By Mike Fitzpatrick
New York 2-14, Bank of Ireland 2-9
The New York selectors will surely be content with this performance. A healthy five-point victory in this football match by their understrength side versus a visiting Irish side with no shortage of talent is no mean achievement. I say understrength due to the number of regulars missing from the panel for this showcase game. There was no Pat Mahoney, Gary Dowd, Mickey Slowey, Danny Barr or Philip Sloane to mention but a few, and had this been a championship fixture the lineup, and perhaps the scoreline, would no doubt have been different.
New York played well as a unit. Players unaccustomed to lining out alongside each other performed competently and some sparkling moves that resulted in fine scoring certainly gave the selectors plenty of food for thought.
The game itself started on an even keel, with both sides matching each other’s scoring efforts. Bill Dennehy, Jim Donohue and Willie O’Donnell’s scoring exploits were matched by the Bank of Ireland’s David Martin and Peter Lambert. Lambert, you may recall, is no stranger to New York, having played under Frank Brady at Leitrim in recent seasons.
The half time buzzer sounded with the teams level at eight points apiece, and all to play for.
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The second period opened with New York playing with a little more urgency. The fact that the influential duo of Paddy O’Connor and Willie O’Donnell were playing their second consecutive game of the day hardly seemed to register, as both more than did their share in knocking down the visitors defensive strategies.
Dave Fitzgerald was superb up front for the home side, attacking with a real sense of urgency, and unlucky not to add to his tally of 1-2. It was Fitzgerald who hit the bar late in the game with an effort that unluckily managed to stay out.
At the other end, keeper Eunan Doherty made some crucial saves in preventing Lambert and Martin from clawing back the lead for the visitors.
Kieran Ryan and Piaras Reilly had their hands full with the tenacious Bank of Ireland forwards, but when called upon, did their duties. Ryan in particular was in great form, preventing a number of scoring efforts. A fine move orchestrated by Kevin Lilly and back Jim Donohue resulted in New York’s Kevin Tuohy scoring the last point of the afternoon, and although Lambert did eventually manage to score a late goal, it was too little too late as New York left Gaelic Park with a deserved five point victory in the bag.
New York: Eunan Doherty, Piaras Reilly, Kieran Walsh, Tommy Gee (0-3), Sean Nolan, Paddy O’Connor, Bernard Traynor, Kieran Ryan (0-1), Jim Donohue (0-1), Willie O’Donnell (0-1), Bill Dennehy (0-4), Richie Purcell, Kevin Lilly, John Meehan, Kevin Tuohy (1-2). Subs: Dave Fitzgerald (1-2), Emmet Kelly.
Bank of Ireland: Eamon Connolly (Down), Ciaran McGrath (Down), Noel Kelly (Tipperary), Ronan Gately (Wexford), Ivan Dunne (Westmeath), Terry McCrudden (Antrim), Ronan O’Connor (Kerry), Pádraig Oates (Roscommon) (0-1), Mick Monaghan (Cork), Mickey Conlon (Monaghan), Pat Fallon (Mayo) (0-1), Diarmuid Lynch (Cork), Pat McCambridge (Down) (1-0), Peter Lambert (Tipperary) (1-4), David Martin (0-3).