Today saw two games down for decision, Naomh Éanna reserves played Naomh Ergnat’s reserves, and the Division two match between their Seniors teams, the first game was a tight affair and ended with the home side wining with one point to spare.
At 3pm on the dot the referee had the toss done and the teams lined out.
The official on the day was Barry Coyle and at the toss Naomh Éanna team captain Odhrán Eastwood won the toss and elected to play the way they were.
During the warmup and team talk, everyone was asked for a good intense first 10minutes, with the view to build as the match progressed.
Naomh Éanna lived up to the task as right from the throw in, with Niall McKeown wearing number 19 and playing at midfield field, launched the first attack, however Moneyglass were ready, Moneyglass where playing at home and in a must win match looked sharp and focused, still in the second minute Moneyglass was on the attack, however Mr Reliable – Damien Gault was there to breakdown the attack and allow Naomh Éanna to break at speed, from the first attack into the home goals Dónall Walsh made no mistake and opened Naomh Éanna account, MG 0.00, NÉ 0.01.
From the resulting kick out Niall McKeown’s fielding provided Naomh Éanna with a platform to launch a third attack, the ball to Odhrán Eastwood, who would cause trouble for Moneyglass all day, he won the free and called Cúl Baire Paddy Flood into the action to take the free, he should have added a second but it tailed wide for Naomh Éannas first wide.
The kick outs for Moneyglass early on, were proving problematic to retain possession, this time Joe Maskey playing at Left half back laid the ball to Kristian Healy and after beating the keeper, the ball rebounded from the crossbar and with Gerard Crossey was first to react put the chance wide, two wides in four minutes.
Playing at number 12, Ciarán Thompson, linked with the raiding corner back Ryan Kennedy (No.2) and the pressure from the number two resulted in a second free and this time in the fourth minute, Odhrán Eastwood made no mistake with score MG 0.00, NÉ 0.02.
Using all his experience, Philly Curran broke the Moneyglass kick out but Ryan Doyle (No. 9) at midfield for Moneyglass picked up the break ball and launched the attack, Corner back Niall Heatley read the intention of the Moneyglass forwards and drove forward, stopping threat and creating a platform for the Naomh Éanna attack, however today the defenders where on top and the Centre Three quarters for Moneyglass Paul Tohill and No.12 Dermot McElrain combined, with the referee calling back play for a close in free, it allowed Liam Brady a simple chance to open Moneyglass account MG 0.01, NE 0.02.
In the ninth minute when Naomh Éanna moved the ball quickly and the strong running of Kristian Healy punctured the Moneyglass defence and finished with a well taken score the scoreboard read, MG 0.01, NÉ 0.03.
Ten minutes played and McErlain scored again for Moneyglass, MG 0.02, NÉ 0.03.
From the resulting kick out, Paddy Flood found the high fielding Niall McKeown and wearing No.19 on his back rose and won the mark, again the inside movement and quick running of Healy, the opportunity for a score presented itself, however the effort was marginally wide.
Lining out a number 6, James McAuley won the break from Niall McKeown and McAuley was the platform and a good combination from Conan Lyttle and Ryan Kennedy allowed team captain Odhrán Eastwood to register his first score from play, MG 0.02, NÉ 0.04, the response from Moneyglass was almost immediate and this time Seanchann Duffin made no mistake, MG 0.03, NÉ 0.04, Duffin had a chance to level matters, however his shot went wide.
Not allowing the home side to settle Naomh Éanna where on the attack again, this time Conan Lyttle placed a lovely ball to Ciarán Thompson and he brought the score to MG 0.03, NÉ 0.05.
As Naomh Éanna turned the ball over and from Centre Half Back launched another attack, Naomh Éanna held up the ball and allowed the home side to funnel men back to defence, time after time Moneyglass blocked attempted shots and the shot selection of the Naomh Éanna forward unit was in trouble, but a passage of play where the ball was recycled and probed for a weakness or pushed for a Moneyglass mistake, the Glengormley side got their rewards with Moneyglass giving the visitors a chance and pressure from corner back Ryan Kennedy, Dónall Walsh made no mistake stretching the lead to three, MG 0.03, NÉ 0.06.
20 mins played, the Naomh Éanna back line was attacking the ball, causing the Moneyglass forwards to live on scraps, the space in the Naomh full back line then was exploited and Moneyglass using the advantage of defenders being out of position, the ball was moved quickly and Moneyglass carved through for goal, MG 1.03, NÉ 0.06, the goal allowed the home side to settle and after a jittery 20mins, the home side raised their intensity and focus.
With the calls of encouragement coming from the small Pobal Éanna crowd, the young Éanna players needed to dig deep to get back on top and the effort and application was rewarded when Odhrán Eastwood, stroked a beautifully free over on 21mins, MG 1.03, NE 0.07.
From the Moneyglass kick out the home sides half back line caused real problems for the Naomh Éanna defenders, the extra man, No.5 – Patrick McCormac, running directly at the goals was rewarded with a crisp point, MG 1.04, NE 0.07.
The response was almost immediate and punishment for consist fouling, Naomh Éanna where awarded another free, Ryan Kennedy created the platform for Philly Curran and Gerard Crossey to drive at the Ergnat’s defence, surefooted as ever Odhrán Eastwood brought the score to: MG 1.04, NÉ 0.08, Moneyglass where determined to stay in touch, but in the middle third, the half back line and midfield worked the turnover and the chance of a goal was on, but Ruairí Scott missed, this seemed to spur Moneyglass into a reaction, the half back McCormac went for it scoring a goal on 29 minutes, MG 2.04, NÉ 0.08.
