St. Colmcilles GAA Club, Pairc Ui Rís, Piltown, Bettystown, Co Meath 089-4440124

The third installment of Men’s Championship football this weekend saw our Junior ‘D’ lads travel to Bellair just outside the beautiful village of Moynalty. This was Round 2 of the Championship for the Cilles’ men after overcoming Simonstown two weeks ago in Piltown. We didn’t post a match report on that occasion as nobody bothered their arse writing one! 

The well-maintained pitch, situated off the Carlanstown Road, hosted a brilliant game today with a mixture of fine football, youth, experience and two evenly matched teams. Relentless from the off, nobody could take their eyes off the on-field battle.

The starting team bore some resemblance to teams of the last few years with creatives like Bren McGill and Baz Kelly pulling the strings while mainstays like Niall Ronan, evergreen player manager Enda Grogan, Keith Magill, Seán Perry, Dáire Ferguson, Shane Cassidy and Adrian Bryan provided the experience and mettle in a tough, physical game.

From the off, it was obvious Moynalty meant business as they racked up a few points from decent football and hard work. Enda Grogan and Lorcan Smith were not going to have any space in this midfield as Moynalty were physically strong, the ensuing battle being one of many highlights of the game. Danny Dalton, playing at 5, grew comfortably into this game as the minutes wore on, remembering of course that these young bloods are finding their feet amongst a group of seasoned campaigners.

15 minutes into the game a through-ball from Niall Ronan released Bren McGill whose goal attempt was thwarted by Moynalty’s ‘keeper with a cracking save from point blank range. Not two minutes later, Ronan played the same ball over the defence and this time McGill didn’t miss.

A quick counter-attack by Moynalty saw Matthew Weir turnover a valuable ball which settled him. Marron accepted the hand pass and put Niall Ronan through for the first of his three points. Weir’s athleticism will be something which will serve the Junior D’s well in the future.

After fine points from Niall Ronan and McGill, a smart kick pass by Dáire Ferguson took two Moynalty defenders out of the equation leaving David Marron in space only to be fouled as he bore down on goal. His catch over the head was sublime and he deserved a score for his work. The resultant penalty was ably dispatched by McGill. Marron’s performance from the off was unsettling Moynalty and his persistence freed up space on a number of occasions.

Mark ‘Chopper’ Harris was steady at the back for the Cilles with his man getting little change for a day’s work. Taking his guidance from Keith Magill and Shane Cassidy bodes well for him in the future with the latter constantly talking to him throughout the game.

Cian Flynn replaced the rock at the back, Keith Magill following an injury and scored a point minutes after his introduction. The Cilles and Moynalty traded points throughout the second half . Tadhg Bennett who had replaced Seán Perry got into a good position late in the second half with the crossbar foiling his attempt at goal.
Five minutes from time, Moynalty had a penalty awarded for a jersey pull despite a smashing goal line save from Paul Madden, they didn’t miss.

Caimin Hall and Carl Dowling replaced Kelly and Ferguson respectively. Their time on the pitch was spent trying to maintain possession and stop Moynalty’ frantic attempts to level things up.
About an hour into injury time, Cilles found themselves having to remain patient with almost 2 minutes of possession ending up with McGill getting his final point.

Both McGill and Marron were the stand out performers for the Cilles today with the Corduff man edged out of the ‘Man of the Match’ award by McGill’s return of 2-7 or was it 2.8.

Special mentions to the ‘young lads’, as they were referred to by Niall Ronan at the end. Bedding in nicely with some of them unapologetically setting their sights on certain positions, that’s what it’s all about!

Photographs: Brian Mulligan (more to follow during the week)

Match Report: BM, thanks to Nasher, Sean Perry and Oisin Gartlan for the stats, help etc!