Senior Football 2007
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|Eire Og||0-03||1-12||St Enda's||L|
|St Agnes||2-19||0-11||Eire Og||L|
|Eire Og||1-08||0-08||St Malachy's||W|
|St Paul's||1-11||1-10||Eire Og||L|
|Gort na Mona||1-10||0-05||Eire Og||L|
|St Malachy's||1-07||3-05||Eire Og||W|
|St Enda's||0-04||1-14||Eire Og||W|
|Eire Og||0-08||1-15||St Agnes||L|
|Eire Og||0-09||2-14||Gort na Mona||L|
|St Paul's||0-11||0-07||Eire Og||L|
St Enda's 1-12 v Eire Og 1-03
A very poor performance for the first match of the season from the Ogs against a team they really should be picking points up from. Whether it was lack of pre-season fitness or the more likely hangover from the previous day’s Naomh Pádraig festivites, the Ogs were permanently second to the ball and unable to track back when the half backs broke through. The Ogs got together some nice passages of play resulting in good scores but these were few and far between and much more fluid play will be required to prevent relegation to Division 5 this season
St Agnes 2-19 v Eire Og 0-11
Poor performance overall from the Ogs again for the second week running but a definite improvement over the previous weeks game, even if it wasn’t reflected in the scoreline. The Ogs stayed with their fellow Woodlands residents for the start of this encounter, but as the game progressed and particularly in the second half, ill discipline, lack of shape, fitness and speed and some reasonably contestable refereeing decisions all contributed to the Ogs downfall.
Eire Og 1-08 v St Malachy's 0-08
A game of two halves or any other number of tired cliches could best describe a very sloppy performance from the Ogs but more critically it was the resolve to fight back and the all important 2 points on the board that should be remembered.
After 2 defeats on the trot against St Enda’s and St Agnes, it was essential for the Ogs to get a win against bottom of the table St Malachy’s. The Ogs played excellently in the first half with Dino McMullen knocking over a few frees and other scores from Mark Matthews, Gaggs McLaverty and Niall Cochrane. Good fluid play and a solid defence, including a cameo performance from the ever youthful Conor Muldoon standing in for a broken nosed Rowan in nets kept the Markets men at bay and the Ogs went in 0-07 to 0-01 at half time.
The second half told a different story with nothing seeming to go right for the Ogs. Poor decision making and errant passing let St Malachy’s back into the game with 7 unanswered scores in the first 25 minutes of the half to take a one point lead. Their lead would have been greater except for some fine defensive work and point blank saves from Conor Muldoon. Somehow, miraculously, late in the game, the Ogs managed to get the ball up the field and Sean McKenna slotted it over to even the game up with 2 minutes left on the clock. This revitalised the Ogs and the solid passing and movement of the first half returned. Sean Mckenna again broke across the St Malachy’s defensive line and launched a shot that initially looked to be going high and wide but fell into the box and sneaked under the bar (with almost Paul Taggart-esque type luck) with the keeper seemingly blindsided from the bright sunshine for the Ogs to take a 3 point lead and the victory. Rowan Vernon, in a humble and consolatory manner on the sideline, was of course quick to come out in the defence of his opposite number, pointing out that it very easily could and often does happen to even the best keepers.......
Rossa 0-09 v 1-15 Eire Og
Great performance from the Ogs to thoroughly over-run Rossa in every single part of the field. The Ogs seemed to be first to every ball and picked up every bit of loose possession. The Rossa men battled away to try to stay in touching distance of the Ogs with a few good scores but even with the frees given away in front of goal, they were never able to step up on this occasion.
St Paul's 1-11 v 1-10 Eire Og
This was a match the Ogs threw away with a dismal performance in the second half to let St Paul's back in and eventually score a winner with the last kick of the game. The Ogs took the game to St Paul's well in the first half leading by several points at half time but as has been key too many times the season, second half complacency lets the Shaws road men back in. Not to deride the comeback from St Paul's but too many sloppy frees, men coming through unmarked and a lack of concentration from the Ogs was what beat them in the end.
Gort Na Mona 2-10 v 0-05 Eire Og
Difficult match for the Ogs against the league leaders. Whether it was over exertions from the night before or otherwise, the players couldn’t deal with the frantic pace of the game. The Ogs did show a lot of their potential putting together a nice few passages of plays resulting in good scores but too many misses and sloppy play let the Gorts record a good victory to maintain their position in the league
Rasharkin 5-07 v 0-05 Eire Og
Discipline was the key to this under par performance for the Ogs. Things started brightly with the Ogs, playing with the wind, having the lead for most of the first half. However with most of the decisions going against the Ogs, frustrations started to boil over and in one outburst our resident male nurse got himself an early shower. Rasharkin were able to then level the scores by half time. With the wind in their back and the extra man, Rasharkin successfully played a long ball game and were knocking scores for fun by the end of it. 2 points thrown away far too easily by the Ogs.
