Late Ferns goal fail to overtake Shels minors.
Thursday August 16th, 2007 – Hollymount
Premier Minor Football Championship
Shelmaliers 2-10 FernsSt. Aidans 3-6
A late goal for Ferns set up a nail biting finish to this minor football championship game at Hollymount. On a wet and windy evening, the Shels, playing with the help of a stiff breeze opened brightly with a Niall Stafford point followed by a very well worked Stuart Lacey goal to lead by 1-1 to no score after 10 mins. However, Ferns then started to play and looking the fresher side, had amassed two goals and three points of their own to lead by 2-3 to 1-1 with 10 mins to go in the first half. The sides exchanged scores with Conor Walsh getting a point for the Shels before Ferns once again added two more points to leave the score at 2-5 to 1-2 with minutes left in the half. Things looked bad for the Shels at this stage but they managed to break through the Ferns defence for Niall Stafford to score a major just before the break to leave the scores at 2-5 to 2-2 for Ferns at half-time.
It was a different Shels team that emerged for the second half though. Looking far more committed and with James Gordon, who replaced Shane Murphy shortly after the break, playing as a third midfielder the Shels began to gain control of the middle third of the pitch. Switches in the forward line also began to benefit the home team with Joe Kelly and Conor Byrne both exerting a greater influence from full-forward and centre forward respectively. Slowly the scores began to come and with both Conor Byrne and James Gordon scoring two points each plus points from Brian Doyle, Stuart Lacey and Niall Stafford the Shels had forged into a 3 point lead at 2-9 to 2-6 with 10 mins to play. Brian O'Connor then stole up field for the insurance point with less than 4 minutes remaining. That score was to prove vital as Ferns capitalized on poor communication in the Shels full-back line to score a goal with almost the last kick of the game.
Luckily for the Shels, time ran out on the visitors with the score at 2-10 to 3-6 in favour of the home team.
1. Ciaran Murphy, 2. Niall Kelly, 3. Aaron Waters, 4. Benny Barron, 5.Brian O'Connor (0-1), 6. Ciaran O'Shaughnessy, 7. Andre O'Brien, 8. Niall Stafford (1-2), 9.Conor Walsh (0-1), 10. Brian Doyle (0-1), 11. Joe Kelly, 12. Kevin O'Leary, 13. Stuart Lacey (1-1), 14. Conor Byrne (0-2) , 15. Shane Murphy. Subs James Gordon(0-2) for Shane Murphy