There is an old saying: “a change is as good as a rest”. So on that note, this week’s match report is done by Sham Sports News new Junior Correspondent, none other than Roscommon native, Karl Keenan.
(This should be good!)
Thank you Gerry.
It’s a privilege to do the report this week so here goes.
Western Shamrocks moved one point clear at the top of the table with a very controlled, determined and professional performance against Greenwood in a wind-swept Tom Bateman Reserve.
This was Shamrocks second game of the week. A win was vital as it would set up a mouth watering “winner-take-all” game next weekend, against our old nemesis, Southern Districts.
With a strong wind blowing straight down the middle of the pitch towards the railway end, Mick O’Callaghan’s coin toss was the first battle of the day. Eoin Horan (Captain on the day) won the toss and elected to play against the wind, which proved a master stroke by the Meath man.
Shamrocks wasted no time in scoring the first point of the game off the boot of ‘jinky’ Gavin Donaghy. Shamrocks would never be behind on the scoreboard all day. A quick kick-out from the Greenwood keeper and the ball was worked down the field and tapped over for the ‘Woods first score. The game started sluggishly but both teams came out to play a good game of football, which was a credit to both teams. Poor Referee Mick O Callaghan, sporting a red cork hat, was regretting those extra few pints last night celebrating Cork’s qualifier win, as he tried to keep up with play. Shamrocks then let the handbrake off and tore into Greenwood. Mark Finnegan scored a great point off the outside of his right foot. The Pilbara air did that man no harm as he wanted the ball as much as possible. Richie Nevin then found himself in unfamiliar territory and when all the forwards were marked he let fly and it sailed over, to a great roar from the sideline.
Fearghal McLoughlin’s hard work was then rewarded with a score and it was worked in quick from the middle third of the pitch. Then came the first goal of the game and it was scored by the Shamrocks top scorer this year, Brian Dempsey with his left foot. He won the ball well out in front, turned his marker and made straight for goal before jinking onto the left and the onion bag was rattled. This knocked the stuffing out Greenwood as the Shams slipped nicely into third gear.
Johnny Brady started to lord the middle-of-the-field and his fielding of primary possession was a great platform for the Shamrocks to build on. His hard work and grafting was rewarded with a point after a perfectly time run into the scoring area.
The aforementioned Finnegan chipped over two more fine scores from play. He always seemed to pop up on the ball and Greenwood had no match for this. They shuffled their defence more than a dealer at the Crown Casino to deal with all the runs of the Shamrocks forwards. Dempsey then rounded out the scoring in the first half, chipping over two more frees.
HT WESTERN SHAMROCKS 1-09
The second half started off how the first ended, with the Greenwood lads chasing shadows. Shamrocks needed to get the first few scores to put the game to bed and they didn’t disappoint.
A shooting exercise ensued with sixteen more scores from the Shamrocks squad.
Finnegan continued when he left off with three more points, all of which were from outside the fifty.
Colly Donnelly popped up and showed the forwards how it’s done, with a well taken goal.
At this stage the Greenwood lads were more concerned where they’d have a few Sunday session pints than playing the rest of the game.
Johnny Brady added a further score along with other scorers from the first half, Ferghal McLoughlin and Gavin Donaghy.
Dempsey added a further four points; one in particular was from a good fifty metres out.
The subs were starting to cause ‘Bishop’ selection headaches for the next day. Brendan Tierney added two points, one of which was a cracker with practically his first touch of the game. He floated over a score from the wrong side of the pitch for a right-footer.
A debut was given to young Conor McGee and he didn’t disappoint at full-forward, finishing the game with 1-2 in the last 15 minutes. Greenwood added two further points and started to chip the ball into the box in the search of a goal. This was dealt with very well by Pat White in goal, who was assisted by Horan, Nevin and the tigerish-as-always Jason Gavy.
They had one sniff of a goal, but Jason Brosnan made a great block. The Refereee, not to be left out, showed Darren ‘Chips’ Drummond a black card, for a dodgy tackle and sent off a Greenwood midfielder for back chat.
Bigger tests lie ahead, but you can only beat what’s put in front of you. The twenty-seven points between the teams will do our scoring difference no harm for the remaining games.
FT WESTERN SHAMROCKS 3-23
Cheers to GMC for the opportunity to write this article. I hope I didn’t write too much waffle.
The usual loyal Shamrock supporters have to get a mention. We would like to thank them for their support as always, as it would have been easier to stay at home on this cold winters day.
Finally and by no means least, its great to see Mark ‘Gaff’ Griffin back in Perth and back doing what he does best; helping out the Shams. Mark your presence was missed around the place and your kind positive words of encouragement….
So that’s goodbye from me, Karl Keenan, at the Tom Bateman Reserve, for Sham Sports News.
Back to you in the studio Gerry…