Swinford to the ‘Four’ in overcoming St.Joseph’s in Senior Soccer Spectacle

Muire & Pádraig, Swinford………4     St Joseph’s C.C Charlestown………..2

Devaney 3, Brady                                                              Lenehan, McCudden

St.Joseph’s started out on their senior soccer season with a loss against a good Swinford side in Culmore on Thursday last. Over the last few seasons Charlestown have had the better of the exchanges between these local rivals eventhough games were always close with little between the sides. More of the same was expected on this occasion.

Early exchanges were equal with both sides contesting and the game ebbed and flowed with neither team having the upper hand. St.Joes nearly took the lead in the 26th minute when a Matty Lenehan threaded pass found Cathal Horan whose snapshot was well saved by the Swinford custodian at the expense of a corner. The resultant kick was cleared and led to good work by Brady leaving Devaney with a nice diving headed effort to give the home team the lead. The aforementioned Brady got in on the scoring act himself 5 minutes before half time when he ghosted into space and fired a low angled shot beyond Horkan.

With Swinford taking their chances and Charlestown being wasteful it was important that the East Mayo school made a good start to the second period but unfortunately the opposite was the case when Muire & Pádraig saw Devaney get his second from close range on 47 minutes. An outstanding save from Horkan kept his side in it for now and when Tommy Holton started to drive and deliver from midfield there was just the air of a comeback on the cards. An injury to Hopkins on 49 minutes upset the tempo from a Charlestown perspective but they were growing into the contest. With 60 minutes on the clock Jordan almost converted a free kick from outside the box and shortly after Lenehan was bundled over in the penalty area but the referee didn’t budge.

An exquisite through ball, the pass of the day, from Holton, on 82 minutes found Lenehan and the winger was coolness personified as he hit the back of the net for the aways side’s first goal. Swinford went down the other end and Devaney struck his third. It was now a great end to end spectacle. With 85 minutes on the clock Cian McCudden struck St.Joes second after great approach play from Conor O’Donohue and Gary Horan.A minute later Cian Mc was again on hand but instead of rolling the third goal in he opted to lift the ball over the ‘ bar and with time running out the fight back was in vain. It was a harsh lesson on the first day out but St.Joseph’s realise that they put up a battling display and could have sneaked a draw if things went their way but all credit to Swinford for taking their chances.

The respect both teams have for each other was very evident on the final whistle when it was handshakes all around.     St.Joes:Horkan,Kenny,G.Horan,Sweeney,Craig,Lenehan,Holton,McCudden,Hopkins,Jordan,C.Horan Subs used: 0’Donohue for Hopkins (49 min.injured)