Match Report

Kilcleif v Aghaderg

Date Filed: 23 June 2017

Aghaderg made the long journey to Kilcleif on  Friday night last to play the first match of the second half of the league. The best laid plans of management were dealt a blow when they had to field without their captain and main score getter, Chris McAvoy due to work commitments. Ruari O'Neill was drafted in as a direct replacement.  

Ben Dearg won the throw in and launched an attack down their right wing. The long  ball comfortably made it over the end line and wide. The referee awarded a 13 metre free and Ben Dearg were off the mark. This was to be the first of a number of puzzling decisions - most of which were not to the advantage of the visitors.

The game settled down as Ben Dearg with the advantage of a strong breeze blowing straight down the field played a more direct game while Aghaderg withdrew Paul McGrath and Aaron McAvoy to bolster the defense. The strategy worked well for the first ten minutes and Ben Dearg were finding it difficult to get  clear shots on target. 

However three points from frees and one from play  moved them onto four points while the patient short passing play from defense by the reds resulted in the score of the match as Ryan Strain scored a point after an excellent move which had moved the ball from deep in the defense. A McAvoy from a free and Ben Dearg from play maintained the gap at three points but the game was turned on it's head in a three minute spell. A promising attack from the reds broke down when a miss placed pass went directly to the opposition who quickly exploited the stretched defense and two passes later the ball was in the back of the net.

Aghaderg responded with another attack which was halted at the expense of a free. As A McAvoy prepared to take it the referee spotted a tussle between the full back and full forward. He decided that it merited a red card for the full forward so the reds were down a man. Almost immediately the influential midfielder Collie Comiskey was injured in a tussle for a high ball. The man in black decided that he may be concussed, Collie reckoned not but had to leave the field to be replaced by Rory Conway. The two incidents resulted in Aghaderg losing their momentum and Ben Dearg with the advantage of the extra man and the elements increased their lead to 1 -7 to 0-2 at half time.

Aghaderg started the second half with greatly increased efforts as they attempted to narrow the gap. They dominated possession for the first ten minutes and scored the first four points of the half. C Lennon, R McShane and two from P McGrath narrowed the gap. Unfortunately the reds were unable to capitalise on a number of other opportunities as they continued to play with spirit and effort. 
The last ten minutes were to see Ben Dearg using their extra man more effectively and they added  2-5 to give the scoreline an unbalanced look at the final whistle. The referee continued to be a central figure as in the last two minutes he chose to ignore the Ben Dearg linesman as he confronted an Aghaderg player with his flag and a minute later he red carded a second Aghaderg player.

This trip to picturesque Kilcleif will be remembered for a variety of reasons. On the positive side for the majority of the match the standard of football was good. The reds played with great spirit and commitment for the sixty minutes. The best displays were from T Lennon, P McGrath and A McAvoy - they got best support from P Colgan, R Strain, J Lennon and L Murray while there were much improved performances from K McShane, C Connolly and R Conway. Mark and Des will be disappointed that their best laid plans were first dealt a blow due to the late withdrawal of C McAvoy and then with a harsh red card in the first quarter. They will be concerned that a lack of discipline saw them finish with thirteen players and consequently two short from their panel for this week's match -v- Ardglass at home @ 7 30.
Paul Colgan  Kieran McShane Thomas Lennon Ciaran Connolly Ciaran Davis (M Lennon)    Ryan Strain     Johnny Lennon Louis Murray   Collie Comiskey(R Conway)    Aaron Mcavoy (0-1)   Christopher Lennon(0-1) Rory Mcshane (0-1) (G Rice) Ruari O'Neill(Shaun Savage)  Stevie Comiskey Paul McGrath(0-3)  Subs: Michael Lennon Gerard Rice Ruari Conway Steve McCann Conor McGivern Cathal McGrath Shaun Savage