Minor Town League: Austin Stacks 5-5 (20); Ballymac 4-8 (20).
After a very entertaining hours football played under lights in Connolly Park on this Tuesday evening (4th Feb) the sides could not be separated in this opening round of the Town League. Played in relatively ideal conditions for this time of the year we got off to the perfect start with Jimmy Charles putting over the first score of the game after just 33 seconds. Then four minutes later Cian Purcell did all the hard work himself when he send a ground ball to the net. Ballymac, however got off the mark two minutes later when they got through for a goal and then in the 15th minute they went ahead for the first time in the game with a second goal. It was point for point then during the second quarter with both sides scoring three each – two of Ballymac’s points coming from frees and all our three coming from play by three different scorers, Greg Scanlon, Cian Purcell and Gavin Slattery. This left the visitors two ahead at the break (2-3 to 1-4).
We had a brilliant start to the second half, scoring 4-1 without reply inside the first ten minutes. Two of those goals came from Cian Purcell, who has been playing some brilliant colleges football over the past few weeks, with the other two coming from Greg Scanlon and Luke Chester who also scored that point. Very few at the game would have predicted that we wouldn’t score again for the rest of the game. But that’s exactly what happened while Ballymac whittled away our lead with score after score until they netted the equalizing goal in the 63rd minute of the game to claim a well-deserved draw.
Eight of our eighteen who lined out on the night were making their Minor debuts and all eight had very impressive performances – Cillian Litchfield, Johnny Feely, Evan Foley, Kevin Barry, Gearóid Kilgallen, Gavin Slattery, Donncha Fox and Cian Dillane. All our other ten players played exceptionally well also, but it would be hard to overlook the performance of Cian Purcell who gave a Man of the Match display, culminating in his hat-trick of goals.
Team: Cillian Litchfield, Ciarán Kelliher, Luke Chester (1-1), Johnny Feely, Evan Foley, Kevin Barry, Gearóid Kilgallen, Niall Fitzmaurice, Mervyn Shalemba, Gavin Slattery (0-1), Greg Scanlon (1-1), Donnacha Fox, James Charles (0-1), Cian Purcell (3-1), Conor Kavanagh.
Subs used: Matthew Browne (24m), Cian Dillane (ht), Gavin Duffy (48m).
We now have another home against Na Gaeil in round 2 of the competition which has been fixed for next Tuesday evening (11th Feb) at 6.15. The 3rd and final round will be against Kerins O’Rahillys on a date yet to be confirmed. And then of the following Saturday (15th Feb) the Co. League commences with a home for us against Rathmore at 3.30pm.