A draw was perhaps the fitting result in round 3 of the county league when we finished all square with An Ghaeltacht in a highly entertaining encounter in Strand Road.
Facing each other 6 days after the club championship, we lined out with 10 of the starters from last week, the deficit due to our county contingent being unavailable whilst An Ghealtacht had just two changes from last week’s confrontation.
From the outset and with the stiff breeze in their favour, the westerners were quickly into their stride and had the opening point of the game when Dara O’Se pointed after just 30 secs; Gazza Savage had us on level terms shortly afterwards but An Ghaeltacht forged ahead again through Sean M O’Conchuir who pointed from distance – again we drew level when Tommy Walsh was on target from a free, the first of his overall tally of seven points. An Ghaeltacht had the next two points, both fine efforts from Seamus O’Muirceartaigh, one from play and a “45” after we had thwarted a goal chance. Tommy kept us in touch to reduce the deficit to the minimum and Diarmuid O’Sullivan then latched on to a loose ball to fire over the bar to level matters again as we approached the end of the first quarter. Again, An Ghaeltacht nudged ahead through the boot of Sean M O’Conchúir and they were to miss the target on 3 occasions before the same player pushed them further ahead on the 20th minute. We were now back in the game and following a sweeping move Karl Mullins was unlucky to see his shot cannon off the upright when a goal looked the likely outcome – Tommy was again on target with successive frees before Sean O’Gairbhi finished the scoring for the first period leaving An Ghaeltacht two to the good at half time, 0-08 to 0-06.
The second half saw us more in the game with good play from midfielders Con Barrett and John C O’Connor, an improvement up front with John Ferguson impressing which saw us score the first 3 points of the half through Tommy , Gavin O’Brien and Diarmuid O’Sullivan – though An Ghaeltacht replied via Dara O’Sé, John Ferguson slotted over with his left after some good inter play and further points from Con Barrett and Cian Sayers saw us push the lead out to three, 0-12 to 0-09 with all six points coming in the space of 10 minutes. However, a ball which looked to have been won in mid field was turned over and suddenly we were all square when An Ghaeltacht found the back of the net for the game’s only goal – a Seamus O’Muirceartaigh point had them back in front again. Tommy again reduced the deficit to the minimum from a free and when Karl Mullins fired over after good approach play we were on level terms – there was 5 minutes on the clock plus stoppage time but when An Ghaeltacht forged ahead John Ferguson again hit back to tie up matters – the clock had now ticked into the red and when Tommy fired over a massive free from the middle of the pitch it looked like it was enough to take the two points on offer and maintain our 100% record – another minute of time saw the men from Gallarus work the ball up field for the equaliser – the drama was not over yet and when John Ferguson bore down the middle it looked like he would have the final say – a slip at the last second saw him go to ground and he was harshly adjudged to have fouled the ball in the act of releasing to a team mate and with that the referee called a halt to proceedings.
In the final analysis, it would have been tough on either side to have lost and a point apiece was just about the right result.
Team: Gary Kissane, Danny O’Sullivan, Darragh McElligott, Cian Sayers (0-01), Karl Mullins ( 0-01), Ryan Carroll, Con Barrett ( 0-01), Gavin O’Brien (0-01), Tommy Walsh ( 0-07), Padraig Griffin, Gearóid Savage ( 0-01), Diarmuid O’Sullivan ( 0-02), John Ferguson ( 0-02).
Subs used: Tom Hoare and Shane McElligott both in second half.