Under the guidance of Ger Lennon and Sean Armstrong the senior team is busy training for the battles that lie ahead. A trip to St. Flannan’s in Ennis saw them draw with a very physical team in what was a very promising performance. Unfortunately, in the return match in Mary’s a week later they succumbed to a five point defeat, but again showed enough to suggest that they may well be in the melting pot for honours this year. Training continues to draw large numbers and confidence and skills continue to develop daily.
The league kicked off with a fine win over HRC Mountbellew. A great performance by the lads saw them win out by a six point margin 3 -7 to 2 – 4.
A battling performance against a strong Bish team ultimately ended in defeat by a single goal, the scoreline reading 3 – 7 to 2 – 7, both goals being scored by the Mary’s man of the match Rob Carroll. Nevertheless, the performance was enough to see us through to the semi-final’s of the league on score difference, and with a number of first team players yet to return, and a bit more training under our belts we will be looking to progress further.
Having qualified for the Connacht League semi-final we made the trip to Athlone to play St. Aloysius with high hopes. We started off fairly well and by half-time were neck and neck with the Athlone boys, with everything to play for. However, just after half-time everything went pear-shaped. We were piling on the pressure, but, one of our attacks broke down after hitting an upright, the breaking ball fell to the Aloysius full back who initiated a movement that a minute later ended up in the Mary’s net. It was a tough break, but worse was to follow. Straight from the kick out they again gained possession and burst right through the middle to add another goal. Suddenly, from a position of parity we found ourselves six points in arrears, and despite much effort from then on in the Athlone boys held firm, eventually winning by four points. It was a tough learning lesson, that in the blink of an eye things change rapidly.
Mary’s excited the Senior championship at the hands of our rivals from St. Joseph’s following what was a hard fought and very tough match. The result was practically decided within the first four minutes as the Bish slalomed through our defence before we had settled to chalk up two early goals, leaving us having to chase the game from then on in. And chase we did. We stuck to our game plan, and with practically every player now upping their intensity levels we started to claw our way back into the match. By halftime we had reduced the arrears to 2 points, 1 – 2 to 2 – 1, and entered the second half with high hopes. We scored first, reducing the deficit to the minimum, but a minute later allowed the strong Bish core to run through the centre and net for the third time. It was a cruel blow, and one that, despite all our efforts we could just not overcome. The final score of 3 – 6 to 2 – 4 was a bit flattering to our opposition, as they were pushed all the way, but as the saying goes, ‘goals win games’. We were left to reflect on what might have been, if our two ‘one -on – one’ chances against the Bish keeper had been more successful, if Des Conneely, our top forward had not been injured the week before…loads of questions to be pondered. For those who were playing their last match in Mary’s colours…Colin O’Reilly, Rob Carroll, Gary Cullinane, Rory Owens, Sean Kelly, Jack Forde, Matthew McDermott, Gavin Hegarty, Des Conneely and Michael Bohan…thanks for all your efforts down the years lads…Mary’s Abu!!
Mike Murphy’s charges travelled to Headford for the opening match of their campaign and did enough to suggest that the future of football in the College is in good hands. Training hasn’t even officially started yet as the first year inter-class sports competition continues daily through lunch-times, so the perfomance of the lads, playing together for the first time, was very promising. Headford are a big strong team, and they made their physical presence felt as we struggled to contain their power. First year football can be a bit of a lottery, what with big goals and small goalkeepers, and so it proved to be as we conceded two goals to balls that cleared the keepers head! We eventually lost out by 11 scores to 6 and will hope to improve greatly on this when we have played together a bit more as a team.
Luck wasn’t with us as we faced the Bish on our home patch, and despite an excellent fighting performance we went down by three points. This was a very brave performance, and as we keep saying the future looks bright.
Under the guidance of Mr. Seán Og De Paor and Mr. Colin McCaul our juvenile’s traveled to Headford to take on the local team, and came away with heads held high after a narrow 2 point defeat. The fact that this team soundly beat us last year shows that all the hard work put in by the coaches is starting to bear fruit and hopefully we’ll be able to improve on that result next time out.