We welcomed the league leaders, Shane Uí Néill, to Pairc Mac Dáibhéid on Sunday for our penultimate Division 3 fixture of the season. In hot conditions we more than acquitted ourselves well, deservedly leading at the break before Shane Uí Néill came storming back in the second half to take the spoils.
Shane Uí Néill dominated from the start, seemingly scoring at will as they fired over 4 points with our only response a point from Cormac Maguire. Despite their good start we started to feel our way into the game, cutting down on the space, getting tighter to the man and generally raising the intensity and quickness in our play to get ourselves back into the game. Canice Mooney and Stephen McGivern were involved in some nice work to get the sliotar to Marcus Toner who halved the deficit. Marcus followed up with a point from a 65 and Stephen McGivern then picked up a breaking ball after Chris Gallagher batted the sliotar forward from a Shane Uí Néill puck out and he too split the posts to level the game. We continued to create scoring chances and ran at the Shane Uí Néill back line and were rewarded with points from a free and a 65, well executed by Marcus Toner (0-2) to give us a 0-6 to 0-4 lead at the water break. On the restart both teams added points from frees with Marcus Toner again on target. We then had a goal chance as Anthony Rowntree drove at the Shane Uí Néill defence but he was unable to get his stroke in and as he kicked the sliotar goal-wards it looped over the bar. Shane Uí Néill responded with a point and when they struck a goal they were in front for the first time since their opening salvo. Cormac Maguire brought the sides level with a well taken point and on the stroke of half time Marcus Toner deservedly put us a point in front 0-10 to 1- 6.
Unfortunately, despite our best efforts we never got going in the second half and two early Shane Uí Néill points and a second goal gave them renewed impetus. We clung on to their coat tails for the first ten minutes of the second half with CJ Sullivan pointing but they seemed to move up a gear and went on a scoring bonanza to which we couldn’t respond. Despite points from Marcus Toner (0-2), Chris Gallagher (0-1) and a consolation goal from Michael Rowntree who played the sliotar into the square, which was missed by the defender and keeper and the sliotar nestled in the net, these scores were never going to be enough to put a dent in the score line as Shane Uí Néill took the win with an impressive second half performance 1-14 to 2-26.
Click here for photos of the game.
Scorers: Cormac Maguire 0-2, Marcus Toner 0-8, Anthony Rowntree 0-1, CJ Sullivan 0-1, Chris Gallagher 0-1, Michael Rowntree 1-0