Naomh Éanna 1-16 v 0.11 Davitt’s
Date: Saturday 19th August 2017
Referee: Vincent Boyle
Championship season; blood, sweat and tears; win, lose or draw, we always get a winner, today was no different, the second game saw Naomh Éanna take on Davitt’s, the previous game saw the senior championship preliminary round between Naomh Pól and Lámh Dhearg, with an Lámh Dhearg winning easily in the end.
Vincent Boyle was the official for the match and where possible Vincent let the match go, however on occasion he had to have a word with players and issue cards. Corrigan had a good crowd for this match, there was plenty of amber and black and also green, white and gold of the Belfast side. Conditions were perfect on Saturday evening, sunshine, very little wind and the ground underfoot was drying out.
All within Naomh Éanna had be eagerly anticipating the advent of the championship. In house, much had been expected of the team and with the blend of new and up-and-coming footballers blending with established players; Naomh Éanna looked to have the right ingredients, they still do in fact, one year on and one year older, most definitely wiser and the pain of last year’s loss against a physically defensive Dunloy team has strengthened the resolve and improved metal strength.
Naomh Éanna can look to current Antrim panel members, Odhrán Eastwood, Peter Healy and Ruairí Scott to bring the intensity to the side. Antrim hurler Joe Maskey and Niall McKeown bring a physical presence and in particular McKeown’s high fielding and safe hands has caused many teams to adjust to the threat in the middle of the field.
Naomh Éanna were starting this Championship match without a number of key influential players, still without Captain Conor Maxwell who is recovering from injury, Odhrán Eastwood continues to deputise, experienced defender Damien Gault is out, Peter Healy is recovering from injury (but he did play an influential part in the league victory over Moneyglass, coming on in the second half), Peter’s brother Kristian is also out injured.
Davitt’s present a tricky task for Naomh Éanna, progression and improving on last year’s showing is essential, but as no nonsense Bainisteoir Declan Steele states, “Every game is important!”
Naomh Éanna was on the attack immediately, Mickey Morgan was fouled and the game held up briefly. Ruairí Scoot took the free and found Gerard Crossey. From the side-line, it looked like the game’s first score, however the umpires waved it wide. Marking was loose right from the beginning and Naomh Éanna would be punished. Davitt’s were motivated and wanted to make their mark right from the whistle. That they did and they registered the first score of the match on the third minute. The score was now NÉ 0-00, Dav 0-01.
Seconds later Davitts had their second score of the match, from inside forward Danny Largey to put two points in the difference, NÉ 0-00. Dav 0-02.
From the Naomh Éanna kick out players wanted to get their hands on the ball to settle the nerves, a well worked forward attacked up field, Dónall Walsh on his first attempt at a shot went wide, four minutes played and it must be said Naomh Éanna looked nervy and very slow to settle. From the resulting kick out Niall McKeown fielded the ball and with safe hands the ball passed into Odhrán Eastwood, he took the responsibility as player maker and Naomh Éanna began to slowly build-up. Great interplay between Dónall Walsh and Ruairí Scott opened the scoring for Naomh Éanna, NÉ 0-01, Dav 0-02. With almost the repeat of the previous Davitt’s kick out, Niall McKeown caught
A feature of good play from Davitt’s was the quick ball into the forwards, they went directly for goal and but for striking directly at Naomh Éanna Cúl Baire Paddy Flood, the chance lost. Naomh Éanna were guilty of wasteful shooting, on 9 minutes, a quick ball to Odhrán Eastwood, a quick score looked on, but a slow build up allowed Davitts to get men back defending and the resulting shot from Philly Curran went wide, so Naomh Éanna had a third wide and the score remained at NÉ 0-02, Davitt’s 0-02.
Dónall Walsh got his second score, after slow deliberate build-up, the movement up the pitch was controlled and succeeded in frustrating the Davitts defence, NÉ 0-03, Dav 0-02.
