St. Mary Rochfortbridge 4-12 | St. Ernans 4-08 Our U-16 footballers made the trip down to Rochfortbridge to take on the local side in the 1st round of the Championship this evening where conditions were perfect for fast flowing & open football. In the league encounter between these two teams a few weeks back St. Ernans came away with the points after a 2 point win in Clonmellon but Championship and league are two different beasts and our lads new they would face a sterner test this evening.
Josh Coll opened the scoring after 5 minutes with a well taken free from out on the right before doubling his tally and that of St. Ernans from play 3 minutes later. Rochfortbridge opened their account with a point from play on 10 minutes but St. Ernans extended their lead a minute later with a point from Ciaran Fenlon. Shortly afterwards Adam McCormack extended St. Ernans lead with a lovely point from play after some good work by team mate Dean Ennis. That lead was extended to 4 points on 14 minutes when Jack Walsh slotted over in fine style. Rochfortbridge got their second point of the day with a free on 13 minutes and then cut the deficate to 2 points when they blazed the ball over the bar from a penalty. Another point from play left the minimum between the teams but then Rochfortbridge managed to raise the green flag on 19 minutes with a well taken goal to put them 2 up. St. Ernans were also in the mood for 3 pointers and duly delivered on 21 minutes with a well taken goal from Ciaran Fenlon to put his team one ahead. Both teams went on to score another goal each before the end of the first half with the St. Ernans strike coming from the boot of David Henry after a great ball from Dean Ennis to Podge Kelleghan out on the left. A cooly taken fisted effort from Cian Reilly on 28 minutes was just rewards for the towering midfielder who covered a lot of ground in the first 30 minutes of this game. With St. Ernans now 2 points up disaster struck on the stroke of half time for the St. Pauls – Delvin outfit when Rochfortbridge snuck in to rattle the net which resulted in the men in green & white the happier of the two sides heading into half time.
St. Ernans started the 2nd half the better team and were rewarded for their efforts after 3 minutes with a well taken goal from forward Cian Norton however the home side answered back with 2 points from play on 5 and 7 minutes respectively. Padge Kelleghan extended St. Ernans lead to 3 points with a goal after 9 minutes but still Rochfortbridge came back with a point a minute later. A point by Kellaghan again with 10 minutes gone in the second half had St. Ernans 3 up and looking comfortable but Rochfortbridge up the tempo of the game from here on in and the St. Ernans lads couldn’t live with them. Rochfortbridge went on to score 1-5 without reply from the 11th to the 28th minute while St. Ernans could only manage a consolation point from Dean Ennis with a minute to go. The St. Ernans players and coaches will know that they could have won this game if they managed to stay with the home side during their 2nd half purple patch and if they can replicate their positive 1st half performance and build on it this team will have a big say in this year’s Championship. A certain Mr. McGregor said after his win at the weekend “if you’re not winning, you’re learning” so let’s hope our lads learned from this game and build on it for the next day.
The St. Ernans team that togged out on the day was as follows: Adam Mulvaney, Liam Carolan, Jack O’Daire, Adam McCormack, Dean Ennis, Peter Fallon, Cian Reilly, Jack Walsh, Josh Coll, David Henry, Ciaran Fenlon, Podge Kelleghan, Cian Norton. Subs: Shane Vaughan for Cian Reilly, Danny Henry for David Henry, Sam Carpenter for Liam Carolan, Dillon Fitzpatrick for Jack Walsh, Eoin Kane for Ciaran Fenlon, Liam Garry, Mark Cullen, John Dobson-Farrelly,