Ferbane 2-11 St. Rynagh’s 1-8

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Ferbane 2-11 St. Rynagh’s 1-8

Postby Lone Shark » Mon Jul 23, 2007 2:00 pm

Any good jockey will tell you that one of the most important aspects of getting their mount past the line first is to time their run so as to hit the front either early or late, depending on the characteristics of the particular thoroughbred with which they are teaming up. While St Rynagh’s players will have no doubt spent the winter receiving advice from fitness coaches, dieticians and physiotherapists, management will no doubt look back on this match and think how it all might have been very different if Kieran Fallon or Tony McCoy had been called in to have a few words instead.

With James and Ger Rafferty as well as Gary Mahon absent from the starting line-up, St. Rynagh’s were missing a lot of their key players and as such were always likely to struggle against their neighbours to the east. When it took a mere two minutes for Ferbane to block down a clearance, quickly transfer the ball through Paul Flynn and John Mollen into Ronan Daly whose fine finish raised the green flag, the scale of the challenge became all the steeper.

However after Mollen added a free two minutes later, Ferbane, due to a combination of their own lethargy and the good pressure being exerted by a focussed Rynaghs team, ambled through this game with no real aggression or drive, allowing the men in hoops to stay in touch throughout the game. If St. Rynagh’s had kept within a point or two the whole way and then hit the front with very little time left then they could very easily have stolen the points here, but instead they took the lead with fifteen minutes still remaining, causing Ferbane to realise that they needed to step up their game and do just that. Having scored 1-5 in the first 45 minutes, they added 1-6 in the last fifteen to put the game out of the reach of their opponents, and in doing so showed a level of form that will have greatly encouraged Brendan Clarke and his fellow mentors on the sideline.

Up to that point encouragement had been very hard to come by. Between the 4th and 47th minute Ferbane scored four points, a meagre return that would be difficult to compensate for when stiffer challenges present themselves down the line. St. Rynagh’s scored 1-7 in that period, mimicking Ferbane by getting off the mark with a goal. It came on ten minutes and stemmed from a good long delivery into the full forward line, sent in by Diarmuid Horan. Gary O’Connor took advantage of his marker losing his footing and he passed the ball across the goalmouth having drawn the keeper out, leaving Shane Horan with a simple finish.

They levelled soon after and could have gone in front – Martin Grogan had a goal bound effort blocked out for a 45, and from the resultant placed kick the ball was worked to Aidan Hanrahan some 15 metres out, and his effort was well deflected over the bar by Declan Nugent in the Ferbane goal. To call the remainder of the first half “incident free” is probably as kind a description as we can muster. Gary O’Connor and Willie Farrell traded points, but otherwise the scoreboard was untroubled. Rynaghs did kick several wides, six in the first half, while another quick move in the Ferbane forward line saw John Mollen with a goal chance only for Stephen Finneran to make the save.

Aidan Hanrahan opened the second half scoring before Ferbane had a good five minute spell that left them 1-5 to 1-3 in front, David Lowry twice and Ronan Daly with scores. Yet again they failed to capitalise on this good start to the half, and on 46 minutes Rynagh’s took the lead yet again when Shane Horan added to scores from Stephen Wynne and O’Connor that had levelled the match.

For whatever reason, the Ferbane reaction to the third Rynaghs lead of the game was visible. John Mollen won and converted a free to level matters, and while Hanrahan’s third score put Rynaghs back in the lead one last time, the tempo had been raised and Ferbane were now operating at a higher level. Four scores came in a three minute burst, three points followed by an excellent team goal. Colm Gavin fielded the ball on his own 65 and the ball was moved at great speed through six different players before ending up in the hands of John Mollen outside the penalty area on the right hand side. He finished low and hard across the keeper and gave Ferbane a five point lead, their biggest of the game.

At this stage Rynaghs needed a goal to get back into the game, and they did get a chance – Stephen Wynne finding Shane Horan amidst a crowded goalmouth with three minutes left. There were just too many bodies to squeeze the ball past however, with Declan Nugent getting the vital block in and Gerry Grehan working the ball away. With that their chances were gone, and their focus will now turn to reversing last year’s loss to Clara, the club’s last chance of keeping their involvement in the 2007 Offaly senior championship alive. Ferbane on the other hand will return to the training ground happy with the result, but all too aware that only playing for one quarter of each game is not a habit that will ultimately yield dividends.

Ferbane: Declan Nugent; Saran Butler, Paul Rosney, Gerry Grehan; Gerry O’Malley, Diarmuid Carroll, Colm Gavin; James Grennan (0-1), Paddy Connolly; David Lowry (0-2), Willie Farrell (0-1), Paul Flynn (0-1); Ronan Daly (1-4, 0-2 frees), Eddie Lowry, John Mollen (1-2, 0-2 frees).

Subs: Colin Egan for Eddie Lowry

St. Rynagh’s: Stephen Finneran; Dessie O’Connor, Thomas Flaherty, Stephen Clancy; Martin Grogan, Paudie Mulhare, Noel Buckley; Diarmuid Horan, Pat McIntyre; Aidan Hanrahan (0-3), Shane Horan (1-1), Joey Carroll; Stephen Wynne (0-1), Donie Flaherty, Gary O’Connor (0-3, frees)

Subs: Noel Flynn for Dessie O’Connor, Noel Buckley for Joey Carroll, Liam Coughlan for Martin Grogan.

Referee: Eddie Dunne
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