Sunday, 23 August 2015

Missed chances prove costly for St. John's against Calry/St.Joseph's

The St. John's senior team that played Calry/St.Joseph's in Markievicz Park today

Missed chances prove costly for St. John's against Calry/St.Joseph's

Belfry Sponsored Sligo SFC Rd 3: Calry St. Joseph’s 1-11 St. John’s 0-10.

McGovern's goal proves decisive as St. John’s left to rue costly mistakes

Bryan McGovern's goal just after half time turned out to be the turning point in a damp and wet Markievicz Park on Sunday, writes Michael McGee

This group one match was moved from Hazelwood to Markievicz Park on Sunday owing to Calry’s ground deemed unplayable. It was Calry who opened the scoring in the very first minute with Darragh Cummins on the right wing finding Barry O’Boyle totally unmarked in the centre pointing an easy score from 21 metres out. Play was then held out for a couple of minutes following an injury to Calry’s Brian Shannon in the centre of the field. Shannon was unable to continue with what looked like an ankle injury and was replaced by Conor Hegarty. Conor Greene was having one of his best games in the St. John’s colours before retiring injured was fouled when heading for goal. Ian Rossitor the St. John’s ace freetaker pointed opening the Carraroe’s side account after 6 minutes. Rossitor who gave a man of the match performance would finish on a magnificent personal tally of (0-8). St. John’s had spells of dominance but failed to make it count. They had a number of chances to go out in front but two bad wides from Shane Stenson and a Conor Greene attempted point dropped short into the welcome hands of Calry’s goalkeeper Aidan Devanney. Rossitor put St. John’s in front with a beautifully curled point from 30 metres out. St. John’s again had a glorious chance to build on their lead this time when Paul McNamara let fly with a thunderous shot from 20 metres but Aidan Devanney was equal to it with an outstanding flying save managing to block out McNamara’s goal bound shot. Calry were then awarded a 45 metre free and up came the Calry goal stopper and he made no mistake with a sweetly struck strike that sailed over the bar to draw the sides level. St. John’s managed to break down a number of dangerous Calry attacks with Neil Hayes in particular doing well in the full back line. Rossitor again with an accurate free off the ground nosed St. John’s in front. Calry went straight up the field after that St. John’s score & the lively Conor Griffin who seen plenty of play throughout found Damien O’Boyle who duly pointed. Bryan McGovern slotted over a well struck point following a good pass from Fintan Keown to edge Calry out in front. And in the last passage of play a slick passing four man movement began in midfield with Damien O’Boyle’s excellent catch ended with his brother Barry O’Boyle firing over an excellent worked point to put Calry in front by 0-6 to 0-4 at half time. 

St. John’s made a substitution at half time bringing on Ger Fagan for Alex Selby. Calry were quick into attack at the start of the second half with Eoin Doherty who placed the inrushing Damien O’Boyle and he pointed from 21 meters. St. John’s had a great chance for a goal when Brian McGowan was put through by Ger Fagan but McGowan’s shot from a difficult angle went harmlessly wide of Aidan Devanney right hand post. Ian Rossitor kept St. John’s in it with an another pointed free of the ground his accurate place kicking a joy to watch illuminating a dark Markievicz Park. There was controversy when an umpire waved a St. John’s attack wide but the referee John Doyle allowed the game to continue. Up came Calry and they were given a sideline ball on the standside 35 meters out from the St. John’s goal. Just like in their previous match with Curry they were caught out cold on 34 minutes with a long high delivery and the ball bounced over the St. John’s defenders and Calry’s Bryan McGovern gathered and turned quickest to fire the ball past Noel O’Donnell in the St. John’s goal from close range with Calry 1-7 to 0-5 up after 34 minutes. Shane Stenson managed to steady the St. John’s ship with an excellent score from 30 metres out on the stand side of goals. St. John’s were then awarded a free 20 meters out. All were expecting free taker Ian Rossitor to tap over but instead he went for a quick pass to Brian McGowan however Calry’s defenders reacted quickly to block down McGowan’s goal attempt. Calry’s Darragh Cummins fired over a high ball to put Calry out in front and this was added to by Paddy Hegarty who burst past Conor Greene before firing over from an a narrow angle in the dressing room corner of the ground. Greene was forced off with what appeared a shoulder injury being replaced by Ronan McGarrigle. Three points from the accurate boot of Ian Rossitor reduced the lead to a mere goal 1-10 to 0-10 with 6 minutes remaining. There was more urgency from St. John’s and they piled forward in numbers to rescue the tie. The energetic and speedy Eoin Flanagan did his upmost to rally the team. Staunch defending from the Calry backs managed to stem the flow towards their goals and the issue was put beyond St. John’s reach with the insurance breakaway score coming from Fintan Keown in injury time. 

