ACFL Division 3
Eire Og 0-13 St Malachy’s 1-5
This was the first league game of the season with Woodlands the venue and great weather conditions for football. The Ogs started the game well with a pointed free from James JT Toal and a point from full forward Darragh Fox.
He was proving to be a handful for St Malachy’s full back until he had to come off with a knee injury sustained in a tackle for a loose ball. St Malachy’s got back into the game with two classy free kicks old style, off the ground from the versatile Ciaran Vernon.
Eire Og quickly restored their slight advantage with a well worked point stroked over the black spot by Ronan Donnelly. This however, was short lived as a high ball into the Og’s 14 metre line broke to Anto Dobbin who toe poked it past Ogs keeper Mark Hamill. 2 points up to St Mals.
This goal upset the Eire Og rhythm until points from JT and Ronan Donnelly restored Ogs to level scores on 1-2 to 0.5. Just before the short whistle, Ciaran Vernon put St Malachy’s into a 1 point lead when he eluded the challenge of Alex McKnight for one of the few times in the half to leave it 1-3 to 0-5 at half time.
The second half started well again for Eire Og with Alex McKnight winning the throw in by pushing ball into Ronan Donnelly’s hands. A couple of passes later and Donnelly received it back to strike a great point from just inside the proverbial ‘D’ .
The Ogs ground out a possession game as they pushed on with further points from Ronan Donnelly and two more from JT. Toal but St Malachys replied through Anto Dobbin and Ciaran Vernon, sandwiched in between the Ogs scores.
St Malachy’s were stubbornly sticking to their task with defence always well populated, but were never out of the game. Stephen Mullin then chipped in with two great points from play and two well worked points from The two Conor’s, McKenna and Erskine left the final score 0-13 to 1-5 in favour of Eire Og.
Overall from Eire Og perspective, a bit of rustiness which is to be expected at this stage. However, there is much improvement to be made in working scores and taking correct options, but a good second half where St Malachy’s were restricted to 2 points speaks well for their defence wherePaddy Loughran, Jarlath Devlin and Dermy Murray were solid
Kieran Ryan started in defence but was switched corner forward where he performed well and Caomhen Daykin at midfield and Eanna McNulty wereothers to perform well for the winners.
Eire Og 1. M Hamil 2. J Devlin 3. P Loughran 4. K Ryan 5. D Murray 6. A Knight 7 C Rice 8. R Donnelly 9 C McKenna 10 S Mullab 11 P Toal 12 C Smyth 13 J Melarkey 14 D Fox 15 C Erskine