragh Diskin, Darragh Roche.