Shannonbridge 0-10 Erin Rovers 0-10

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Shannonbridge 0-10 Erin Rovers 0-10

Postby Lone Shark » Mon Aug 06, 2007 5:00 pm

In 2006, it was a local derby defeat to St. Rynagh’s that condemned Shannonbridge to participation in the relegation play offs, while a big local derby win over Doon all but guaranteed the safety of Erin Rovers and ultimately proved crucial in their progression to the knockout stages. Once again a local derby was to prove crucial for both sides, and even though Rovers failed to win and Shannonbridge avoided defeat, Erin Rovers will be much happier with their day’s work as they can look forward to senior football again in 2008.

Most neutrals looking on however will acknowledge that if either side deserved to win this game, it was Rovers. That they came so close to losing was more to do with poor preparation than anything that happened on the field, as in that regard Shannonbridge definitely “outplayed” the men from Pullough and more importantly their mentors.

On a miserably wet evening in Doon, the game was scheduled to throw in at 7.30, but while Rovers were out on the pitch standing around and getting wet and cold their Shannonbridge counterparts, either by accident or design, stayed in the dressing room until long after the appointed time. Rather than retrieving the Shannonbridge players from the dressing room, referee Michael Walsh merely stood in to keep himself dry and most of the crowd were wondering why Rovers didn’t at the very least do the same, or at least engage in a more vigorous warm up to keep blood flowing. Sure enough, when the game finally got underway a little after 7.40, Shannonbridge played like a team that were ready while Rovers played like a team that were cold and unprepared.

Within seven minutes Shannonbridge were 0-4 to 0-0 in front, early scores having come from Anthony Kelly twice, Shane Flannery with the fist and David Corbett. In a game that was always likely to be low scoring this could have been an insurmountable lead, but Rovers dug in and having finally got up to the pace of the game they began to get on top of Shannonbridge around the middle of the field. A lost possession led to a fast break and Barry Buckley getting their opening score and pretty soon Rovers were using their pace to run at Shannonbridge and they had reduced the deficit to the minimum, Declan Kelly and Jeffrey Cuskelly raising flags.

Throughout the remainder of the first half Shannonbridge offered little as an attacking threat, and they did very well to hold their lead for as long as they did as Rovers spurned several goalscoring opportunities. The less well known Declan Kelly - the Shannonbridge goalkeeper - made himself a little more famous with an excellent double save from Alan Lynam and Barry Buckley on 19 minutes, while Lynam and Ian McLoughlin both had chances in front of goal only to hit their shots off balance and over the bar.

By half time Pullough had turned a four point deficit into an 0-7 to 0-4 lead and looked in control in every area of the field. They took the field for the second half wearing fresh dry gear and appeared ready to kick on from their three point lead, but instead Shannonbridge finally began to secure some primary possession and create some openings up front. David Corbett got the first score of the half, the crowd having to wait till the 45th minute for a second when Dermot Turley pointed. A typical Anthony Kelly high hanging kick levelled the match, and with ten minutes to go Shannonbridge were two points to the good, Turley again and substitute Darren Finn getting the scores.

Once again though Rovers dug in, and with man of the match Richard Fox driving them on from centre back they got back into the game. Ian McLoughlin pointed a free to leave the minimum between the sides before successive scores from Padraig Carroll and substitute Craig Delaney right on the stroke of 60 minutes left Rovers a single score to the good. By now Shannonbridge needed a goal and they got one last chance, working the ball across the goal only for possession to end up with John Ryan, now operating at full forward. He inexplicably tapped the ball over the bar from 25 metres out, leaving the match level but only one team truly feeling like winners.

Shannonbridge – Declan Kelly; Willie Keena, Niall Price, Mel Darcy; Ciarán Flannery, Rory O’Connor, Paul Maloney; John Ryan (0-1), Phillip Egan; Shane Flannery (0-1), Anthony Kelly (0-3), Dermot Turley (0-2); David Corbett (0-2), John Egan, Jason Kelly.
Subs: Edward Egan for John Egan, Darren Finn (0-1) for Shane Flannery, Roger Ryan for Phillip Egan

Erin Rovers – Neville Dunne; Kevin Looby, Ger Lynam, Dean Bracken; Keith Lynam, Richard Fox, Kevin Lynam; Declan Kelly (0-2), Paul Carroll; Padraig Carroll (0-1), Jeffrey Cuskelly (0-2, 0-1 free), Barry Buckley (0-1); Ivan Delaney, Alan Lynam (0-1), Ian McLoughlin (0-2, 0-1 free)
Subs: Craig Delaney (0-1) for Ivan Delaney

Referee: Martin Walsh
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