St Malachy's 1-07 v 3-05 Eire Og
Ill discipline was also prevalent in this game at Cherryvale. The Ogs started well and played the Marketsmen off the park. The usual bickering started between the teams as seems to happen every time the teams come together. A small melee ensued with various spats popping up all over the pitch. With order restored and two men (a small msg of condolence here obviously for captain fantastic and mr ”two fingers” george) sent off from each team (it could easily have been more with the ref was ready to abandon the match) the game was able to get back to a relative level of normality. The Ogs dug deep and held on to claim the second victory of the season against St Mals
St Enda's 0-03 v 1-15 Eire Og
The Ogs showed how the game can be played with this match at Woodlands. St Endas, who coincidentally had a senior match at the same time, couldn’t keep up with the Ogs and surrendered most of the possession in the first half. Poor choices and wayward shooting from the Ogs though kept the score limited to 0-5 to 0-2 in the first half. A little half time rollicking from Coach Browning ensured that there would be no complacency from the Ogs. A great performance from the entire team in the second half limited the North Belfast men to a single point and ensured a good win for the Ogs
Eire Og 0-04 v Rossa 0-08
After the beating the Ogs had handed out to the Rossa men in their first encounter of the season, it was really no surprise that they showed up with a few of their first team to bolster their team up. Higher division players or not, the Ogs showed their potential to be a better team than their league position with a spirited performance in the first half to keep the score within one point. Again a poor second half let the Rossa men pull those few crucial points away to record the victory. Poor shooting and decision making throughout the team were key to this loss
Eire Og 0-08 v St Agnes 1-15
The Ogs never really got into this match against their Woodlands rivals. It was yet another game of sloppy misses, bad decision making and a poor second half performance. The Ogs had managed to stay within a few points of the Aggies for most of the match until during the second half when a poor period of play let them pull a few points ahead. Crossed wires/ lack of communication/split-second indecision or whatever you might choose to call it in the defence lead to a certain nameless player (blow in from a country team!) being unable to prevent the Aggies getting a goal (whether it bounced off the post as said player valiantly raced back to prevent the score and off his head and into the net without him knowing anything about it is entirely up to speculation). From there, the lead was unassailable and despite the best efforts of the Ogs to get back into the game, the Aggies put over a few more points to win the game comfortably.
Eire Og 1-08 v Cargin 3-12
Another performance where the Ogs deserved more than the 10 point defeat suggested. The Cargin men started very quickly in this rescheduled fixture and it was obvious that they had a lot of nippy minors and U21 players with them but as the first half progressed, the Ogs were able to keep it to within a few points. As with many games this season though, the misses and decision making were vital and the Erin Own men were able to pull away in the second half with a comprehensive victory
A good first round win in the championship for the Ogs but the score was way more flattering to Lisburn than it should have been in awful conditions. Coach Muldoon demanded a win against the Division 6 side and in the first half, the Ogs stepped up to show what they can do. They dominated all over the park, winning catch after catch, sweeping up every free ball and not letting the Lisburn men get a single score despite the home field (I use the term “field” literally) advantage.
In the second half, it started much the same with the Ogs dominating the game but complacency crept in and the Ogs started to let up. Coach Muldoon gave a few subs a run out and a few sloppy frees and one notch of indecision at the back, which gave the Lisburn men a goal, flattered the scoreline a little but it was obvious that the Ogs will need to play a lot better in the quarter finals against the Marketsmen of St Malachy’s.
Quarter Final: St Malachy's 2-14 v 1-17 Eire Og, August 1st
There was absolutely no give in this quarter final match against the St Malachy’s men up at St Teresa’s excellent pitch with a replay now being required to separate the teams. Eire Og had chances to win, but St Malachy’s will feel unlucky not to have won too. It was obvious given the history of the teams’ rivalry and along with the Ogs winning both league encounters this season, this was destined to be a heated affair. The Ogs came out strong right at the start as Coach Muldoon had demanded and knocked up 3 points to gain an early lead. The Marketsmen were quick to respond, though, and started piling up a few scores themselves. They put away seven unanswered scores, including a very well taken goal. Again however, the Ogs fought back well with a few points to bring the score to 1-04 to 0-6 in favour of St Malachy’s at half time.
