Gaeil Colmcille and Donaghmore/Ashbourne served up an exciting and fast paced game of football in the opening round of the 2021 Feis Cup in the glorious sunshine out in Grangegodden.
In what was the first competitive game in eight months, both sides would have been forgiven for a lacklustre start, but it was anything but that as Danny McGovern fired over the open two scores of the game, the first an excellent open play score from an acute angle. the pace of the game never slowed down there as Donaghmore/Ashbourne got their first score in the third minute and one minute later found the back of the net for the opening goal of the game.
Gaeil Colmcille were on level terms in the 10th minute as Evan Sheridan and Seamus Mattimoe pointed to leave the score 0-04 to 1-01. Ryan Farnham was proving a handful around the middle for Donaghmore/Ashbourne as he displayed excellent fielding of the ball. Both sides traded scores as Mattimoe grabbed his second point. Donaghmore/Ashbourne, playing direct balls into the Gaeil Colmcille full-back were causing all sort of problems and hit two unanswered score leaving The Moores 1-04 to 0-05 ahead at the water break.
From the restart Mattimoe popped over his third point of the half. Directly from the Donaghmore/Ashbourne kick out the ball found is way in the back of the Kells net. Another point from The Moores saw them take a five point lead as the game ticked into injury-time. There was still time for the score of the half, James Reilly, who was a first half substitute for Adam Muldoon who had to go off with a shoulder injury, Reilly gathered the ball just inside Donaghmore/Ashbourne’s 45 and hit a wonderful score over his left shoulder to leave the half time score 0-07 to 2-05 in favour of The Moores.
With less than 30 seconds played in the second half Donaghmore/Ashbourne struck for their third goal of the game as their fast paced midfielder cut through the Gaeils defence and laid the ball off to be hit to the back of the net to extend the lead to seven. Oisin Reilly steadied the ship for Kells with a point one minute later but that was soon cancelled out as Donaghmore/Ashbourne went straight up the field and got their sixth point to leave the score 0-08 to 3-06 with 33 minutes played.
The next eight minutes was crucial in the flow of the game as Kells hit a purple patch with Martin Barrett pointing and with the introduction second half substitute Brian Hanlon making an instant impact scoring 1-01, Hanlon getting on the end of a well worked move for the Kells goal. Evan Sheridan rounded off the purple patch for the Gaeils to leave one point between the sides with 41 minutes played.
Donaghmore/Ashbourne outscored Kells two points to one in the next ten minutes before the turning point of the game came in the 53rd as Barrett got on the end of a Hanlon pass to palm the ball to the back of the net to see Gaeil Colmcille take the lead for the first time in the game since the third minute. Donaghmore/Ashbourne did get on level terms straight away but Kells soon restored their lead as James Reilly struck over his second score of the game,
As the game hit injury time midfielder Phil Ward extended the Gaeils lead to two but there was no lying down from Donaghmore/Ashbourne as they reduced the gap in the 63rd minute to one point. Time seemed up when Hanlon hit the insurance score for Gaeil Colmcille from a free but referee Podge Coyle continued the play as The Moores went in search for a goal and went close but for a scramble in the Kells penalty area ended up in the ball being turned over and cleared down the line for Gaeil Colmcille to hold on for the win and grab the first two points of the year that was up for grabs. Special word of mention to Alex Williams who was introduced as a late substitute for his first taste of senior football.
There was reaction from Conn Cleary after the game as he spoke to The Gaeils Podcast which can be heard on next weeks podcast.
Gaeil Colmcille: J Carry-Lynch, B Tormay, P Tormay, A Browne, A Donnelly, S Curran, A Muldoon, C Courtney, P Ward (0-01), E Sheridan (0-02), M Barrett (1-01), S Mattimoe (0-04), O Reilly (0-01), R Farnham, D McGovern (0-02).
Subs: James Reilly (0-02), A Lawal, B Hanlon (1-02), D Farrelly, D Muldoon, A Williams.
Cover Photo © Brian Mulligan