Minor Football League Div 3 – Report Mon. 19th March 2007
Clontarf 3-6, Whitehall CC 1-6 [ Half Time: 3-2, 1-3 ]
“Early strikes pave the way for victory” On a blustery, bitterly cold bank holiday Monday in St Anne’s, Cluain Tarbh Minors earned an excellent win against Whitehall Colmcilles. After losing their first game of the League to St Brigids in awful conditions it was important that they got their campaign back on track. Playing with the strong wind in the first half Clontarf set about their task with gusto and within the first 5 minutes rattled the Whitehall net with two goals. On both occasions good team play further out the field put corner forward Kevin Mc Grath into goal scoring positions and he clinically finished off his chances. These early scores settled the team and with the near gale force wind in their back Cluain Tarbh looked well set to press home their early advantage and the third goal duly arrived courtesy of Tommy O Connor after a mix up in the Whitehall defence. Leading by 3 goals after just 10 minutes of play and cruising Cluain Tarbh seemed to take their foot off the pedal and gradually Whitehall came back into the game. Three unanswered points gave Whitehall confidence and from a throw in on the Cluain Tarbh 20 metre line Whitehall were quickest to react to the breaking ball and their full forward struck a great shot past the helpless Etienne Corish in the Cluain Tarbh goal With 20 minutes gone it was game on and Cluain Tarbhs metal was now being tested to the full. The boys showed their fighting spirit and regained their early dominance to tack on two further points through Michael Wintersen and Kevin Mc Grath leaving the half time score at 3-2 to 1-3.
With the gale force wind behind Whitehall the second half was going to be tough and the resolve of Cluain Tarbh surely tested. From the start of the second half Cluain Tarbh set about the task of defending their lead with great passion and heart. Half time tactical positional switches put Ger Carey to centre back from midfield where his physical strength and size would be important in defending the lead in testing conditions. The back line as a unit was outstanding in the second half. The half time instructions to avoid needless fouls in scoring positions was followed to the letter, with few if any frees conceded throughout the second half as the boys harried, hassled and hustled Whitehall into wide after wide. Within 10 minutes of the restart Cluian Tarbh had not only denied their opponents a score but had extended their lead to 7 points. Whitehall were not dead yet and fought back with 3 unanswered points to close the lead to just 4 points with 10 minutes remaining. Hearts began a flutter on the sideline as the much needed win looked to be ebbing from our grasp but Cluain Tarbh boys were not for beating today and stuck to their task with Chris Spellman and John Lyons, from corner back adding late scores to seal victory by six points. All in all an excellent contest in very testing conditions with Cluain Tarbh showing great skill and passion. A wholehearted team performance with contributions from every member of the squad being rewarded with the first win of the season. Na Fianna, in St Anne’s on Sunday April 1st at 11.00 am is the next fixture for the minors.
Scorers K Mc Grath 2-2 , T O Connor 1-0 , C Spellman 0-2 , M Wintersen 0-1 , J Lyons 0-1