Game 1 – The Shams v  The Gurriers

There was another good player turnout for week 2 of the Floodlit Cup last Friday 20th. Fifty five players were present at Sancta Maria for the second round of the tournament however, despite mild weather conditions which were perfect for football, Gurrier Conor Morris was absent again.His Gurrier team featured in game one of the night when they lined up against the Shams.

Despite the presence of Ken Murray and Bren Young, the vastly experienced senior football citizens, the Gurriers struggled from the start. As always, Ken gave 110% on the field and Bren was notably fitter than he had appeared in the previous week. But Shams Graham Ward, Joe Marrinan and Mick O’Dwyer were in flying form and were always a threat. Actually, to be honest, Mick O’Dwyer had a very quiet first half but he pleaded to be mentioned for his contribution to the game, so there you are, he’s mentioned!
Several beautiful long range points from Wardy were the highlight of the first half and the Shams reached halftime leading by 1-08 to 0-05.

The Gurriers continued to struggle in the second half and the Shams pulled further away when they scored another goal. Although having a very quiet game, O’Dwyer claimed it as his, however, most people in the crowd said Colm/Calum/Colum Reade scored it! Wardy scored more long range points and several fans observed that he wasn’t wearing the frilly (but sensual) head gear he had been wearing the previous week. This must have helped his shooting because it was brutal in week 1.

The Shams were leading by an absolute country mile and cruising when referee Tony Lennon awarded what appeared to be a soft and sympathetic penalty to the Gurriers. Gurrier Declan Walsh, who continues to have a good tournament, stepped forward and absolutely buried the spot kick. The ball was travelling like a missile and Sham goalie Ger Flah moved quicker than he has all season just to get out of the way. He claimed afterwards he was trying to save the penalty but all of the lads agreed that he only ever moves out of the way that quickly when it’s his round.

The Gurriers continued to fight back and another goal and a point brought them back to within 2 points. It was another nervous last few minutes for Shams manager Ben Molloy but they held out to win 2-12 to 3-07.

The most controversial moment of the match was Martin Potato Murphy’s tremendously late shoulder charge-cum-tackle on Bren Young. To be honest, it was a thing of beauty; perfectly timed, perfectly executed, and absolutely illegal. But none of that is controversial! Nor the fact that Sham manager Ben Molloy told Potato at half time to target Younger in the second half!! Or the fact that referee Tony chose to ignore the tackle. It was only controversial because Potato was playing; he was supposed to be an assistant manager. When asked for a comment on the tackle Potato replied; “He was there wasn’t he? I had to hit him!!” Molloys comment on the episode is unprintable!Despite all of this all observers agreed it was tremendous to watch Younger as the red mist descended and he squared up to one his best friends!!

Game 2 – The Moaners v  The Bruisers

In the second game of the night, the Moaners took on the Bruisers and the Moaners picked up where they had left off the previous week. They carried on moaning!! Well, at least their management did!! Moaner Fee didn’t show up on the night (could possibly have been with Gurrier Morris) but Moaner Shields more than made up for his absence with a barrage of moaning and abuse that began with threatening texts to the tournament organisers on Friday afternoon, over five hours before throw in!!

It’s clear that Moaner management are solely intent on winning the tournament at all costs and are not interested in entering into the spirit of the Floodlit Cup which is based on enjoying football and having a bit of craic. It’s a pity because the players are all nice lads! The organisers feel that comments such as; “Take him out of it!!” ;  “Jayzuz, stop him for Christ’s sake!!”, and constant pitch incursions to remonstrate with the referee don’t reflect this spirit.

But enough about Tony’s carry on! What was the match like?The Moaners took command quickly and goals and points by Dearon Flash Gordon pushed them into an early lead. Donagh Farrell, who had run (ah, let’s be honest, walked) himself into the ground with exhaustion the previous week covering every blade of grass in the single square yard of pitch he occupied, decided to play in goal this week because he felt ‘a bit of a twinge’. He quickly did his best to try and cancel the deficit by getting out of the way of a Mick Myers trade mark flick-on to ensure it went into the net for the Bruisers. But more goals and more points by Flash Gordon restored and stretched the Moaner lead and at half time they were in front by 4-07 to 1-04.

Bruiser manager Brendan Moran gave his players a tongue lashing at half time and it’s fair to say none of them enjoyed it. They came out fired up for the second half and, although they began brightly, missed several goal chances that would have brought them back into the game. Moaner goalkeeper Donagh continued to do his best to get out of the way of everything that came his way but wayward shooting from Wally Durkin, Herro and Niall Murphy cost the Bruisers. Bruiser James McTiernan finally got a shot on target and, when Moaner goalkeeper Donagh successfully got out of the way to allow it into the net, it looked like there might be a chance for the Bruisers. This quickly appeared more likely when he let a third goal in through his hands! However, excellent long range points from Kevin O’Reilly and Kieran Brennan and even more goals and points from Flash Gordon maintained the Moaners lead.

The last real chance for the Bruisers was a penalty awarded to Gavin O’Gara following a particularly nasty foul by Moaner goalkeeper Donagh. (The Bruisers should, in fact, have had an earlier penalty when Moaner goalkeeper Donagh saved a goalbound shot from Mark Magahran with a studs up vicious foot block! Referee Paul Coffey waved play on but several of the fans thought he missed the incident because he was having a smoke at midfield). When O’Gara was finally awarded the penalty Shagsy, who is a real goalkeeper, decided he’d seen enough of Moaner Donagh and went in goal himself. Although the penalty was well struck and travelling like a bullet, Shagsy made a tremendous save and ended the Bruisers slim hopes of a comeback. Moaner Donagh subsequently tried to claim that he was between the posts and had made this tremendous save. Sad really.

Flash Gordon added more goals and more points and the final score was 6-10 to 3-08 in favour of the Moaners.Dearon Flash Gordon wants everyone to know that he scored 2-02 on the day.

At the end of week 2 the Shams and the Moaners continue to lead the way with four points each.
Next Friday 27th the Shams meet the Moaners and the Gurriers face the Bruisers.
All players should meet again at Sancta Maria at 7.30pm.

John Ennis took the ignominious title of first player to be ‘sin binned’ in the tournament when yellow carded by referee Paul Coffey. John plays for the Moaners and tournament organisers are investigating if he was put up to it by his Moaner manager.
Tournament organisers wish to thank Tony Lennon and Paul Coffey for refereeing the games on the night.
Finally, four new players who have joined the tournament will be randomly assigned to a team (ie one player per team) for next Fridays games (27th). The players are Ronan O’Donoghue, Martin Murphy, Karol Cronin and Bob Dwan. Teams will be notified accordingly.