Courcey Rovers 3-15 , Shamrocks 2-10
Shamrock suffered defeat in this first round tie at sunny Belgooly against a physically strong Courcey Rovers outfit. Shamrocks were slow out of the blocks in the first ten minutes and gave Courceys a head start of 2-2 to 0-0 before Shamrocks came up the field against the wind to register their first point. The first score settled the Shamrocks nerves and we began to play some decent football to pull the deficit back. Dave Barry was tasked with picking up Courceys danger man for the remainder of the hour and he did so with great endeavour and proved once again how good of a man marker he is. Shamrocks created three good goal chances in the last 15 minutes of the half but the Courceys defence stood firm and kept each one out. The teams traded points up until Shamrocks were rewarded for sticking to the task when Shane Downey blasted to the back of the Courceys net to get Shamrocks back in contention. Half time Score Courceys 2-9 Shamrock 1-6.
Shamrocks turned to play with the wind in the second half and needed a good start to eat into the Courceys lead. In the first minute, a long high ball into the square was fumbled by the Courceys keeper into the net to give Shamrocks the bit of luck that went against them in the first half. The scoreboard read 2-9 to 2-6, game on! Shamrock plugged away for the next 5 mins and needed a few points to keep momentum going but the Courceys defence again applied the pressure to limit Shamrocks to wayward shots. When Shamrocks had their luck at one end Courceys found it at the other end when a misplaced pass from a Courceys forward rebounded off his teammate into the path of the onrushing mid fielder who made no mistake in dispatching to the net. This was a hammer blow to Shamrocks who had done so well to get back in the game. Courceys tacked on a further two points to leave the score board reading 3-11 to 2-6. From then on Shamrocks were forced to create goal chances in a packed Courceys defence. Coby and Andy O Grady along with Cillian Hayes, Dave Andrews, Daragh Scriven and Shane Downey did their best to create opportunities but again the solid Courceys defence stood firm. We did manage to tack on a few points which is testament to the good attitude in this group of players who never threw in the towel.
Team (13 aside) Crisotoir Corkery, David Barry, Sean Kidney (Captain) Shane Kelleher, Mark Hitchmough, Joesph O Keeffe, Andrew O Grady, Coby O Grady, Cillian Hayes, Daragh Scriven, Daniel O Mahony, Davis Andrews and Shane Downey. Subs Ruairi Meighan, David O Sullivan, Shane Flavin, Cathal Murphy, Brendan Crowley and Damien Allen.