U21F must do it all again

Shelmaliers met St. Annes in the Co. U21 Football semi final in Hollymount Saturday last.

Wing forward Brian Murphy got Shels off to a great start with 2 early points and Craig McCabe added a free before St. Annes got their first point a free in the 10th minute. Brian Doyle (Capt) and Craig McCabe pushed Shels lead to 0-5 to 0-2 but St. Annes, fighting hard and displaying great fitness pulled 2 back. AJ Lehane who was having a great game in the middle of the field added an excellent point. Shels were unlucky not to convert a penalty but the Anne’s keeper pulled off a fantastic save. St. Anne’s did convert a late free to leave side 06-04 at half time. Aidan Cash pointed early on the resumption but it was all St. Annes in the opening stages when they hit 4 unanswered points. AJ Lehane who was been extremely tightly marked managed to squeeze in a point to bring one back between the side. Fresh blood was introduced in the form of Neal Rossiter Capt of the victorious minor team and the speedy Eoghan Nolan and this seemed to have a good impact on the game for Shels. Simon Donohoe, who was covering a lot of ground, brought the teams back to within one point and Brian Doyle got the all important equaliser on the cusp of full time, leaving the sides’ level at 0-10 each. St. Anne’s drew first blood in the opening moments of extra time courtesy of a free and Shels were most unfortunate to lose their Capt. Brian Doyle for what seemed to be a harsh decision on the part of referee James Flood. Shels however dug deep and AJ Lehane once again managed to lose his marker and get a crucial point. 0-11 each. The teams switched sides and the final ten minutes of extra time commenced. Noel Mythen put Shels ahead with a cracker of a point and it seemed that was going to be enough. However as the time clicked on and the ten minutes were just up, St. Annes were awarded a free and it was duly converted to leave the teams level for the 8th time on the day. 0-12 each and they must do it all again. In truth either team could have had the game wrapped up in either half. Shels outplayed the Annes in the first half but the Annes were the stronger in the 2nd half. The fitness of St. Annes was evident on the back of the great victory at senior level. However Shels displayed true determination and grit specailly when they went a man down and a draw was probably a fair outcome for both sides.
Team. Shane Birney, Shane Griffith, Benny Barron, Simon Donohoe (0-1), Aidan Cash (0-1), Stephen Corrigan, James Cash, AJ Lehane (0-3), Brian Doyle (C) (0-2), Brian Murphy (0-2), Glen Murphy, Niall Murphy, Craig McCabe (0-2, 1F), Noel Mythen (0-1), Feargal Hynes. Subs introduced. Neal Rossiter, Eoghan Nolan, Ronan Kavanagh, Conor Tobin and Kevin O’Leary.