Junior A League AF L 6 – Report Tue. 12th September 2006
St. Pats 3-8 V Clontarf 1-3 [ Half Time: 1-4, 1-3 ]
“Clontarf fade in Fingal after promising start”
Clontarf travelled to Fingal County on the back of previous league successes over St. Pats in each of the past 4 years. But recent form was to be a more apt indicator of the outcome of this latest clash. Clontarf had suffered a dip in league form and remained winless since early July. Pats, under new management had only lost 1 league match in 2006 and were far more fit and formidable opposition that in previous years.
On a perfect late summers evening for football, Round 8 of the league got under way. Within the first minute, Pats showed why they are title contenders this year. They snuffed out the first Clontarf attack, broke from defence at speed and worked a neat shorting passing move, ending in a low drive to the net past Mick Moylan. The early concession of that goal sparked Clontarf into action and minutes later David Shaw narrowly missed a chance to tie the game. Steve McGinn opened Clontarf’s account with a well taken point after a fine cross field pass from Fergal Lynch. Clontarf were now in the ascendancy but failing to convert chances. A 25 yard free missed by McGinn followed by a Paul Moore wide took the heat off Pats. The home side were the benefactors of several mix ups as Clontarf failed to win their own kickouts. Pats rattled over 2 fine scores from play, before Clontarf hit back for a fabulous goal. The long ball into the full forward line was paying dividends and it was Steve McGinn who fisted one such delivery from Dave Shaw to the net. Minutes later centre forward Robert Stokes almost repeated the feat, but his effort careered wide. Shaw again found Kieran Murray and the Clontarf full back fired over Clontarf’s 3rd point of the game. Pats edged ahead before the interval with 2 excellent long range frees, but it was visitors who should have led at half time, nine 1st half wides the main reason why not. Half time score St. Pats 1-4, Clontarf 1-3.
The last thing Clontarf expected was for Kieran Murray’s fabulous point in the 25th minute to be their last score of the game, but incredibly that’s what transpired. Pats raced into the 2nd half, with their 2nd goal of the game coming after just 6 minutes of sustained pressure. Several cracks off the woodwork were to follow, while at the other end the Pats defence mopped up every crumb that fell their way. The introduction of Cormac Nolan after 15 minutes lifted the siege somewhat. Clontarf’s only flurry in the 2nd half was a 2 minute affair and occurred when sub Neil Arthur’s effort blazed into the side netting, John O’Halloran won the next kickout and drove through the Pats defence, passing to Steve McGinn, who’s pile driver thundered off the crossbar. Declan Gallagher then gathered the rebound and stroked it narrowly wide. Those 2 minutes of action were as much as the Clontarf forward line threatened in the 2nd half. At the other end the Pats forwards became ever increasingly eager to salvage scores. A final well taken goal on 25 minutes finished the contest and as light faded on the last midweek game of 2006, Clontarf were left to wonder how they disappeared so suddenly off the radar after 30mins. Man of the match for Clontarf was Alan ‘Bomber’ Lynch, who toiled tirelessly throughout.