Great second half comeback fails to halt Bunclody.
Shelmaliers made the trip to Bunclody on Monday night last, 13th August, to compete in the 2nd round of the U21 Football Championship. With five of them having faced a tough match 24 hours earlier V St. Martins in SHC and the younger members of the team having been out the previous evening (Saturday) in the Junior championship, great credit is to be given for their strenuous efforts.
Shels got off to a good start with Eoin Doyle scoring two points after good work from Ciaran O’Shaughnessy. HWH replied with 2 points before Clive Lawlor had to be blood substituted after a hard knock to his nose. HWH took full advantage of the change in defence and scored a goal in the couple of minutes Clive was absent. The next few minutes found Alan Griffith also receiving a bloody nose and he also had to be substituted temporarily. The home side added two more points from play, with Shels only managing a consolation point in the form of a free from Eoin Doyle that left the half time score at 1-4 to 0-3 in favour of HWH.
On the resumption, Shels started to play the style of football they are renowned for. Good short hand passing and they started to slot the points past one after the other in what was a great passage of play for the team. 5 points were added at this time with James Murphy, Brian Malone and Alan Griffith all on target, while the accurate Eoin Doyle pointed another free. This put Shels ahead for the first time in the game (0-8 to 1-4). An additional point from the hard working defender Tommy Barron kept Shels to the fore.
However at this stage the referee, whilst admitting he didn’t see the late tackle on the Bunclody player, deemed fit to send off Eoin Doyle with a straight red card, after consulting with the side line official. Considering the hard manner in which the game was being played, and despite letting a Bunclody player off the hook with a black book instead of a second yellow card, this was most unfair and really was the turning point for the exhausted Shels.
HWH added four more points while the Shels dug deep but found nothing to reply with.
The game finished on a scoreline of 2-9 to 0-9
This was a much closer game than the score would have you believe, and as the majority of the players will live to fight another day, Shels will be a force to be reckoned with over the next 2/3 yrs at this level.
Best for the Shels on the day were captain Brain Malone, Clive Lawlor, Alan Griffith, Tommy Barron, Ciaran O’ Shaughnessy and the accurate and outstanding Eoin Doyle.
1 Ciaran Murphy 2 Niall Kelly 3 Aaron Watters 4 Andre O’Brien 5 Tommy Barron
6 Clive Lawlor 7 Ciaran O’Shaughnessy 8 Brian Malone (-1) 9 Conor Walsh
10 Alan Griffith (-2) 11 Eoin Doyle (0-5, 3F) 12 James Murphy (0-1) 13 Thomas Byrne
14 Joe Kelly 15 Brian O’Connor.
Subs used. David Kenny, Brendan Larkin.