Draw in the opening league game

Oldcastle 2-06 St. Michael’s 0-12
St. Michael’s came to Millbrook this evening (3/3/2023) to get the AFL Div 1B underway, a game played in perfect conditions, albeit a bit cold. A few fruitless plays went by before Paddy Gilsenan won a St. Michael’s kickout, getting her on to Ross Cadden, he did great work getting her in to James Cooke who was in position and shot her over the bar. A Ross clearance soon after found Robbie Farrelly who got her on to Lee Healy, on to Stephen Tierney in the corner, he found CJ Healy who in turn found Robbie Farrelly who put her between the posts. A good run from Keith Connell saw the next ball reach Ross again, to Paddy Gilsenan, to James Cooke, on to Paddy Rahill and finally to Robbie who put her over once more. A nice leisurely start from Oldcastle, with St. Michael’s shooting mad wides and kept scoreless thanks to Louis, Darren and Dylan, left the lads three up after ten minutes. St. Michael’s then took their first score thanks to a free, followed straight after by a fine point from play. A clever pass from James Cooke found the waiting Stephen Tierney who added on Oldcastle’s next point. St. Michael’s took the next, with Keith Connell adding another for Oldcastle. A massive block down on a Robbie Farrelly shot by the St. Michael’s backs then found itself worked right up the field for their next score, followed just before the end of the half by an easy free which they converted to leave it level at the break, 0-05 apiece.

St. Michael’s won the ball at the outset of the second half, and had the first point on the board within seconds, and were unlucky not to add another soon after when their effort hit the post and went wide. Conor McHugh’s kickout went forward via Lee Healy, to Conor Delaney, to CJ Healy and Dylan Garrigan, on to Ben Grey, to Tierney and finally to Robbie who took the point. St. Michael’s then upped the ante and fired over three unanswered points and suddenly it was Oldcastle chasing the game. More long minutes of wides, missed passes and fruitless play, and it was St. Michaels who took the next point to go four ahead, with only five minutes left!

With that, a Ben Grey high shot from way out dropped in and delighted all along the lines by landing in the back of the net! Game on, finally a bit of urgency all round, both sides scrabbling to get the next score, but once again it was St. Michael’s who got lucky with a free; converted, followed by a lovely point from play! Déjà vu, Oldcastle are behind by three and the game is into injury time, when Conor McHugh’s kickout makes its’ way swiftly upfield via Darren Hawdon and Robbie Farrelly, into a melee in front of the St. Michael’s goal and PENALTY awarded to Oldcastle. Up steps the unperturbed CJ Healy who smashes her to the back of the net, and it’s all level again at 1-09 to 0-12! A final chance for the Michaels as they are awarded a late late free, with the goalie coming up to take it but it goes just wide, and with that Peter O’Halloran blew the final whistle on a draw: not the best start to the league but still better than a loss, and we march on to the next round unbeaten! That takes place in Ballinabrackey on Sunday 12th at 2pm.

Oldcastle: Conor McHugh, Louis Colleran, Dylan Garrigan, Darren Hawdon, CJ Healy (1-00), Keith Connell (0-01) Lee Healy, James Cooke (0-01) Oran Mulvanny, Ronan Maguire, Ross Cadden, Robbie Farrelly (0-03), Paddy Gilsenan, Paddy Rahill, Stephen Tierney (0-01). Subs: Ben Grey(1-00), Conor Delaney, Oran O’Reilly