The second half brought out the tempestuous nature of the encounter with a few feathers ruffled and handbags at dawn but thankfully with none of the needless melees that had soured the league fixtures. It was also as equally tight with St Malachy’s again pulling away for a small lead but with the inspired substitution of our resident male nurse (who had spent the first half changed out of his kit, huffing and holding his breath to turn his face red like a little girl), the Ogs were able to pull the gap back to a single point with only a few minutes in the game to go even with the best efforts in terms of gamesmanship from the St Malachy’s keeper. The Ogs forwards were ruthless in attack putting away points with Gareth ‘Gaggs’ McLaverty and Niall ‘Nibbles’ Rice leading the way with fine performances. Joe George was immense in defence sweeping up most balls that came his way with Jonny Quinn and Niall Cochrane buzzing around the middle of park being the starting point for many of the attacks. Colm McAuley and Damien ‘Dino’ McMullan played well in middle of the park with the latter safely slotting over a few frees.
Disaster almost struck in an action packed few minutes at the end of the match. The Marketsmen netted a goal to bring it the gap to 4 but in the very next attack the Ogs floated a ball into the box where Fra Grimley somehow (a surprise to us all given his winter weight) managed a fingertip touch above the St Malachy’s defence to put it in the back of the net. The Mals remonstrated with the ref that it was a square ball, (a charge Grimley dubiously denies and we choose not to question) but the game continued. With one of the final balls of the game, Gaggs held off his defender and ran through the St Malachy’s defence to slot over an excellent point under pressure to tie the game and bring it to extra time.
Extra time started brightly for the Ogs and they seemed to be in control. They changed around immediately at half time 2 points up without score. Again however, the marketmen turned it around and knocked over a few scores to again take the lead. In another flowing attack, Gaggs again broke free of his man and looked to be heading to the posts but as was now becoming the nature of the Mals defence, the player gave away a free to prevent a goal. This however, was a particularly vicious swipe and the ref had no option but to send the player for an early shower. The Ogs got what must have been their tenth wind by this point and scored to bring it to within 1 and again McLaverty slotted over in the final few seconds with an excellent point to save the draw for the Ogs.
Eire Og scorers were Gareth McLaverty (0-6), Fra Grimley(1-2), Damien McMullan(0-3), Niall Rice and Niall Cochrane(0-2 each).
Quarter Final Replay: Eire Og 2-10 v 0-08 St Malachy's, August 6th
An understrength Éire Óg side, due to injuries, holidays or work commitments, easily disposed of St Malachy’s in the replayed JFC quarter final. Playing with the wind in the first half they dominated the game. However St Malachy’s started strongly, pointing immediately from the throw in with keeper Rowan Vernon being called upon to produce a couple of excellent point blank saves and catches under pressure. Éire Óg regrouped and points from Gareth McLaverty(2) and Jonny Quinn and Fra Grimley(one apiece) gave the Ógs a 4-2 half time lead. It should have been more, but for poor finishing. Grimley had a goal disallowed for a square ball infringement and the Marketsmen keeper saved well from McLaverty in a one on one situation.
St Malachy’s again started the second half with a point straightaway. McLaverty replied with another point of his own before a free in, following a bad foul on Niall Rice, resulted in a penalty award to the Ógs. Despite some delay in actually taking the spot kick, Colm McAuley coolly sent the ball to the keeper’s left to give Éire Óg some daylight, 1-5 to 0-4. St Malachy’s immediately responded with another point. Not long after the penalty Éire Óg got a second goal, the ball, ricocheting off the crossbar, fell to Jonny Quinn who buried it in the back of the net. Second half substitute, Keyvan Vesali got a couple of good points when he came on. A few more points were added by McLaverty and Quinn but after the second goal the game was pretty much over. St Malachy’s tried to change things around and send some of their strong half back line up to the forward line to mix it up and they got a couple of scores towards the end of the game. At the end of the game St Malachy’s got a free on the 13 yard line and went for the goal but the Ógs, with half the team on the line, stood tall and twice kept the ball out of the net. After that the ref blew to give the Ógs an eight point victory.
This was an excellent display all over the pitch from Éire Óg. Keeper Vernon had a great game, the full back line put their bodies on the line time again to prevent St Malachy’s inside forwards any room, while the half backs mopped up any breaking ball in the middle of the pitch and produced excellent passes forward. The defence’s performance was epitomised by Fergal Gribben’s 20 yard chase back and last ditch tackle to deny St Malachy’s a certain point, and Neil Ryan’s double block at the start of the second half. McMullan and McAuley lorded midfield with some fine catches, while up front Quinn, McLaverty, Sloan, Grimley and Elliott caused all kinds of problems. Now a semi-final awaits Éire Óg against neighbours St Agnes – a repeat of the Martin Cup semi-final.
