Our senior footballers made the long trek to Fethard Fri night where they played Fethard at 8 PM under lights in the football league.
Conditions were blustery and Shels had wind advantage in the first half. Fethard drew first blood but Shels replied with 3 points from Simon Donohoe, Neal Rossiter and Eoghan Nolan. Fethard drew level before Neal Rossiter put Shels ahead again with a great point after good work by the Shels half forward line. Fethard yet again levelled matters. It started to rain heavily at the end of the last quarter making the pitch extremely slippery. Shels finished the half strongest with a pointed free by Neal Rossiter and a great kick from Derek Walsh. Half time 06 to-04 in favour of Shels. On the resumption conditions were not improved and the loyal spectators were glad of the shelter the stand offered. Shels now against the wind immediately set about dominating the game and keeping possession of the ball. However Fethard yet again drew first blood with a point from distance. On the kick out, a great pass by Aidan Cash ended up with Alan Griffith who did well to keep the ball, his shot on goal was saved but he collected the rebound ball and off loaded to the on form Neal Rossiter who calmly dispatched to the back of the net. Moments later the same player pointed from a free. 1-7 to 0-5. Fethard were far from done however and replied twice to put just 3 between the sides. The speedy Eoghan Nolan collected a long delivery and his speculative shot caught the keeper out and it just went over his head after hitting the cross bar to end up in the back of the net. Nolan pointed moments later and Shels had a good lead 2-8 to -07 coming into the last quarter. Still Fethard challenged and with wind advantage were starting to get back into the game. They pointed and goaled inside the next minute after a mistake in the backs and they tagged on two more points, the score was 2-8 to 1-10 (a point between the sides) with five minutes left. Fethard threw everything at Shels and really it was the time when Shels had to hold their heads which they did brilliantly. There was no panic in defence and if anything it was a slight lack of discipline on Fethard side that bought the time Shels needed to see the game out. Fethard had two late shots easily dealt with by keeper Shane Birney who no-one needed reminding had saved Shels on their last visit to Fethard on their route to becoming County champions in the U21 Football final at end of 2013. All in all it was a great result as many regulars were unavailable and the loss of influential mid fielder Simon Donohoe early in the second half was a blow. Shane Birney again proved to b a first class net minder, The full back line hard working and staunch led by Eoin Doyle , aided by Eoghan Fitzgerald and Cathal Gaule who took a heavy knock to his mouth. The half back line of Tommy Barron, Barry O’Connor and Graham Staples done an ocean of work, midfield was ably manned by Ibar Murphy and the impressive Simon Donohoe, the half forward line of Brian Doyle, Alan Griffith and Neal Rossiter was probably one of the strongest lines on the night with full forward line of Eoghan Nolan, Aidan Cash and Derek Walsh on top form. Aidan Cash played a roving role and it was easy to see how he’s come onto the senior panel for Wexford. Adrian Veale replaced the injured Simon Donohoe and his maturity and self-assuredness was a great addition to the team.
Team Shane Birney, Cathal Gaule, Eoin Doyle, Eoghan Fitzgerald, Tommy Barron, Barry O’Connor, Graham Staples, Ibar Murphy, Simon Donohoe (0-1), Brian Doyle, Alan Griffith, Neal Rossiter (1-4,2F), Aidan Cash, Eoghan Nolan (1-2), Derek Walsh (0-1), Sub introduced Adrian Veale.