OPENING POINTS FOR THE “MICHAELS”
Sunday February 10th 2019,
AFL Division 2, round 3
Full time: St. Michaels 1-12, Duleek Bellewstown 1-09,
Half time: St. Michaels 1-05, Duleek Bellewstown 1-05.
St. Michaels collected their first points of the campaign in this closely contested and entertaining contest played in blustery conditions in Carlanstown on Sunday morning. In the end it was probably a little too close for comfort but there was no denying that the St. Michaels lads deserved their victory as they hung on for dear life as referee Eamonn Barry played 10 minutes of injury time at the end of the game, there was also 9 minutes of added time at the end of the opening half.
David Wright’s men started the game in a positive manner with Oran Meehan firing over the black spot after only 30 seconds, further points from frees from Shane McCormack and Peter O’Connell gave his side a three point lead. Then in the ninth minute Meehan gave an excellent ball into McDonnell who had oceans of space in front of goal and he unleashed an unstoppable volley to the roof of the net past the outstretched Anthony Dowling between the visitors posts.
However Duleek Bellewstown recovered quickly from this body blow and from the kick-out they moved the ball up field and floated a high ball into the St. Michaels square and amidst the throng of bodies the ball took an unlucky ( for St. Michaels ) deflection into the net. The visitors leveled the match for the first time at the end of the opening quarter after sending over three unanswered points, they then went in front for the first time with a point on 17 minutes but a converted McCormack free restored parity for St. Michaels but Duleek Bellewstown went back in front with a point almost immediately. A quick free from McCormack to O’Connell who returned to McCormack who made no mistake with his effort to leave the sides on level terms at 1-05 apiece at the interval.
St. Michaels took control at the start of the second half with a point apiece from McDonnell, O’Connell and McCormack in the opening five minutes however they then took a 15 minute siesta as their opponents split the posts with three unanswered points to level the match for the third time at 1-08 apiece. In fairness the swirling wind did make scoring difficult for both teams but it made no difference to the excellent marksmanship of Shane McCormack who put two over from frees in as many minutes for a two point cushion midway through the fourth quarter. Exchanges between both teams were very tight at this stage of the game but a good effort from O’Connell put three points between the sides on 58 minutes, Duleek Bellewstown made it a two point game once again in the third minute of added time however O’Connell had the last say floating one over from out on the right in the 6th minute of added time much to the delight of the home support.
This win is a huge positive for this young St. Michaels team who’s defence were strong and disciplined especially in the final 10 minutes when Duleek Bellewstown went looking for those all important scores, Davy Lynch and Matthew Halpin appear to compliment each other at midfield while the attack is full of fire power however there will be tougher tests ahead and one swallow never made a summer, we need to be patient, this is “a work in progress” by the management team.
St. Michaels team and scorers:
Darren O’Connell; Harry Dunne, Daithí O’Reilly, Alan Reilly; Christopher Drew, Sam Briody, Ben Reilly; Matthew Halpin, David Lynch; Shane McCormack (0-6 3f), Peter O’Connell (0-4, 1f), Ray Reilly; Oran Meehan (0-1), Shane McDonnell (1-1), Patrick Tobin.
Subs: Brian Reilly for Daithí O’Reilly 45 minutes, Ben Tobin for Oran Meehan (inj) 54 minutes, Scott Doyle for Alan Reilly 58 minutes.
Referee: Eamonn Barry.
Report: Pascal Reilly PRO.