On twelve minutes Niall McKeown was getting into his stride another fine catch and mark, together with quick play to Odhrán Eastwood, resulted in Naomh Éanna fourth wide of the match.
A high ball from Gerard Crossey was blocked down by Anthony Rowntree with the ball going out for the game’s first 45 metre free, Paddy Flood was called into action with his long range free taking duty, on this occasion the ball went wide for Naomh Éanna’s fifth wide of the match. The swirling wind did have an effect on the play. Davitts started to get to grips at midfield with pressure on the Éanna half back line, Conan Lyttle kept the pressure on the attacking line. The pressure was enough to put the attacker under pressure and from 30 metres the shot by Aaron Slane went wide. The kick out from Davitts was still directed towards midfield, Naill McKeown’s presence was noted and obviously would need to be spoken about at halftime, however on this occasion the Davitts midfielders pressured McKeown and prevented the clean catch, but soaking up the pressure he broke the ball to Centre half Back James McAuley. The forwards made the runs and passing between Odhrán Eastwood and Ciarán Thompson opened the Davitts defence. A goal was on and Naomh Éanna and Eastwood should have had a three pointer. Unfortunately, the shot was directly to the Cúl Baire.
The save raised Davitts spirts and you could see that belief building in the whole team, seventeen minutes played, Davitts were moving well and moving the ball too. Midfielders David Nugent and Liam McGivern were causing problems for Naomh Éanna defence. Seconds later the play switched and Naomh Éanna had another chance of a goal by Gerard Crossey. Joe Maskey driving from half back gave Odhrán Eastwood a great pass who then found Ruairí Scott. The powerful shot from Crossey hit the crossbar and the chance was gone. Odhrán Eastwood had a shot from 40 metres which the Cúl Baire dealt with very easily. Éanna had another 45 metre free after pressure from full forward, half forward and mid field. Paddy Flood took the free but it was an easy catch for Caomhan Slane. The frustration in the Glengormley side was obvious as Davitts challenge was preventing Naomh Éanna from paying ball. Ruairí Scott came deep, both he and Odhrán Eastwood were operating around midfield trying to build and start a forward attack after twenty-four minutes Naomh Éanna registered another wide from Ruairí Scott.
A forced change in the Davitts full back line at number three, Ciarán O’Riordan was replaced due to injury. That change would be crucial for both teams. Aaron Slane would level matters on 25 minutes, NÉ 0-03, Dav 0-03. Slane would add another seconds later, NÉ 0-03, Dav 0-04. Naomh Éanna really looked nervy and defenders continued to be loose, allowing Davitts forwards space and time to cause real trouble for themselves. However, as we approached half-time, Naomh Éanna blitzed Davitts with five points just before the break, one from Ruairí Scott after he passed to Dónall Walsh and went for the return to score the point of the half, NÉ 0-04, Dav 0-04. From the kick-out Scott pounced again and added another, NÉ 0-05, Dav 0-04. Niall McKeown and Philly Curran at midfield finished the half very strong and good movement won a free from 30 metres, which Odhrán Eastwood easily converted, NÉ 0-06, Dav 0-04. Davitts rushed their kick outs and looked as though they wanted to be in the changing rooms for the break. Odhrán Eastwood won the kick out and supplied to the free to Ruairí Scott who made it NÉ 0-07, Dav 0-04 on thirty minutes. A minute later it was NE 0-08, Dav 0-04. Right before the half time whistle, Niall McKeown fielded and took on the responsibility himself to score the final point of the first half to bring proceedings to a close, NÉ 0-09, Dav 0-04.
