Shamrocks 2-7, Tracton 1-9
Shamrocks Junior A Footballers are into the quarter finals of the championship at the first time of asking after a deserved 1 point win over old rivals Tracton in Camden on Sunday evening.
Shamrocks opened at a blistering pace and had 1-3 on the board inside the first 10 minutes, without reply from Tracton. The diagonal breeze and hill was in their favour and they supplied quick fast ball to the forwards inside. The ever dangerous Joseph Shanahan emphatically buried his own penalty and Brian Sweeney curled over two huge frees in that time. Things were looking rosy in the Shamrocks garden at this stage of the proceedings.
However, Tracton gradually found their feet and started to make inroads into the Shamrocks attack, forcing numerous fouls which they were punishing with points. They really stretched their dominance 5 minutes before halftime when another run through the middle drew the cover, the ball was released inside to the spare man and he rolled it under Fergus O’Neill. Suddenly, Tracton were 1-5 to 1-3 ahead playing against the elements.
Shamrocks responded with 2 great points from play in the lead up to halftime from Joseph Shanahan and Seanán Collins and in the greater scheme of things, these were massive psychological scores for Shamrocks as they turned to face breeze, hill and of course a formidable Tracton outfit. HT 1-5 apiece.
The second half was a tough, tight affair. Tracton went ahead early on but Shamrocks refused to cave in. They battled hard and the backs in particular were magnificient, constantly putting pressure on the Tracton man in possession, of which they did dominate. Shamrocks clung on with a well worked point from Barry Mulqueen. Tracton went ahead and Shamrocks responed in kind through Joe Shanahan. Tracton then went ahead by the bare minimum again with 8 minutes to go and had the advantage.
However, the Shamrocks tenacity paid off as a “speculative” Sweeney pointed effort fell short at the edge of the square and Michael O’Neill, who had drifted into the space on many occasions before without receiving any ball, was on hand to tip home the dropping ball amongst a pile of bodies.
Shamrocks were now 2 points up and had to withstand the usual Tracton onslaught. They held on for a one point win that sets them up nicely over the coming months as the next round probably wont be played until the summer time at least.
A great team performance where every one of the players used left it all out on the pitch, a just reward for the training and effort thats gone into the team since the start of February. But as manager Mark Hickey said afterwards, nothing is won yet so its all hands on deck in both hurling and football from now on.
There’s a hurling match V Carrigaline in Carrigaline this coming Thursday at 8pm, so there’ll be a puck around this Tuesday at 7pm; the bounce factor this win should give should be evident for all to see in the club. Lets get everyone out playing and training!!!
Panel: F. O’Neill, S. Andrews, S. Hurley, M. Prout, M. O’Neill, R. Harrington, C. Kidney, B. Mulqueen, B. Sweeney, G. Prout, D. Hayes, C. Caffrey, D. O’Sullivan, S. Collins, J. Shanahan. Subs used – S. O’Reilly, D. Scriven, J. Browne. Subs not used – J. Wilson, A. McCarthy, S. Downey, S. Keane, R. Twomey, C. O’Grady, S. Kidney.