Senior AIB Cup – Sat. 24th April 2007
Clontarf 1-13 V Erin's Isle 0-9 [ Half Time: 0-7, 0-7 ]
“Clontarf rebound in style”
The Seniors bounced back from the disappointment of a five point defeat (3.10 – 2.8) against Ballinteer St. Johns in the first round of the Senior Championship to record a great win versus Erins Isle. ‘Isles’ were top of the cup division and had overcome a fancied Thomas Davis side in their first round championship encounter. Clontarf’s victory was due further credit given the absence of several first team regulars including Aidan Morrisey, Shane Dunlea, Dara O’ Brien, Darren Lambert and Stephen Coen.
These absences due to a combination of injuries and work commitments gave several players the opportunities to impress. And impress they did … with Fergus Clifford solid in defence and Stephen McGinn and Neil Mullins very impressive in attack.
Clontarf started the strongest and got an early point off the boot of centre forward Shane Barrett. Erins Isle however quickly equalised and this was to be the story of the half as each Clontarf point was almost immediately cancelled out by an Isles score. Half time score was 0.7 – 0.7 – all Clontarf’s scores coming from play via Barrett (2), McGinn (2), Cian Reidy, Donovan Rossi and Paddy Curran.
The management team pulled a master stroke by introducing Eoghan O’ Grady at half time for the injured Shane McIntyre. O’ Grady proceeded to win every ball working particularly well with Rossi, with whom he set up the only goal of the match as well as feeding Reidy and Barrett for well taken points, and winning a free dispatched by Paddy Curran.
The 1-6 posted by Clontarf in that second half was more than enough to take the spoils as a very good defensive display in the second half, which included very solid performances from all the backs, including Damien Mullins in an unfamiliar wing back position, held Isles to just two points.
The game will be remembered most however for the ‘miss of the century’ when Mark Coffey managed to not score when standing on the Isles goal line with the ball in hand. Fortunately his profligacy went unpunished as Clontarf ran out comfortable winners by seven points.
Difficult to pick a man of the match as all Clontarf players played well. Rossi certainly proved a great handful for the Isles full back throughout and did finish with 1.1 and on other days would have been awarded several 14 yard frees and a penalty but perhaps Shane Barrett given his total of 0-5 deserves special mention on this occasion.