Young Ireland 0-13
Clan na Gael 1-06
Young Ireland survived a late scare to return to winning ways in the NSW Senior football league against a dogged Clan na Gael side. A point from a Matt Griffin free got Young Ireland on the scoreboard first, but Clan soon equalised through a slick forward line move. Young Ireland created more chances early on but had only 2 further Matt Griffin points to show for their efforts. Clan were much more efficient with their opportunities and once again levelled the scores at 3 points each.
For the remainder of the first half Clan’s tactic of getting the ball to their pacey full forward line as early as possible failed to pay off as the Young Ireland defence, particularly Brian Gillen, dealt with the long balls coming in to keep Clan scoreless. Meanwhile, Young Ireland found another gear but couldn’t capitalise on some clear-cut goal chances. Points from Packie Spiers and Adrian Murphy sandwiched the score of the half from Bobby O’ Brien, bursting through from midfield, as Young Irelands went to the break 6 points to 3 in front.
Both teams exchanged points early in the second half with Young Ireland’s score from Vincent Lehane. The Clan kickouts were coming under increasing pressure from the Young Ireland midfield and half forward line with Darren Mc Geever and Bobby O’Brien both claiming marks. James O’ Sullivan pointed from a move started by a Bobby O’Brien mark and he returned the favour moments later to set O’Brien up for his second point of the game.
Clan na Gael rallied with a fine long range free to reduce the gap to 4 points but Matt Griffin responded with another Young Ireland point. Clan hit back with a point and quickly followed that with a goal, capitalising on the chaos caused by a free kick dropped into the Young Ireland square. The lead was back to a single point with 6 minutes remaining.
The next score would be crucial, and it was Adrian Murphy who stepped up to break the Clan na Gael momentum. A combination of a tiring defence and continued pressure on Clan kickouts saw Young Ireland restore a 4-point buffer thanks to a free from Adrian Murphy and a point from sub Alan Costello. Young Ireland finished with 14 men as Matt Griffin received a second yellow card late on, but there was no time for Clan na Gael to make the numerical advantage count.
Despite the late dramas, coach John O’Sullivan and his support crew can take heart from the overall performance, including positive contributions from all of the subs introduced.
Team: 1. Marty Dowling, 2. Padraig Healy, 3. Brian Gillen, 4. Fearghal Delaney, 5. Aidan O’ Mahony, 6. Dan O’ Sullivan, 7. Damien Moynihan, 8. Bobby O’Brien, 9. Patrick Kennedy, 10. Darren Mc Geever, 11. Packie Spiers, 12. Matt Griffin, 13. Vincent Lehane, 14. Adrian Murphy, 15. James O’Sullivan Subs: Alan Costello, Ruairi Campbell, Mick Murphy, David Reilly
Meanwhile, the Young Ireland Ladies team fell short of a win despite a strong second half showing against McAnallens. Despite 4 goals of their own, they had too much of a gap to make up, resulting in a final score of McAnallens 7-08; Young Ireland 4-04. The league returns in 2 weeks.