Junior A League AFL 6 – Report Sun. 24th September 2006
St. Finnian (Swords) 2-5 V Clontarf 1-10 [ Half Time: 1-4, 1-5 ]
“North County Dublin Roadtrip Woes Continue” A season of near misses continued for the Junior A team on Sunday in Nevinstown against fellow league strugglers St. Finnians.
The final result could not have been predicted after the early exchanges which saw Clontarf dominate at mid-field through Brain Keenan and Fergal Lynch and contribute three early points. Finnians stayed in touch with two points. The first came from a free awarded after full back Robbie Stokes was judged to have pushed his opponent in a tussle for a loose ball. The second fisted score from play after Brian Cotter let a loose ball fall from his grasp to set up an attack. Clontarf redoubled their efforts and struck for a goal scored by minor debutant Grer Carey after Finnians failed to deal with a long ball. This was followed by a Stephen McGinn pointed free to leave Clontarf four points ahead and looking good. However before the halftime break this lead was surrendered and became a one point deficit. The first danger came when a quick Finnian's free found an un-marked midfielder in a scoring position from which he duly obliged. This was followed with an incident which saw Conor Glavey have the dubious honour of scoring an own point when reacting to a desparate blockdown from Eoghan O'Grady on as a blood sub for Conor Keane. This was capped by the awarding of a "soft" penalty when Neil Arthur was judged to have tripped his marker in the midst of a Finnians attack where the ball had already gone wide. Neil's contact with his opponenmt was minimal but the fall was enough for referee McAllister to point to the 13 metre line. A well hit kick found the net. The scores were now level which 10 minutes earlier had looked an unlikely outcome and with the initiative swinging their way Finnians added a further point from a free before the break.
Colm Cunnane was introduced at halftime for the injured Robbie Stokes with Conor Glavey moving to fullback. The second half opened with Finnians adding two further points from frees and nothing appearing to go right for Clontarf. The introduction of Karl Spellman and Eoghan O'Grady for Carey and Neil Mullins saw "evergreen" O'Grady profit with a well hit goal which followed from a ball broken by Spellman. With the scores level again this looked like it would be the platform for Clontarf to win. However it was Finnians who were spurred to greater efforts and before the game ended they had added four more points from play while the only reply from Clontarf was a lone Stephen McMorrow point. The second half saw some good passages of play from Clontarf with good support play and interchange passing but too often this approach work resulted in nothing. While at the other end turnovers and failures to deal with the long ball saw Finnians get the vital scores.
Best for Clontarf over the hour were Conor Keane, Kieran Murray and Brian Keenan.
Clontarf Scorers:Ger Carey 1-0, Eoghan O'Grady 1-0, Brain Keenan 0-2, Fergal Lynch 0-1, Stephen McGinn 0-1 (f), Stephen McMorrow 0-1