Division 2B Round 2

 5 September 2018 :Walterstown

Walterstown Minors hosted Clann na nGael in the second round of the Division 2 Championship (Group B). In the first round, an under-strength Walterstown team put in a disappointing performance when losing away to Skryne, whilst Clann drew with Duleek/Bellewstown, meaning that both teams required a win to maintain their interest in the Division 2 Cup competition.

A shower of rain just before throw-in sent all players looking for their gloves. With the Blacks defending the clubhouse end, Clann had the better start, scoring the first two points of the match. Jamie Flynn, returning from injury (well done Edel McGrane and Neil Maxwell), opened the home team’s account with a point from play, which was followed by a well taken point from Euan Burton, following a good team move. After Clann regained the lead with a point, Walterstown took control of proceedings for a spell, with goals from Jamie Flynn and wingback Jack Doyle, followed by a point from play from Adam Treanor, giving the home team a six-point lead. Unfortunately, the lads switched off and Clann took full advantage. The referee awarded Clann a penalty, which Daniel Murphy saved, before blocking the rebound, but the ball was still not cleared and it eventually ended up in the net, off a Walterstown player. Clann levelled the score with a second goal shortly afterwards. The away team then tacked on two more points, to lead by two at the interval. During the first half, Clann’s county keeper, Eoin Griffin, confirmed his reputation as one of the best shot stoppers around, making a string of fine saves. The Blacks were also disappointed at having have kicked nine wides, mostly from scoreable positions, in what was turning out to be a tight match.

Half Time: Walterstown 2-3 Clann na nGael 2-5

More rain greeted the players for the start of the second half and, kicking into the clubhouse end, Andrew McConnell scored a point to reduce the deficit to the minimum. Clann responded with their third goal of the match. Whilst Adam Treanor scored his second point, the away team replied with two more points, to take a five point lead, with about 20 minutes left to play. With their continued participation in the Cup competition on the line, a serious effort was required from the Blacks and the lads responded. With the excellent Darren Finnegan leading from the back, assisted by Luke Cullen and with impressive performances from Under 15s Eoghan McCague, Ross Reynolds and Ronan Maxwell, the away team’s scoring chances began to be limited. Adam Cummins was prominent at midfield, competing well with Clann’s county star Darragh Swaine. Jamie Flynn started the fight back with his second goal. Whilst the Blacks lost Conor McGuire to a hand injury (better let the Insurance Officer know) and Clann scored the next point, the home team began to dominate on the final straight, with Ryan Conway prominent at wing forward and Timi Sowumni a handful for the Clann backs when he was introduced. A point from Diarmuid Freeman’s always reliable left foot was followed by a second goal from marauding wing back Jack Doyle, a point from distance from Conor Farrelly, a free from captain Adam Barrett and a well taken third point from play from Adam Treanor, giving the Blacks a four-point advantage as the final whistle approached. A disputed goal for Clann, deep into injury time, caused the home team some concern. There was relief at the final whistle, as the second half saw further wides, more excellent saves from Eoin Griffin and some poor decision making in front of goal, which left the match tighter than it should have been .

Whilst the home team’s management had the score at 4-9 to 4-8 at the long whistle, the referee had recorded a further point for Walterstown (if anyone wants to claim the “missing” point).

Full Time: Walterstown 4-10  Clann na nGael 4-8

The management were delighted with the second half comeback and with contributions from the whole panel, both at training sessions in the lead up to the match and during the game. Returning players allowed the naming of a strong starting team and a further six good lads on the bench. Eoin Cosgrave and Eoin Roche were unfortunate to miss out in terms of game time on the night, following good performances in a recent challenge match against Bective. Their commitment, attitude and effort at training is recognised and has contributed to the overall improvement in the panel’s performances since the Skryne match. A strong Clann panel also deserves great credit, for keeping the match alive until the final whistle and for a number of excellent individual performances.

Walterstown’s final group game against Duleek/Bellewstown is set for 10am on 16 September 2018 in Duleek. A win will guarantee progress to the Cup semi-final. A draw will leave Joey and Paul in the unusual position of hoping for a positive result for Skryne in their match against Clann. All support for the lads will be greatly appreciated.

Waterstown Panel :Daniel Murphy; Luke Cullen; Darren Finnegan; Ross Reynolds; Jack Doyle (2-0); Conor Farrelly (0-1); Eoghan McCague; Adam Cummins; Adam Barrett (Captain) (0-1f); Ryan Conway; Adam Treanor (0-3); Euan Burton (0-1); Andrew McConnell (0-1); Jamie Flynn (2-1); Conor McGuire. Substitutes: Timi Sowumni; Adam McCoy; Diarmuid Freeman (0-1); Eoin Cosgrave; Eoin Roche and Ronan Maxwell.

Thanks to Mark McGuire for match report.