Our opening game in this year’s senior club championship saw us lose to Rathmore on a final scoreline of 1-20 to 0-13 on a windswept and often wet evening in Fitzgerald Stadium.
Rathmore were full value for their win when wind and rain assisted in the first half they led at half time, 1-12 to 0-06.
The half time score was not an accurate reflection of the preceding 33 minutes as with 20 mins elapsed, we trailed by 3, 0-06 to 0-03.
Rathmore were in the ascendancy in the middle eight and kept the scoreboard ticking over with some fine scores from play from Chrissy Spiers and Shane Ryan; with 27 minutes gone we trailed by 4, 0-10 to 0-06 and given the strength of the wind, one wondered if that lead would be enough.
However, the final 6 mins played decided the game when first we lost possession from a short kick out, gifting a goal to Paul Murphy and a further turnover resulted in Shane Ryan raising another white flag. The final act of the half saw Chrissy Spiers bring the scoring to an end and we trailed by 9.
The 2nd half was always going to be difficult given the deficit between the sides but we showed admirable fighting spirit in outscoring our opponents by 0-06 to 0-02 in the first quarter, the highlights being Diarmuid’s three long range efforts from dead balls, to leave just 5 between the sides, 1-14 to 0-12 with 16 mins gone.
A Barry John effort in the 17th minute which came off the post and resulted in Rathmore scoring at the other end was perhaps a turning point and when minutes later we lost Tommy to a knee laceration our challenge fizzled out - David moved to full forward and though he won good ball in the air, Rathmore were live to the threat and getting bodies back, snuffed out any chance of a late goal.
Rathmore finished in style kicking 6 points to our final effort, a point from a free from Barry John.
On the night we came up against a better side as evidenced by the concession of 1-17 from play.
The other game in the group saw Dr Crokes defeat Dingle which will mean we will now have to travel to Lewis Road next weekend for round 2 - fixture will be confirmed later in the week.
Team: Rob O’Connor, Cormac Coffey, Ross O’Callaghan, Darragh McElligott, Shane McElligott ( 0-01), Con Barrett, Jake Foley, David Moran, Diarmuid O’Sullivan ( 0-03fs), Ben Hanafin (0-01), Barry John Keane ( 0-02, 1f), Tom Hoare ( 0-02, 2fs), Darragh O’Connor ( 0-02, 2fs), Tommy Walsh ( 0-01), Conor Hayes ( 0-01).
Subs used: Sam Pituch, Daniel Bowler, Gazza, Padraig Griffin & Shane Brosnan.