Calry who looked the more consistent team throughout were best served by the O’Boyle brothers Damien & Barry, Eoin Doherty, Vincent Nally , Darragh Cummins & Conor Griffin all playing their part, while St. John’s best were Ian Rossitor with an exemplary and flawless performance, Mark Cunningham, Shane Stenson, Eoin Flanagan, Conor Greene & Neil Hayes all putting in big performances. 

Next up for St. John’s is an away tie against table toppers Curry next weekend in a must win game in order to keep their season's hopes alive.

Scores St. John’s: Ian Rossitor 0-8, (7 frees), Brian McGowan 0-1, Shane Stenson 0-1,

Scores Calry/St. Joseph’s: Bryan McGovern 1-1 Darragh Cummins 0-2 Barry O’ Boyle 0-2, Damien O'Boyle 0-2 Aidan Devanney 0-1 – (1 free), Paddy Hegarty 0-1 Vincent Nally 0-1 Fintan Keown 0-1

St. John’s: Noel O’Donnell, Neil Hayes, Robert Fahy, Robbie Galvin, Alex Selby, Eoin Flanagan, David Rooney, Mark Cunningham, Paul McNamara, Conor Greene, Shane Stenson, Jamie Grehan, Fiachra Grennan, Ian Rossitor, Brian McGowan

Subs: Ger Fagan for Alex Selby (HT) Enda Roche for David Rooney (50 mins) Ronan McGarrigle for Conor Greene (51 mins)

Calry/St. Joseph’s: Aidan Devanney, Eoin Nicholson, Adrian Cummins, Mark Fowley, Brian Shannon, Darragh McConnan, Jonathan McGoldrick, Damien O’ Boyle, Barry O’Boyle, Ciaran Stenson, Darragh Cummins, Bryan McGovern, Paddy Hegarty, Conor Griffin, Fintan Keown.

Subs: Conor Hegarty for Brian Shannon ( 5 mins) Conor McGovern for Conor Hegarty (16 mins) Vincent Nally for Mark Fowley (35 mins) Eoin Doherty for Ciaran Stenson ( 56 mins)

Referee: John Doyle Naomh Eoin

Following the game today I asked Manager Sean Kennedy his views on the game

“We fought hard from start to finish. We probably missed too much in the first half. And the fact they had a game two weeks ago probably stood to them a little. We hadn’t a game in a long time a competitive game at least. I felt we were there or there abouts. Maybe we could have got something out of it. We felt a little bit aggrieved over the goal. One umpire waved it wide and the ref let play continue and then it ended up in the back of our net. These things happen – they shouldn’t but do happen. We just have to fight on to Curry next week and battle. And hopefully get two points there and a win in the last game to get out of the group.”

The team were in it at half time but the goal just after the break left the team chasing the match!

“Yes, we don’t want to be conceding a goal at any stage. Especially when we felt it was a kick out rather than play being allowed to continue. We battled hard after that. We lost a couple of injury’s but that’s part and parcel of the football. Sometimes you get the breaks, sometimes you don’t.” 

How much was an influence was it for the team to have a 7 week layoff with no competitive games since the Curry game back end of June?

“It’s huge. You can’t underestimate it. In fairness that’s just the way the competition is set up. I definitely think it’s a hindrance as you can’t play competitive games. You can play all the challenge games in the world but competitive championship can’t be beaten. And the fact they only played two weeks ago probably gave them a little edge. We can’t make excuses we knew that we weren’t going to play for a couple of weeks. We prepared as best we could. Today we felt we get the wrong side of luck. We will just battle back we can’t complain about it and we will move on.”

Ian Rossitor had a great game ending with 0-8 points and gave a magnificent display today.

“Yes probably our man of the match. Yes he is playing well, moving well and get the ball to him is always dangerous. It just counts for the amount of frees we got. How dangerous we were at times. They fouled us. Any teams are happy to win games whether from open play or frees and we will take that,” concluded Sean.

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