Match Report


Date Filed: 09 April 2019

The Down senior football leagues commenced last weekend with the first round of league matches.

Aghaderg senior footballers were scheduled to play their first match at home -v- Aughlisnafin  but unfortunately the home pitch was deemed unplayable due to two days incessant rain and the match was switched to Annsboro on Friday afternoon.  Just another  snag in the pre season preparations which were disrupted by the resignation of the management team less than a month before the  first match.

The Annsboro pitch was in excellent condition when referee Ronan Barry threw the ball in for what proved to be a high scoring and entertaining match.  The game ebbed and flowed throughout the first half with each team having scoring opportunities and it was the 'Fin who opened the scoring with a point after five minutes . The Reds defence were struggling to contain the fast moving attack with Ruairi Conway and Calum Meara most prominent. The 'Fin defence were also struggling  and were resorting to fouling the Aghaderg forwards. On each occasion Christopher McAvoy converted three frees and after eleven minutes Aghaderg were leading 0-3 to 0-1.  However a fast moving attack resulted in a well taken goal which gave goalkeeper Paul Colgan no chance.  Aghaderg then lost the promising Christopher Lennon to a nasty looking hamstring injury. He was replaced by Collie Comiskey. 

The second quarter was fast and furious with  opportunities falling to both sets of forward. The outstanding score was a sideline free approx 30 metres out on the right converted by that man McAvoy . Shades of Maurice Fitzgerald in Croke Park all those years ago. The Reds continued to  keep the scoreboard ticking over with three points by McAvoy and one from Conor McGivern.  Much of the good work was undone when a pass went astray as the Reds launched another attack and after quick exchange of passes the ball was finished to the back of the net to leave the half time score,

Aghaderg 0-8, Aughlisnafin 2-5.

The second half commenced with a disaster for the Reds as an innocuous shot from twenty metres along the ground somehow found its way into the net to put them six points in arrears.  All credit to the team as they buckled down to the task in hand. Michael Fitzpatrick became more influential and made a couple of surging runs through the centre of the defence and after ten minutes Fitzpatrick with two points and McAvoy with one had reduced the arrears to three again.  Points were exchanged. Owen  McGreevy came on for C McGivern and with his first touch of the ball forced a fine save from the goalkeeper.  The momentum was  with the reds and in the final quarter  a goal and a point from C McAvoy in quick succession reduced the arrears to one point. A couple of half chances were spurned and a classic counter attack by the 'Fin seen them cut the Aghaderg defence to shreds and guarantee  the two points as they did last year in the first match of the season.

Final score:
Aughlisnafin  4-11 Aghaderg  1-13

Manager Paul McGrath who is recovering from a serious knee injury  sustained in the championship  last year was disappointed with the result but extremely well pleased with the effort and performance of the team. Even with the  4 - 11 score against them the defence  played well  as individuals but were often caught out  as a unit by the intelligent movement of the opposition. Best performances in the defence were by Conway, Meara and Doyle. The midfield  gained parity throughout most of the match. Fitzpatrick and S Comiskey were always a threat through the centre. McGivern was hardworking throughout  while McGreevy added  movement when introduced. However unquestionably man of the match was Christopher McAvoy with a personal tally of 1-9.
Team: Paul Colgan, Ryan Strain, Thomas Lennon; Ruairi Conway, Calum Meara, Keelin Doyle; Ryan Donnelly, Louis Murray; Michael Fitzpatrick (0-2), Michael Lennon(C Davis), Rory McShane (C Conlon), Christopher Lennon (C Comiskey-0-1)), Conor McGivern (0-1)(E McGreevey), Steven Comiskey, Christopher McAvoy (1-9).
Subs: Colm Comiskey,  Christopher Conlon, Ciaran Davis, Niall Lennon, Steve McCann, Eoghan McGreevy

Next match -v- Ben Dearg  away Friday.