County Championship 2022 Sept 10, 2022 11:14:54 GMT via mobile
Post by greengold35 on Sept 10, 2022 11:14:54 GMT
A fine crowd turned out to see a game of moderate quality. There is no doubt the return of Sam will ensure big crowds for all the games. Austin Stacks had to work hard to ensure what was deserved victory at the end, helped by Na Gaeil profligacy, in the opening half particularly.
Na Gaeil, aided by a very vocal support, started in whirlwind fashion and had the opening score from a Diarmuid O'Connor free for a foul on self. In all, I think he scored six from frees. I did not realise that was a noteworthy facet of his game. Not too long afterwards a long delivery reached Jack Sheehan, a lively full forward in the opening period. and after some trickery he belted home. Stacks replied with two points scored by ? . In my defence, depending on where I am seated, there is always a blind spot under lights for me. Last night it was on the terrace side at the Mitchells end. Paul O'Sullivan, a conspicuous performer, scored one but then Joseph O'Connor went off with a knee injury. At half time he crossed the field with the right knee heavily ice bandaged. Not sure if it is a recurrence of the injury he sustained against St. Finbarrs in the club championship. Around this time also it was noticeable that Jack O'Shea was limping. He reappeared in the second half,with a knee bandaged, but not for long. It looked as if Na Gaeil had got through for another goal but Ben Quilter made a crucial close range save. The closing part of the opening half featured a great point from the ever threatening Shane O'Callaghan and two fine efforts from Conor Horan. Diarmuid clocked two further frees, one for a foul on Jack Barry who had minimal impact on the game.
Damien Bourke, a solid character at CHB for Na Gaeil, opened the second half scoring. This was followed by a point from Mick O'Donnell after a galloping run when he blazed over and, with more composure, might have blazed under. Then the O'Sullivan brothers from Valentia played their part for their adopted parish. Brendan, he replaced Joseph O'Connor, put a beautiful ball through to David Mannix who turned instantly and slung over. Not too long afterwards Paul delivered a similar ball to the same man who turned instantly and slung over. David got three from play and was a big handful. Diarmuid tacked on a couple of more frees. More drama was to follow when the Stacks keeper was black carded for a deliberate pull down. Wayne Guthrie came on and Sean Quilter was sacrificed at the other end. Shane O'Callaghan got a great point after he had previously been fouled for which David Mannix exacted revenge. This steadied the nerves of the Rockies after the black card setback. Mike O'Donnell kicked another point after being supplied by that dinosaur, KD. He came on instead of Sean Quilter after expiry of the black card. Towards the end he made a key interception in front of his own goal when Na Gaeil were fighting for their lives. Still a wily old fox and could yet be a key man if injuries threaten to upscuttle Stacks.
Ovarall, Stacks were good and slick at times but too often looked vulnerable when Na Gaeil ran at them. Disappointingly, they resorted to fouling too often in the second half when under pressure at the back and I felt perhaps another black card or two could have been issued to improve their manners. They will worry about the seriousness of the injuries to Joseph and Jack O'Shea but will be reassured by the second half coming of Dylan Casey who seemed to be running freely. As already stated, the sighting of the old warhorse gambolling about will be a source of consolation as well.
Na Gaeil threatened more than they achieved which is reflected on a total of nine scores, as against fourteen. They would have been expecting more from the likes Jack and Andrew Barry. Diarmuid was effective but I felt the best midfielder on view was Mike O'Donnell who was ably assisted by Michael O'Gara who switched out there to replace Joseph O'Connor.
Thought that Diarmuid & Jack Barry were Na Gaeil’s best players along with Damien Burke & Dan Goggin - Diarmuid held the middle, got forward whilst Jack did the dirty defensive work - Michael O’Donnell wasn’t as prominent to my eye as you suggest - both Mannix & O’Callaghan were well ahead of him from a Stacks perspective.