The last game in the first round of the Senior Football Championship certainly matched the weather; miserable, drab and dour in the difficult conditions at wet and windy Michael Fay Park on Sunday evening last and it finished in a fairly emphatic win for Fr. Manning Gaels.
Peter Hanley Motors Senior Football Championship Group 1, Round 1 - Fr Manning Gaels 0-11, Carrickedmond 0-3
As a spectacle the football on show in this Group 1 fixture was extremely poor and as for the entertainment value, supporters were badly let down. Yes the weather wasn’t great but for a senior championship game the football was of a very low standard.
It took 18 minutes for the first score of the game to come. Carrickedmond didn’t get their first score until the 28th minute and their only point from play came two minutes from the end of this dismal encounter.
In a very scrappy and error ridden first half scores were very scarce. Both sides had possession but couldn’t do anything constructive with it. 18 minutes had elapsed before the white flag was raised for the first time - James Noonan pointing a free after Tom Cummins had fouled John Paul Farrelly.
Noonan converted his second free two minutes later after he was held back by Carrickedmond corner-back James Murray while Michael Mulleady had a goal chance in the 24th minute but he shot wide.
It was all the Gaels as they dominated proceedings. In the 26th minute James Noonan was on target again; this time landing an excellent effort from play. Carrickedmond lost their goalkeeper Paul McGuire through injury in the 26th minute and he was replaced by Longford minor keeper Gareth Higgins.
Carrick’s first score of the game came two minutes before the break when Mark McDonnell pointed a free. Just on the stroke of half-time John Fitzpatrick shot over the bar to leave his side leading by 0-4 to 0-1.
After a dour first half of football it was hoped that the game would improve after the break but unfortunately it didn’t. Padraig Gill got his first point with five minutes gone on the changeover and another James Noonan free three minutes later stretched the Gaels advantage to five points.
In the 42nd minute the Gaels could have grabbed a goal; Darren Farrelly played in John Fitzpatrick but he shot wide instead of passing to players who were in a better scoring position.
After 16 minutes without a score and being totally outplayed, Francis Kelly registered Carrickedmond’s second point from a free in the 44th minute but Padraig Gill responded with a fine score for the Gaels.
Knowing a goal was the only way they could get back into the game Carrickedmond had a chance in the 53rd minute; Jonathan Keegan passed to Mark McDonnell but his effort failed to trouble Gaels netminder Paddy Collum.
Gaels broke quickly down the field and Padraig Gill got his third point with a nice effort. Carrickedmond had another goal chance in the 56th minute. Substitute Keith McGuire was fouled about 15 metres out and McDonnell’s effort was well blocked by Sean Diffley.
Two minutes later Carrickedmond got their only score from play with a point from Jonathan Keegan and then Gaels substitute Fergal Reilly responded with a nice point. James Noonan fired over a fourth free and just before the end John Fitzpatrick got his second point to clinch a comfortable win for Fr. Manning Gaels.
FR. MANNING GAELS: Paddy Collum; Mark Duffy, Aaron Quinn, John Paul Farrelly; Sean Diffley, Cian Brady, Diarmuid Cooney; Johnny Kane, John Fitzpatrick (0-2); Darren Farrelly, Michael Mulleady, Emmet Collum; Padraig Gill (0-3), David Hannify, James Noonan (0-5, four frees).
Subs:- David Cassidy for E Collum (half-time); David Collum for M Mulleady (32 mins); Fergal Reilly (0-1) for D Farrelly (54 mins).
CARRICKEDMOND: Paul McGuire; James Murray, Kevin Moran, Tommy Martin; Padraig McGrath, John Gerety, Barry Stewart; John O’Shea, Tom Cummins; Jonathan Keegan (0-1), Padraig O’Shea, Barry O’Farrell; Marty Mulvey, Mark McDonnell (0-1, free), John Burns.
Subs:- Gareth Higgins for P McGuire (injured, 26 mins); Francis Kelly (0-1, free) for P O’Shea (39 mins); Shane Mulvey for M Mulvey (52 mins); Keith McGuire for J Burns (54 mins).
Referee: Patrick Maguire (Granard St. Mary’s).