Saturday, August 11, 2012

Sat. 11.30. Intermediate Championship @ Strokestown.
Boyle 0.10 Eire Og 0.10.
Since the consensus amongst Boyle supporters was that a draw was a reasonable result for Boyle then perhaps the reality was that we were a tad lucky to come away with a point in the end. Again Boyle had a good first half and led at half time on the score Boyle 0.7 Eire Og 0.6. The quality of play fragmented in the second half as chances were not converted and long intervals existing between rare scores punctuated by wides on both sides. While Eire Og, playing with a breeze- on an ideal evening in a fine Strokestown pitch- started with a point Boyle matched their score with a good point, from Lochlainn Conboy, on 3 minutes. Eire Og went ahead a minute or so later but a very good move led to Jim Suffin finishing with a very good point on 8 minutes for Boyle. Eire Og went ahead by 2 points but these were pegged back by Conboy and Donie Smith points on 15 and 17 minutes. In fairness the quality of the play, on both sides, was good as the teams strove to play decent football with good efforts at appropriate passing and plenty of effort. Tactics also came into play and in this the roving Colm Brennan shone, hovering up a lot of loose ball and moving it forward with a tidy economical effort. Boyle went 2 points ahead with 2 Donie Smith points, one a free and the second a fine effort following a fine pass from his brother Enda. However Eire Og stayed in the game and equalised having missed a real goal chance mid- way through the half. Boyle would have been satisfied when they went in a point up following a Conboy free. Boyle 0.7 Eire Og 0.6.

The second half did not have the quality of the first. When Donie Smith put Boyle further ahead things looked good but it was Eire Og who pulled back with 3 points (2 frees) and they led 9 points to 8 after 9 minutes. Then there followed a scrambling scoreless period of 10 minutes or so. Boyle missed converting a good goal opportunity but  Donie Smith levelled matters on 19 minutes with a fine point from near the side-line. The result became a lottery and Mark O’Donohoe saw a good opportunity come back off the post. Boyle looked to have stolen the result with a Conboy free in injury time but Eire Og levelled matters from another free, with the last kick of an interesting game.

This very new Boyle team looks like the team we will be seeing, for the most part, into the future. The absence of the leadership and driving qualities of Seanie Purcell was certainly missed and it seems as if he will be an absentee for the campaign. Goalkeeper Ciaran Beirne did very well with one particularly fine save in the first half. The full back line was stretched by a lively Eire Og full forward line but Boyle held out though the frees proved costly. Indeed through the field it was more or less parity of esteem with Boyle’s quality performances coming from Donal Smith, Colm Brennan, Ciaran Beirne and Darren O’Connor. David O’Callaghan had one particularly majestic catch in the second half. Hopefully we will see more of that. The management too deserve credit for good prompt decisions here. Awareness and concentration are key when the two man full forward line is in play, with either side, as a ‘loose man’ creates confusion on marking systems.

I might as well abandon my mission for FISTED POINTS, through which I had hoped we would become a market leader, as it has patently not attracted any devotees. There were a couple of very good opportunities for the medium in this game.

Anyways, in summary, a good first half, a messy and pretty unproductive second half, a reasonable result and we now have to go to Fuerty (whose result this week end against St. Barry’s has to go into the computer to see where things stand) next week end and get a positive result and that will not be too easy.   

The Boyle team: Ciaran Beirne, Colm Brennan (probably my ‘Man of the Match’), Kieran Supple (good to see him back), Marc Goldrick, Aaron Sharkey, Killian Cox, Michael O’Donnell, David Callaghan (Capt.), Enda Smith, Mark O’Connor, Cian Smith, Jim Suffin, Donal Smith, Darren O’Connor, Lochlainn Conboy with Karl Feighan, Mark O’ Donohoe and Cian Beirne. The referee Paddy Neilan had a good game and looks like a serious referee for the future. Strokestown deserve credit for their fantastic facilities.  This was a lot better than a depressing wet evening last Autumn when Boyle had two bitter defeats at the same venue. t.c.              

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