Naomh Éanna were first on the pitch and a number of changes had been made and several players would get a run by the end of the match. Philly Curran and Mickey Morgan would be replaced by Peter Healy and Stevie O’Connor, but it would be Liam ‘Turbo’ McGivern for Davitts that would have the first score of the second half, NÉ 0-09, Dav 0-05, Naomh Éanna had the chance to score their first in the second half with a powerful move starting with Joe Maskey, to Michael McNamee, Odhrán Eastwood with a quick free to Crossey and he went to take the return, Davitts broke the play and from the turnover went down the pitch and No.12 Danny Largey made it, NÉ 0-09, Dav 0-06, four minutes of the second half played. Two minutes later Niall McKeown had the ball in hand again after a great catch, but on this side of the break, Naomh Éanna would register their first wide. Naomh Éanna would make up for it minutes later by adding two points, NÉ 0-11, Dav 0-06, with Stephen Flynn entering the match to shore up the Naomh Éanna defence. He replaced corner back Killian Jennings. The turning point in the match would come nine minutes into the second half. Gerard Crossey this time would become provider. The pass to Dónall Walsh who would make no mistake in finishing to the net, NÉ 1-11, Dav 0-6. As luck would have it Davitts could have had a goal of their own in the second half, but for the ball being held up and Naomh Éanna clearing in the scramble, eventually a score would come in the form of a point NÉ 1-11, Dav 0-06.
Adding another to the point he got at the end of the first half, Niall McKeown would add his second. The kick out coming from Paddy Flood went to McKeown, he interlinked with Ciarán Thompson and took the return to score, NÉ 1-12, Dav 0-07. The introduction of Peter Healy and others made a difference in Naomh Éanna defensive play. They now succeeded in slowing Davitts build-up, frustrating the Belfast club. Breaking down the Davitts attack, Gerard Crossey won his ball and added another score, NÉ 1-13, Dav 0-07.
Thirteen minutes gone and Davitts where down but by no means beaten. Davitts full forward Liam McGivern had caused problems for Naomh Éanna all day and got another point, NÉ, 1-13, Dav 0-08 and added another three minutes later, NÉ 1-13, Dav 0-09. It became ten after Davitts substitute added another, NÉ 1-13, Dav 0-10. A super catch by Peter Healy and pass to Odhrán Eastwood kept the scoreboard ticking over, NÉ 1-14, Dav 0-10.
Seven points up and Bainisteoir Declan Steele took the opportunity to introduce further players; Conor McAuley replaced Joe Maskey and a reshuffle in the back line, with McAuley moving to cornerback and Micheál McNamee moving out the field. Davitts No.11 Padraig McParland could have added a score, but another wide on twenty-three minutes. The response from Naomh Éanna was further punishment when Dónall Walsh added his fourth of the match. Davitts should have pulled themselves back into the game when a defensive error allowed the referee to point to the penalty spot. Up steps No.12 Danny Largey and struck to his left, Paddy Flood choose right and managed to push the shot around the post, giving Davitts a 45 metre free from almost centre. That swirling wind caught the shot and wide went the attempt of any score. On the kick out, Paddy Flood found Niall McKeown, who in turn passed to Ciarán Thompson. Thompson to Dónall Walsh, to Odhrán Eastwood and at the end of the move Stevie O’Connor stroke the ball over the bar, NÉ 1-14, Dav 0-10. That was to be the last we would see of McKeown, his replacement Fionntán O’Connor brought a height and strength to midfield. Aaron Slane would finish the Davitts scoring for the night, with a free on 31 minutes from 30 meters . Dónall Walsh would finish the scoring for Naomh Éanna, score at full time Naomh Éanna 1-16, Davitts 0-11.
Naomh Éanna progress to the next round the quarter final and will met Naomh Bríd, who beat Tír na nÓg in the other preliminary game.
Foireann Naomh Éanna
- Paddy Flood
- Diarmuid McNulty
- Michael McNamee
- Killian Jennings
- Joe Maskey
- 0James McAuley
- Conan Lyttle
- Philly Curran
- Niall McKeown
- Mickey Morgan
- Odhrán Eastwood
- Ciarán Thompson
- Dónall Walsh
- Gerard Crossey
- Ruairí Scott