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IFC: Saints win the battle of the Colmcilles

16 April 2013

St Colmcille's Cathal Hilliard gets in his pass as Gaeil Colmcille players from left Oisin Reilly, Barry Smith, Liam Ferguson and Seanie Curran look to the referee.
St Colmcille   1-10        
Gaeil Colmcille  0-09
 
Gaeil Colmcille suffered defeat at the hands of St Colmcille.on Sunday evening last in windy Simonstown in the first round of the IFC. It was a tough encounter spoiled by a difficult cross field breeze that made attractive football impossible. However both teams gave it everything and it was the Colmcilles men that left Simonstown the happiest. Things didn't look great for the Louth border men at half time when the only led by just three points after playing with a strong breeze.

Colmcilles started well and took an early two point lead before Danny McGovern opened the Kells men's account after twelve minutes. Good defending by Kells kept the Colmcilles attack from scoring. Oisin Reilly levelled matters on the twenty third minute. Both teams struggled to get on the score board but the Saints went one up again before Keith Reilly left it (0-03) each. St Colmcilles dominated the final ten minutes of the half kicking three more points to make it 0-06 to 0-03, at the break.
 
Seamus Mattimoe opened the scoring for the Gaeils at the start of the second half with a point from a free. Colmcilles replied immediately with a point before Danny McGovern from play and half back Barry Smith kicked a great effort to narrow the gap. Jody Devine made a double substituting bringing on Brian Hanlon and Stevie McManus for Robbie Flanagan and Keith Reilly, and it looked like the Gaeils were on there way back with just (0-02) between them once again (0-06) to (0-08) going into the last quarter. But that's as close as they got as St Colmcilles got the all important goal to gave them a comfortable 1-8 to 0-6. Substitute Brian Hanlon scored three points in the latter stages of the half but the Kellsmen couldn't close the gap and Colin Kelly reign as St Colmcilles manager began with a win.

Gaeil Colmcille: C. Murray, J. Quigley, M. Foley, C. Keegan, S. Reddy, S. Curran, B. Smith (0-01), J C Lynch, G Arkins, O.Reilly (0-01), R. Flangan,  K. Reilly (0-01), S Mattimoe, (0-01), M Barrett, D McGovern (0-02). 
Subs used  B Hanlon (0-03),  for R Flanagan.  S McManus for K Reilly. L Ferguson for C Keegan (inj).

St. Colmcilles championship got off to a great start last Sunday evening in Simonstown with a 1:10 to 0:9 to win over Gaeil Colmcille. Only 2 weeks earlier the Kells men handed out the first defeat to the East Meath men in the league so there was a point to be proven by both sides on the day.
A strong wind blowing straight down the pitch should have provided an advantage to the team with it on its back but St. Colmcilles failed to use this to their advantage in the first half. They seemed to freeze in the first 15 minutes, and 22 minutes into the half the scores were 0:03 each with scores from Ciaran Kelly and Graham Reilly. The scores obviously settled both men and the team, as they went on to dominate the last portion of the first half. A long ball from the half way line from Ian Mullen into the hands of Graham Reilly saw Reilly hand pass into Kelly who smashed the ball off the crossbar and the Gaeil Colmcilles men managed to safely take the ball out of defence. A further point from John McKenna pushed the lead to 2 points. In the last couple of minutes another long ball into the forwards saw Graham Reilly in a 1 on 1 situation with the keeper. Reilly aimed high but a great save by the Kells keeper pushing the ball over the bar meant that the lead was extended to 3 points. Half time and despite the huge wind advantage St. Colmcilles were only leading Gaeil Colmcille by 0:06 to 0:03. The second half was going to be too close to call.
Half time entertainment was provided by an U9 boys exhibition match with both clubs represented by their juvenile boys. This new initiative by Meath Games and coaching gave both sets of young boys get a feel for a big match environment and great "Go Games" football was on display from both sides.
The second half saw Gaeil Colmcille reduce the lead to 2 points with a point scored in the first minute from Kells No.13 from a free. A silly free given away in the 4th minute allowed the St. Colmcilles men to score and retain the 3 point advantage. A more defensive approach was taken by the East Meath men to try and counteract the wind advantage which seemed to be working as only one additional point was scored by the Kells men in the next 10 minutes. Seeing no advantage accrue the Gaeil Colmcille management made a double substitution to try and shake things up but a good ball worked out of defence by St. Colmcilles ended up in the hands of Ciaran Kelly who once again saw himself in a 1 on 1 situation with the Kells keeper. Possibly remembering what happened his last opportunity from this situation Kelly took the safe option and fisted the ball over the bar to once again leave the match with a 3 point advantage to St. Colmcilles.
Kells quickly responded once again with another fine point from their No. 13 from 45 yards out who used the wind to carry the ball easily over the bar. 15 minutes in and the East Meath men were holding fast with the score sitting at St. Colmcilles 0:08 Gaeil Colmcille 0:06
17 minutes into the second half saw the game turn a corner with Ciaran Kelly from St. Colmcilles slotting the ball along the ground past the Kells keeper to score the games only goal. The intensity and adrenaline around the game was evident as Kelly managed to jump about 4 foot in the air in celebration. Once again the team with the wind on their back failed to gain any significant advantage and the East Meath defensive position meant that the Kells men were running out of options and frustrations resulted in a series of yellow cards for the Gaeil Colmcilles men. With 6 minutes to go Kelly once again managed to find a space to kick the ball over the bar despite being surrounded by 3 men at the time. A nasty challenge on Kelly in the 26th minute meant that he to be substituted to attend hospital and possibly leaving him missing next week's crucial 2nd round. The subsequent free from this tackle saw Graham Reilly put the ball over the bar to increase the lead to 7 points. Despite the clock having reached full time the Kells men pushed on and managed to score a point in each of the 3 additional injury minutes played but it was too little too late. The final score ended up St. Colmcilles 1:10 Gaeil Colmcille 0:09.