Division 1 League Shadonagh v Coralstown/Kinnegad - Friday 11th March
The Shandonagh men made the eastbound trip out to Kinnegad last Friday night to take on Coralstown/Kinnegad in the third game of their division 1 league campaign. A very wet previous few hours presented a soggy pitch surface for both teams to deal with, it was not going to be an evening for bouncing the ball anyhow.
The first half was a fairly even contest with possession shared between both teams. The Shandonagh defence had their hands full with the Coralstown/Kinnegad full forward line timing their runs well and shooting with precision. The first quarter scoreline of 2-03 to 0-01 in favour of Coralstown/Kinnegad did not reflect the great effort and missed chances by Shandonagh. A couple of kicks for points went agonisingly wide by the smallest of margins. In the 14th minute a short kick out by young Cian Molloy found Gareth Carr who quickly passed to Tom Molloy in the centre forward position. Tom shifted it onto Aaron Flanagan who had Ryan Norris going through on goal at full tilt with no one to stop him. Unfortunately with the wet and sticky conditions the pass fell just short by a few inches of connecting with the hands of Norris and the chance of a goal was gone. Three minutes later Norris and Flanagan were instrumental in Shandonaghs only goal of the game. Ryan Norris displayed a fantastic bit of skill when he received the ball on the wing, turned wide to go up the wing with his man pushing him out but quick as a flash turned inside his marker and found Aaron Flanagan powering through at full speed. Flanagan bearing down on goals didn’t leave the Coralstown/Kinnegad keeper many options to save the eventual shot and Aaron was fouled in the box resulting in a penalty for Shandonagh. Brian Kavanagh left the keeper with little chance as he slotted the kick into the corner of the net. For the second quarter Coralstown/Kinnegad were finding their men somewhat easier, no doubt with the benefit of the home pitch and them knowing where the space was. Shandonagh despite their immense efforts and eagerness to support each other could not click into gear. The Shandonagh defence did however settle down after 20 minutes and got a handle on the runs by the Coralstown/Kinnegad forwards. Brendan Killian at full back then got the score of the game when he sped all the way up the field receiving a handpass from Kevin Boyle just outside the 21 meter line and, at speed, popping the ball over the bar with his left boot. The last five minutes of the first half made for nervous viewing for the Shandonagh supporters as Shandonagh came under a good bit of pressure and were lucky not to concede two goals, Cian Molloy was forced to pull off a great save with the ball ricocheting around the goal mouth but somehow kept out. A second near miss saw the Shandonagh defence do enough to pressure the Coralstown/Kinnegad forward into putting the shot wide and into the side netting. Shandonaghs last score of the first half was a converted free by Brian Kavanagh after Brendan Killian again put in a great run up the field drawing the foul.
Half time score was Coralstown/Kinnegad 2-05, Shandonagh 1-03.
The first 5 minutes of the second half was end-to-end football with no let up and neither side able to impose themselves after their half time chats. Unfortunately for Shandonagh during the second half they still could not play with that cohesiveness that they were trying ever so hard to achieve with a number of kicks going wide and poor passes giving the receiving man little chance of retaining possession. Coralstown/Kinnegad also made it hard for the Shandonagh midfield to find their inside forwards with some hopeful balls kicked in not working out. In the end it was one of those muddy evenings with all the luck going to the home team but credit to the Shandonagh men as they showed great character and stayed going until the final whistle. Special mention to the likes of Aaron Flanagan who tried his heart out refusing to give up despite the bounce of the ball just going against him numerous times, no doubt when the ground firms up he’ll be making his own luck and pushing on Shandonagh. Daniel Scahill was another player who made some powerful runs up field but these just didn’t work out this evening. Shandonaghs last point came from play with Kevin Boyle kicking it over the bar from just outside the semi-circle.
Final score was Coralstown/Kinnegad 2-08, Shandonagh 1-04
The enthusiasm and effort from the Shandonagh men was very evident and with a bit more composure and going back to basics they will find their rhythm going forward. Two wins out of three league outings is a very good return and this game will refocus the Shandonagh men on the work still to do this year for them to play to their potential.
Team: Cian Molloy, Maitiu Scully, Brendan Killian, Jack O'Brien, Ryan Donnelly, Ben Treanor, Daniel Scahill, Alan Hickey, Gareth Carr, Ryan Norris, Luke Tynan, Tom Molloy, Brian Kavanagh, Aaron Flanagan, Kevin Boyle
Subs: Adam Treanor for Ryan Donnelly, Adam Cronin for Tom Molloy, Cormac Coyne for Brian Kavanagh, Mark Kerrigan for Daniel Scahill, Jake Costello for Alan Hickey