Shamrocks 0-8, Valley Rovers 0-14
Shamrocks went into this game not really knowing what to expect as the 21’s had been withdrawn from the championship due to lack of interest from players, training numbers had been relatively small and a ball had barely been touched. Valleys, who put out a team with a number of under 21’s who were up to recent championship speed, deserved their win at a windy Shanbally on Sunday morning.
The strong wind blew up the pitch, quite unusual for the Track. Valley Rovers had the advantage of playing with it in the first half and they used it well, especially in a devastating 5 minute spell before half time when they scored 5 points in that time. Up until that point, the home side had done enough to lead 4 points to 3 with some excellent moves put together, none more so than the one resulting in Joey Bradys delightful point on 20 minutes, a flowing move that started with Fergus O’Neill in the goal and ended with the ball hitting the net behind the goal at the other end. This had followed some earlier efforts from Seanán Collins and Stephen Keane, and the game was evenly balanced. Then Shamrocks just went to sleep in that 5 minute period, they couldnt win any kickouts and it was point after point after point. HT 0-8 to 0-4 for the visitors.
The second half started brightly and inside 2 minutes Philip Brady drove a piledriver just over the bar and it looked like game on. Valley Rovers however controlled the next 10 minutes and added a few points to their score before their keeper made an excellent one handed save from Seanán Collins to deny Shamrrocks a much needed goal. There was still 6 points in it with about 15 minutes to go but once again Shamrocks upped their game to score the next 2 points from Darragh O’Sullivan and Brady. However, O’Sullivan had the opportunity to bring it back to a three point game from right in front of the posts but he fluffed his lines and the ball spent the last 10 minutes at the other end of the field, Rovers adding on 2 points to leave 6 points between the teams at the end.
Training continues this week Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Shamrocks were down a massive 8 players from last years championship. Some players seemed to have disappeared off the face of the planet…where are they? Shamrocks had only 16 players togged off today – not a good start to what we hope will be a long year.
Team: F. O’Neill, J. Tuohy, C. Brady, D. O’Neill, R. Harrington, C. Kidney, S. Andrews, A. McCarthy, P. Lordan, S. Keane, E. O’Mahony, P. Brady, J. Brady, S. Collins, D. O’Sullivan. Sub used – S. O’Reilly.