A nail biting game for supporters and teams alike – this game had it all. October 11th, starting half an hour late at 5pm, fading light was bound to create problems.
Played in Belfield the preceding Intermediate Football went to extra time and unfortunately this Senior game did too! The last 10 minutes of extra time we could hardly see the players – never mind the ball.
Adamstown were in the Senior final 3 years ago and brought a lot of experience to this game. However the Shels started brighest mounting numerous attacks. They scored 3 points in the first 20 minutes (Colin Redmond, Stephen Banville and Aidan Murphy) but shot about 10 wides. Adamstown were kept scoreless until the 23 minute with a fine long-range point from Paddy Whitty and Aidan Murphy replied with his second point for the Shels (0-4 to 0-1). The Shels were now to rue all their earlier misses as Whitty again scored before young Shane Bradley made it 0-3 to 0-4 in favour of the Shels by half time.
From the restart Adamstown equalised through Eric Bradley from the throw in and Whitty put them ahead for the first time after 5 minutes from a free. With the pitch wet and heavy scores were hard to come by. Shels introduced Ibar Murphy to strengthen their mid-field battle. Eoin Doyle and Terry Gainfort were introduced to get scores and immediately Eoin Doyle scored a great long-range point with his first touch. Brian Malone raced through to score his first point but Adamstown responded with frees by Paddy Whitty and a long-range one from David Bradley (0-7 to 0-6 in favour of Adamstown). There were 3 minutes left and with the tension mounting and the crowd roaring Tommy Barron delivered a long range free into Stephen Banville who fed Clive Lawler for a fantastic goal (1-6 to 0-7). Immediately Alan Griffith set up Brian Malone for his second point and the Shels looked home and dry. But they were celebrating too soon – Adamstown mounted a couple of desperate attacks and won themselves a penalty, which Eric Bradley finished to the net. It was level and the ref blew for full time – extra time was to be played.
It was 6 o’clock and darkness was falling quickly. Both managers asked the ref to replay another day under better conditions. But with time pressure to meet the Leinster Club championship deadline, his instructions were clear. Extra time began at 6.33!
Again Adamstown scored from the throw in after 15 seconds. Aidan Murphy raced through for a goal for the Shels but his shot was well saved by ex-Wexford goalie John Cooper. The tension was mounting and both teams battled on. Padraig McMahon went to ground and was deemed to be lying on the ball. Tommy Barron remonstrated with the ref and as a result he received a second yellow card and was sent off. The free was converted by substitute Philip Doyle. The Shels pushed forward and won a free which Terrry Gainfort converted leaving it at 1-9 to 1-8 at half time. It was dark – the Shels were a point behind and a man down, but they never gave up. The street lights and the lights from the shop slightly illuminated the place but the battle raged on. There was no doubt about it, it was very dangerous and the match should have been stopped, but it wasn’t and the players never stopped. Shels won 3 frees near the end but with the first two missed by Terry Gainfort, Clive Lawler stepped up to score the equaliser. 6.56 and the ref finally blew his final whistle. The fairest result in the circumstances and both sides were happy to go at it again another day.
The replay is Wexford Park on Sunday at 3.30.
Shels team. Adamstown Team
1. Padraig McMahon John Cooper
2. Mark Walsh PJ Carroll
3. Colm Tynan MJ Cooper
4. Cathal Gaule Shane White
5. Thomas Barron John Finn
6. David Walsh James Furlong
7. Ciaran O’Shaughnessy James Murphy
8. Clive Lawler (1-1) David Bradley (0-1)
9. Brian Malone (0-2) Eric Bradley (1-2)
10. Colin Redmond (0-1) Paddy Whitty (0-4)
11. Garret Dunne Barry Power
12. Alan Griffith Mervyn Moloney
13. Derek Walsh Brendan Kehoe
14. Stephen Banville (0-1) Shane Dunphy
15. Aidan Murphy (0-2) Shane Bradley (0-1)
Ibar Murphy for Garret Dunne Philip Doyle (0-1) for Dunphy
Terry Gainfort (0-2) for Derek Walsh TJ Breen for Brendan Kehoe
Eoin Doyle(0-1) for Colin Redmond James Breen for PJ Carroll
Thomas Furlong for Mervyn Moloney
Garret Dunne for Alan Griffith