Senior football v Kilmacud Croke’s, League, Páirc Úí Mhurchú, 3 March 2019

In the dressing room, before this match, Manager Anthony Rainbow welcomed two new members to the Club, Tom Hayes from Cavan and Lewis Cawley from Mayo. We all wish them many happy and successful years with the Club. As usual now for many years, our first home senior football league match was sponsored by George King-Craft Butcher, Barton Drive, Rathfarnham. Thanks George. We ask our supporters to support our sponsors, please.

Both teams started without their county players, but the home team was hit with the withdrawal, through injury, of Aran Waters following the warm up. Also missing were Cathal Flaherty and Shane Clayton and we wish Shane a quick recovery from his illness. We also lost Daragh Nelson to injury five minutes into the second half.

But this is where the strength in depth of a panel comes into play. And the replacements did not disappoint. Croke’s were first to score when a speculative shot hopped over the bar and they made it two points to no score a few minutes later. It took the home team 10 minutes to register its first score, Ross McGarry scoring a point from a free. However, in the period before that, we had three wides and four balls dropped into the grateful hands of the Croke’s goal keeper. In this period also, the home full back line of Brian Bobbett, Bob Dwan and Kieran Kennedy, were giving very little space to the Croke’s forwards and were also pressing forward to assist the midfielders and forwards. Croke’s scored two more points before Ross McGarry scored again from a free to leave the home side two points behind after 15 minutes. On 16 minutes, Tom Hayes made his club debut, as a blood sub for Luke O’Donoghue, and announced his arrival by slotting a point before Luke came back on and Tom reverted to the bench. While Croke’s responded with another point from play, Declan O’Mahony, with a pointed free from a narrow angle near the right-hand side line, and Ross McGarry from play, made it five points each at half time.

Tom Hayes replaced Kieran O’Reilly at half time and after three minutes he was involved, with Darren O’Reilly, in setting up Sean Gibbons for a fisted point. Croke’s responded with four points in a row to pull three points ahead. However, in the space of two minutes Sean Gibbons again scored a point to reduce the deficit and from the kick out, Johnny Murphy (who replaced Darragh Nelson) fielded and fed Ross McGarry who passed to Darren O’Reilly who finished to the net. Darren added a point a minute later. The home side’s lead did not last long as Croke’s scored a goal a few minutes later to put them one point ahead with less then 10 minutes to play. The home side squandered a few good point chances before Tom Hayes slotted over to bring the sides level again. With less than five minutes left, Croke’s went a point ahead but Tom again came to the rescue with a levelling point with time almost up. The final whistle blew a couple of minutes later with both sides probably happy to have gained something out of the match while thinking they could have won both points.

TEAM: Darragh Gogan; Brian Bobbett; Bob Dwan; Kieran Kennedy; Darragh Nelson; James Holland; Tom Hanafin; Declan O’Mahony; Donagh McCabe; Luke O’Donoghue; Darren O’Reilly; Kieran O’Reilly; Ross McGarry; Sean Gibbons; Warren Egan. SUBS USED: Tom Hayes; Johnny Murphy; Mikey Dunne; Lewis Cawley.