Senior Championship (Backdoor) – Sat. 5th May 2007
Clontarf 0-12 V Trinity Gaels 1-11 [ Half Time: 0-8, 1-4 ]
“Gaels blow Clontarf's lead away”
Clontarf must wait another year for a win in the Dublin Senior Championship after a heart breaking defeat to Division 1 side Trinity Gaels in Portmarnock last weekend.
Injuries to three vital players, Brian Stokes prior to the match, Aidan Morrisey in the first half and Stephen Coen early in the second half contributed greatly to this narrow two point defeat. Despite these setbacks, Clontarf were in the game right up to the final whistle and might have been awarded a very kickable free in the final moments after a foul on Shane Barrett. However referee Timmy McCarthy chose to wave play on and Trinity Gaels moved the ball up the field for the insurance point with the final kick of the game.
Clontarf started strongest and ran into a six point lead by the 22nd minute 0.8 – 0.2 with all their scores coming from play … Paddy Curran (3), Shane Barrett (2), Donovan Rossi (1), and a point each from midfielders Kevin Devine and Neil Shanahan. Clontarf were playing sparkling football, much of it beginning with the outstanding Aidan Morrissey at centre half back. The heavy knock to Morrissey’s hip in the 23rd minute proved to be a critical turning point. Between then and half time, Trinity Gaels clawed their way back into the match with an unanswered 1.2. The goal was especially disappointing as it came about from a breakdown in play in the Clontarf forward line where instead of a Clontarf point, less than ten seconds later the ball was in the back of the Clontarf net. Trinity Gaels did enjoy some goof fortune however as the first shot ricocheted off full back Damien Fennelly’s head into the arms of a waiting Trinity Gaels forward. Despite Rossa O’ Briens’ great dive, the ball was blasted to the net. At half time, Clontarf’s lead had been reduced to just one point 0.8 – 1.4.
Morrissey made way at half time leading to a reshuffling in the half back line with Stephen Coen moving to no. 6 and Damien Mullins entering the fray to take up Coen’s wing back position. The second half was a very tight affair with neither side creating a goal scoring opportunity and putting over just eleven points between them … unfortunately Trinity Gaels outscoring Clontarf by three points – 7 points to four points (Shane McIntyre 0.1, Shane Barrett 0.1 and Dara O’ Brien 0.2) leaving the final score at 1.11 – 0.12.
On the day, there were solid performances from all Clontarf’s players most clearly Aidan Morrissey in those first 23 minutes, up to his injury, when he controlled play, Kevin Devine in midfield who won lots of ball and used his pace to set up several attacks, Shane Dunlea who appeared to enjoy the greater space in the half forward line and the full back line who were very solid and dealt well with the lightening pace of both Trinity Gael’s corner forwards. Man of the match – Darren Lambert .. not just for a great certain goal saving block mid way through the second half but for his overall performance over the sixty minutes.