Glenamaddy were just too good for St. Joseph’s in this second round of u19 games in Castlebar Celtic’s Rival Arena on Monday and ran out somewhat emphatic winners in the end.
The writing was on the wall for the Mayo side even before a ball was kicked as they had to line out without three of the starting line-up that brushed Ballinode aside just before the Mid Term Break. The school has not got the strength in depth to cater for such misfortune presently, but things might have been different if Eoin Beirne, heifer trouble (do not ask!), defensive stalwart Jack Brennan, (dentist) and ‘flu victim Luke O’Donohue were available.
In any case the game was very even and quite entertaining for the first half with some nice play from both teams. Early exchanges saw Glenamaddy force the ever-reliable Declan Forkan to pull off a great save while Paddy Goldrick had a header over the ‘bar. A great move after 23 minutes saw Adrian Flatley find midfielder Luke Dunleavy with a good defensive clearance and Dunleavy threaded a ball through to the lively Goldrick who shot over once again.
The lead goal came after 26 minutes from a long clearance into the Charlestown defence which the Glenamaddy striker latched onto and wrongfooted the defence before tucking the ball into Forkan’s net with the ‘keeper helpless. At this point the goal was probably against the run of play as Dunleavy was turning in a fine performance in the middle of the park while Jack Mahon was involved in everything good the Joes boys were doing. Unfortunately, all this pressure did not result in parity and the Galway boys weathered the storm and increased their advantage just before the half time break with a fine individual strike from the edge of the box. The ideal time to score.
The Saints started the second half well and were on the offensive early on before being caught on the break. The ball was adjudged to have hit the hand of defender Eoin Goldrick and the referee pointed to the spot. The resultant penalty was dispatched to the net despite Forkan’s valiant effort. Glenamaddy took control of the match for the next 15 minutes and had some fine play from players that believed in themselves and pressed home their advantage to its fullest.
To give the Charlestown lads credit they did not hide and fought back but it was all in vain, being one of those days where anything aimed at goal either took a deflection, was brilliantly saved, or just sailed over the crossbar.
Looking to the future there were debuts for Ruairí Cullen, who settled in well as did Seán Dunleavy and Dylan Marren when called upon. David Doherty had his usual solid game as did Niall Drudy in defence where Ciarán Honeyman was quite solid. Ben Conway proved once again that he can put in a shift in many positions, great in the middle for the first half and very good when reverting to centre of defence in the second period. Ben Crean got on for the final few minutes, another young lad with potential.
Take nothing away from Glenamaddy they came, they saw, and they conquered in a very professional performance which now see them go to Sligo, St. Joes may be down but are still in the competition. Hopefully all issues with heifers, teeth and ‘flu will be sorted for the next day!
Thanks to Joey at Celtic and to the referee Barry Blake for making the day possible.