A minute later Moneyglass were on the attacked again, a goal looked on, but for the intervention of corner back Niall Heatley, point for Moneyglass, MG 2.05, NE 0.08, Naomh Éanna had the chance to reduce the difference between the teams to one, but the shot dropped short and at half time the score remained Naomh Ergnat’s 2.05, Naomh Éanna 0.08.
The second half of this game would be different for a number of reasons, the superior fitness and experience from the bench would contribute, but the dismissal of Pat McCormac would prove a loss that Moneyglass could not overcome.
Stevie O’Connor replaced Ruairí Scott in the full forward line and partially fit Peter Healy replaced Niall Heatley, the second half was in the early stages when the game was delayed due to a serious injury to Kristian Healy, with incident happening in clear view of the dugout, the referee took no action, however the influential forward had to leave the pitch with blood injury, Michael Morgan replacing the injured player.
When play resumed Eastwood was at it again, punishing an ill-disciplined defence bringing the score to MG 2.05, NÉ 0.09, from the resulting kick out the Moneyglass forwards moved into a scoring position, however as Damien Gault had the better of his man, he broke the momentum and allowed Joe Maskey to setup Gerard Crossey for a score, MG 2.05, NÉ 0.10.
Damien Gault defended masterfully and turned provider to Michael Morgan and on the loop Philly Curran showed leadership to bring the sides level. MG 2.05, NÉ 0.11.
The intensity of the game never dropped with both teams striving to get the next score, at No.3 Damien Gault showed real leadership, however on 18minutes following a dangerous tackle, the former Antrim footballer had to leave the pitch, Michael McNamee replacing An Laochra Gael.
Mid way through the second half Odhrán Eastwood added his fifth free of the day, MG 2.05, NÉ 0.12, minutes later Moneyglass had a chance of a third goal but the resulting point brought the sides level for the fourth time in the match, MG 2.06, NÉ 0.12,
Moneyglass could have went into the lead, but the attempted chance went wide, with Naomh Éanna also guilty of missing a simple score a minutes later. Moneyglass acknowledged the aerial threat of Naomh Éanna at midfield, all through the game by Moneyglass tried to run the ball or bypass the big men, however tired legs and or minds, gave Niall McKeown a mark and a chance to find mobile forward Mickey Morgan, who was fouled and this gave free taker Odhrán Eastwood an important free, which from the hands, he easily converted. MG 2.6 NÉ 0.13.
On 27 minutes Moneyglass sensed that they must stay in touch and levelled again MG 2.7, NÉ 0.13.
The Glengormley men were marginally infront moments later, when an attempted shot from Dónall Walsh hit the post and Mickey Morgan was quickest to react, flicked the ball to the accurate Gerard Crossey, MG 2.7, NÉ 0.14.
With fresher legs and influential players coming off the bench, including Peter Healy asserting himself on the game, this allowed Philly Curran to lead the Naomh Éanna attack, a free by Odhrán Eastwood to Philly Curran opened the Moneyglass defence and Curran made no mistake, MG 2.07, NÉ 0.15.
That was the turning point in the match and Naomh Éanna would push on to seal victory, another score from the midfielder – Philly Curran, kept the scoreboard moving MG 2.07 NÉ 0.16 and Stevie O’Connor added another minutes later MG 2.07, NE 0.17.
The game would be over as a contest, moments later when, Gerard Crossey seen the Cúl Baire off his line and stuck the ball in the top corner of the net, MG 2.07, NÉ 1.17.
Moneyglass had an opportunity to reduce the difference when the referee awarded a penalty to the home side, but Paddy Flood went to his right side and made an easy save to prevent any score, Moneyglass where awarded a 45m and from the ground, Ryan Doyle scored a point, MG 2.08, NÉ 1.17.
Gerard Crossey added a third point from play, MG 2.08, NÉ 1.18 and Stevie O’Connor added his second MG 2.08, NÉ 1.19.
Moneyglass did get a consolation score from No. 14 Liam Brady and after a period of additional time allowed for the injury stoppages referee Barry Coyle ended the match.
Victory for Naomh Éanna in a must win match and with two games remaining leaves the finish to Division Two very interesting.
Games remaining are, Naomh Éanna v Naomh Bríd and Naomh Éanna v Glenavy
Naomh Éanna – Team
- Paddy Flood.
- Ryan Kennedy
- Damien Gault
- Niall Heatley
- Joe Maskey
- James McAuley
- Conan Lyttle
- Philip Curran (0.03)
- Niall McKeown
- Ciaran Thompson (0.01)
- Odhrán Eastwood (0.02, frees 0.05)
- Kristian Healey (0.01)
- Ruairí Scott
- Gerard Crossey (1.3)
- Dónall Walsh (0.02)
Stephen O’Connor (0.02)
Naomh Ergnat’s Moneyglass – Team
- Mark Carey
- Kevin McPeake
- Tiernan Duffin
- Seán Kelly
- Pádraig McCormac
- Miran Neeson
- Pádraig Mackle
- Niall Boyd
- Ryan Doyle
- Seanchann Duffin
- Paul Tohill
- Dermot McErlain
- Gavin Duffy
- Liam Brady
- Conaill Prenter