League Round 1 - Match Report Saturday 11th March 2006
Clontarf 1-13 (0-7) Naomh Mearnog 1-9 (0-5)
"Clontarf Seniors grab first league points"
Clontarf Senior Footballers kicked off their 2006 league campaign with a good win at home against Naomh Mearnog. Despite easy wins over Mearnog in recent years, Clontarf were not taking this 1st game for granted. Injuries to key players (Kevin Devine and Damien Carew) and a few defections from the 2005 panel brought a few hardy supporters out to see how this years crew would shape up. On the day Clontarf produced a team fine performance in dreadful conditions and looked like an outfit well capable of driving for Div 1 status again.
For 15 mins of the first half Clontarf owned the ball and 4 excellent scores from Cathal Carr, Shane McIntyre, Dara O'Brien and Shane Dunlea put them (0-4,0-1) ahead. Mearnog then took the ascendency scoring 3 unanswered points to draw leval, before Shane Dunlea restored Clontarf's lead as he cut in from the right for a goal chance that was parried over the bar by the Mearnog keeper.. Minutes later Dunlea was fouled again and McIntyre popped over a close range free. Clontarf were back on top at the break and led (0-7,0-5)
Clontarf continued to dominate possession in the 2nd half and 2 early scores from Shane Dunlea and a well taken goal from Dara O'Brien left the home side in a comfortable position. Adian Morrissey and Ian Smith continued to dominated midfield, while at the back Neil Shanahan and Damien Fennelly were giving very little away. Mearnog worked hard for 3 points that left the scoreline (1-11,0-8) as the game entered the final minutes with a home win looking a certainty. However a late goal for Mearnog has the alarm bells ringing. A minute later the same bells were pounding as the Meanog corner foward was put through on goal, but some bad handling and a great Damien Fennelly tackle avoided a drawn match. As the game moved into injury time, 2 more points from a Shane McIntyre long range free and Clontarf's top scorer Dara O'Brien sealed the win.
And so a well deserved 4 point win for the Tarf and a particularly good return from the full forward line of McIntyre (0-4),O'Brien (1-2) and Dunlea (0-4). Cathal Carr completed the scoring with 2 excellent points.There were exceptional man of the match performaces from Neil Shanahan and Ian Smith. Next up St. Annes and a chance to complete an early cup and league double.
Fógra - Great to see PJ Lynch back to his indigenous habitat - behind that goal on pitch 34.......