On a cold April morning Astoria Gaels beat F.C. Jams, 2-0, last Sunday to keep the pressure on in the quest for the Div. 3 title. In a very solid display, the Gaels went about the job of winning three points with fierce determination.
The Gaels started slowly after a two week layoff, but any offensive threats by Jams were snuffed out by great defense from Mark Bourke and Steve DeHarde. When the Gaels settled, they started to run at Jams relentlessly. Derek McKenna shot wide on a half volley, then some cheeky footwork from Nestor Allen set up Kevin Nagle, who went close. Jams two best attacks in the first quarter were stopped by Eugene Kyne in goal.
After about 25 minutes, Nagle opened the scoring for Astoria. Allen set McKenna free on the left wing who crossed deep to the far post, George Doherty sent the ball with a lovely head to Nagle, who crashed it home, this brought the best out of the Gaels, who dominated the rest of the half without rattling the onion bag again.
The Gaels had the wind and hill at their backs for the second half and they kept Jams pressured deep in their half for long periods. Mark O’Donnell and Joe Harris were causing havoc down the left wing and subs Lloyd Canning and Niall Sugrue stepped into the back four without missing a beat. Kyne made a couple of nice stops on Jams’ attacks and his long clearances were finding Doherty and McKenna repeatedly. After 70 minutes Doherty poached the second goal on pure hustle. Mark O’Donnell had crossed deep but it was collected by the Jams’ keeper. However, on his weak clearance Doherty was through and he buried a right foot shot in the corner. The Gaels coasted from there out.
Best for the Gaels were Joe Harris and Mark Bourke at the backs. Mark O’Donnell and McKenna up front did mountains of work. Man of the Match was keeper Eugene Kyne.
Lineout: Eugene Kyne, Joe Harris, Mark Bourke, Steve DeHarde, Pat Mulrey, Nestor Allen, John Beirne, Kevin Nagle, Mark O’Donnell, Derek McKenna, George Doherty. Subs: Martin Reilly, Lloyd Canning, Dermot Moore, Niall Sugrue and Mark Kelly.
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