Category: Archive

Astoria, Sligo juniors battle to draw

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Mike Fitzpatrick

The result of this junior football B final was one neither side wanted, as they now must endure a replay next week at Gaelic Park.

This was the first men’s final match-up of the season, and quite a lot was expected of the two teams. The game in itself was no classic however, both teams broke down the other, and stubbornly defended against their rivals forays towards goal.

Following their performance over Stamford in the semi finals, Sligo looked good coming into this game, although many still felt that the Gaels of Astoria were the favorites. They have performed well over some difficult teams in their games so far, and with the midfield pairing of Sam Yore and Derek McKenna, Astoria certainly had the talent to clinch a victory.

It was in fact this midfield pairing which performed most of the attacking for the Astoria side, with both players grabbing a hat trick of points in the game.

Sligo opened on the stronger footing, holding a three point lead at one stage, and entered the half time interval a couple of points to the good. Barney Healy struck a couple for Sligo, and it was his free taking and accuracy on the ball that really provided the Sligo men with their half time lead.

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Astoria opened the second half playing a more attacking role than they had in the opening 35 minutes, with James Dolan and McKenna contributing to their tally. Sligo kept up their pace, and held onto their lead thanks to accurate efforts from Declan Henry and Ray Reynolds.

Towards the latter quarter of the game, Sligo fought valiantly to hold onto their lead, but Astoria’s hunger proved to be a little more ravenous than their counterparts.

A late rally from the Queens side saw them draw level at the death. Both teams will have learned a lot from the tie, and each side held advantages over their counterparts in different areas of play. Sligo did well to stem the threat of the Astoria forward line, and only a solitary point was scored by the entire front six of Astoria’s team. Should Astoria’s forward line prove more prolific next week, and linking well with Yore and McKenna, they could just pip Sligo past the post. Barney Healy’s form of late has been fantastic, and he will surely be marked heavily by his opponents, otherwise he will no doubt punish Astoria.

Astoria: Eugene Kyne, Pat Mulrey, Brendan Doyle, Mike Dolan, Conor Corbett, Dan Harrington, John Byrne, Sam Yore (0-3), Derek McKenna (0-3), Mike Keane (0-2), James Dolan (0-1), Eddie O’Reilly, Nestor Allen, Enda O’Flaherty, Niall Carolan.

Sligo: Neil Duffy, Fergus Durcan, Mike Gilligan, John Kilroy, Pat Spellman, Tomas Carroll, Ray Reynolds (0-1), Eamonn Duffy, Tommy McGrath (0-1), Brian McDonagh, Declan Henry (0-1), Barney Healy (0-6), John McVann, Paul Tuffy, Ronnie Cosgrove. Sub.: Jimmy Walsh.

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