Semi Final: Eire Og 0-08 v 1-13 St Agnes, August 19th
St Agnes gained revenge for their Martin Cup semi final defeat at the hands of Éire Óg, by winning, quite comfortably, 1-13 to 0-08 in the Junior Football Championship at the same stage.
Playing against a strong breeze in the first half Éire Óg managed to hold the Aggies to a 5-2 interval deficit. It was a disappointing first half, with both teams guilty of poor finishing, loose passing and bad handling. St Agnes went into a two point lead before a Peter Elliott point from play halved their lead. The Aggies then hit three unanswered points before a Gareth McLaverty free just before half time gave the Ógs a lifeline.
Despite a heated atmosphere in the dressing room at half time the Ógs felt confident of capitalising on the wind in the second half to overhaul the Aggies and claim the JFC final place. However it was St Agnes who came out and hit four points without reply. The Ógs gathered themselves and both teams traded points – Éire Óg’s through a Colm McAuley sideline kick, four points from McLaverty(three frees) and a second from Elliott. A late St Agnes goal at the death polished off the Ógs.
It was a disappointing performance from Éire Óg, as they failed to perform. Only Kieran Ryan and Joe George showed well in defence, Damien McMullan battled in midfield while up front the forwards seemed to struggle with what little ball they received – only McLaverty came out with any credit. Substitute Keyvan Vesali had a great game in defence when he was introduced, but it was too little too late.
Éire Óg: R.Vernon; K.Ryan, J.George, F.Lynch; J.Quinn, N.Ryan, S.Holmes, D.McMullan, C.McAuley(0-1), G.McLaverty(0-5, 4 frees), P.Elliott(0-2), N.Cochrane, N.Rice, F.Grimley, E.Holmes
Subs: A.O’Reilly, K.Vesali, J.Hughes, G.O’Reilly, B.O’Hare(used), F.Gribben, C.Gracey, B.Sloan(unused)
St Paul’s Holywood 1-7 v 2-4 Éire Óg, 18th Feb, 2007
poor match against a second string Glenavy team(not even worthy of a
match report by the looks of it!)Eire Og headed up the A2 for their
annual pre-season friendly with the lads from Down.
Another good turn out left coach Browning with plenty of options to chop and change his team, even with a few key players missing. The first 5 minutes went well for the Ógs and Deano McMullan slotted over a few frees to give the Ógs the lead. The St Paul’s men got back into the game and even though an injury to Peter Elliott seemed to take the wind out of the Ógs, they only went in a point down at half time.
The second half was similar to the end of the first with a slightly disjointed performance from the Ógs. Some wayward passing and dodgy shooting let the St Paul’s men gain a 6 point lead going into the last ten minutes of the game.
The Ógs however were still battling hard the entire half and managed to turn it up a gear. Paul Taggart scored a goal – choose which version of events seems most likely:
1. In one glorious move, seeing the keeper off his line and with the Ógs being 6 points down with only a few minutes to go, Taggart produced one of his well known thunderous strikes to drive the ball top corner. (courtesy of Mr P.Taggart himself)
2. In reality however, Taggart scored another wonder fluke. He didn’t have enough leg to clear the crossbar with his attempted shot and somehow, it miraculously dipped over the keeper into the net.
Regardless of the “did he mean it or not???” debate, it did give the Ógs a second wind and they kept the pressure on St Paul’s. In injury time, Brendy "the sniper" Sloan amazed everybody by remaining on his feet to drive the ball into the net with one of the last kicks of the game to get the draw.
Up front, Nibbles and Emmet Holmes won most of the attacking ball with Deano taking the scores well when the opportunities from frees occurred. Overall the team produced a good battling performance against a tough opposition and deserved the draw.
We can only imagine however, what level of performance might be achievable if the precision, vision and determination of our resident male nurse, spice boy and gay icon Johnny Quinn was added to our collective unit. All mouth and no trousers – has he been seen at training?
Click here for details on these past seasons:
1948 Senior Football Champions!
1967 Junior Hurling Champions!
1978 Division 3 Champions!
1979 Beringer Cup Winners!
1984 Eire Og Tournament Winners!
1985 Intermediate Football Winners!
2001 Junior Football Champions!