Snr Town League: Austin Stacks 4-8; Kerins O’Rahillys 2-8.
This second game of the season (round 3 of the Town League) played on a dry afternoon (9th Feb) in Connolly Park produced some good passages of play by both sides. Shane O’Callaghan opened the scoring with a pointed free in the 4th minute but we then had four uncharacteristic wides during the next eight minutes before Rahillys struck for their opening score in the 13th minute, a well-taken goal, followed by a point two minutes later. Points from Darragh Scanlon, Gearóid Fitzgerald and Shane O’Callaghan (free) to one for the visitors had us still trailing by a point (1-2 to 0-4) with eight minutes of the first half remaining. But two goals in the space of four minutes gave us an advantage that we never relinquished from then on.
The first came in the 23rd minute when a beautifully floated ball by Wayne Guthrie was won by Shane O’Callaghan who made his way through the Rahillys defence for a our opening goal of the game. Then it was Calla again on target, this time from the penalty spot after he himself was fouled. As half time approached Fiachna Mangan had a point and then deep in added time Rahillys got through for their second goal to leave us three ahead at the break (2-5 to 2-2).
The Strand Road boys had a very good start to the second half, scoring two points inside the first two minutes, to reduce our lead to the bare minimum (2-5 to 2-4). Our opening score came in the 35th minute, another Shane O’Callaghan pointed free, followed a minute later by our third goal of the game – put away beautifully by Gearóid Fitzgerald who was one of our chief MF goalscorers during the past two seasons (14 goals in 2017 and 19 in 2018). Donagh McKivergan was our first substitute to be introduced in the 37th minute and he was just a minute on the pitch when he put over.
Our last two scores of the game came from that Man of the Match, Shane O’Callaghan. The first was from a pointed free in the 41st minute and then in the 50th it was Donagh Mac who put him through for our 4th goal of the afternoon and Calla’ hat-trick – the second hat-trick of his Senior career, to add to the one he secured in a Co. League game against Castleisland Desmonds two years ago. It was good to see last year’s All Ireland MF medal winner, Seán Quilter, making his Senior Club debut and he did very well when introduces during the second half.
Team: Barry Galvin, Colin Griffin, John Dennis, Paul Galvin, Jack O’Shea, Ronan Shanahan, Ciarán O’Connell, Wayne Guthrie, Conor Jordan (Capt), David Fitzmaurice, Fiachna Mangan (0-1), Darragh Scanlon (0-1), Shane O’Callaghan (3-4 – one penalty goal and four frees), Gearóid Fitzgerald (1-1), Fergal Ryan .
Subs: Donagh McKivergan (37m) (0-1), Paul Barrett (44m), Seán Quilter (48m), Shane Kelliher (54m), Andrew Morrissey (57m), Eoghan Galvin (57m).
The 4th and last round of the League, away to Ballymac, is scheduled to go ahead on Sunday week (24th Feb).