VERY IMPORTANT POINTS
Saturday night's 2-1 win against Mervue provided three very important points for us. Despite our showing down in Limerick in holding them to a draw, we just haven't been firing on all cylinders. So it was vital that we started round four of the league with all three points. The final set of games is going to be tough so bagging all three points on offer was a welcome boost. After just fifteen minutes we were two up and it looked like we might hit four or five like in our last meeting. Gary Shaw who is working his socks off every week found the net on eight minutes and this was followed by a delightfully cheeky strike from Daniel Purdy from way out the pitch. Tony Ghee sprinted from his bird's nest position high up in the stand to have the goal scorer conformed by some eagle eyes fans. What do the journos do up there behind the glass, one wonders.
Though the Town were in complete control, a few mistakes against better opposition would have been ruthlessly punished. But if we rode our luck on a few occasions, let's not forget that we managed to hit both uprights as well as the crossbar in the opening half. During that opening half, De Town played some superb passing football with Keith Gillespie in particular showing many majestic touches. Wilo Mc Donagh at the back is a tower of strength and clearly takes no prisoners but is prone to giving us the odd heart attack too. Noel Haverty may be out for a long time after hurting his elbow in the previous game but in fairness to Salmo, he slotted in very well.
Though happy overall at the half time conference in the Clubhouse, most supporters wanted another goal to settle things and add to our goal tally. Greedy? Yes !
The second half produced no goals but did see Wilo asking to be replaced following a late and harsh tackle. Hopefully, it's nothing too serious. We certainly don't want our wounded list to grow any longer. Mervue came more into the game with former Town favourite Tom King always looking dangerous. Though we had a few chances to increase our lead, we seemed shot shy in front of goals and it looked like we wanted to walk the ball into the net rather than having a go. The ref once again didn't cover himself in glory though all players remained on the pitch but he was liberal with his yellow card count. If he had been in charge of the game on Sunday in Croke Park, he'd have sent both teams off!!
International manager, Noel King watched the game from the stand and took more notes and drew more diagrams than an architect redesigning the new St Mels Cathedral.
With darkness falling on a warm evening and three points secured , word filtered through from Finn Park that Harps had equalised against Limerick which brought some more welcome cheer on a pleasant late summer's evening.
Next up, our local El Classico.
We have no game this week-end because it's a Cup week-end. Our Cup run ended prematurely and at this stage, maybe it was no bad thing as we need to regroup as we face into round four and the final round up of games. It's been a long, hard gruelling campaign so far and that's only for the travelling supporters. What must it be like then for the squad and management who are training non stop and with games every six or seven nights. Our next game will be away against Athlone on August 31st. And since that will be our final game in August, it will be time to be thinking of your Player of the month again. Where is the time going at all?, though we had no proper summer, schools go back very soon, ouch !
With the first of last round of games over, things are really hotting up as the race for promotion gets white hot. Limerick who thought they be home and hosed by now have their lead cut to four. Finn Harps are the in form team having dented Waterford, ourselves and now Limerick. But for a lousy deflected goal, Pat Scully's men would have left Donegal empty handed. Still, we're grateful to Harps for getting their equaliser. We haven't been flying high of late but then neither have our closest rivals Limerick who have had a few stutters of their own recently. Athlone held them to a draw the week before last and then their bogey team Wexford Youths beat them 2-1 at the week-end, all of which helped us leap frog them to our position behind Limerick. The night we play Athlone, Limerick entertain Waterford. And with a lot interest from England in Waterford's talented Maguire, who knows how long the talented lad will stay with the Blues. At the moment with 22 games played, Limerick lead with 50 points, we're second with 46, closely followed by Waterford on 43.
As Tony Cousins said a few weeks ago, “ there will be a good few twists and turns before the season's over”. How right he was. Interesting nights ahead.
Heartiest congratulations to Caitríona and Alan Kirby on the birth of their beautiful baby daughter recently. Congrats too to Ingrid Nevin on her Leaving Cert results, now that the pressure is off maybe we'll see her more often in Flancare. Bon Voyage to Emmet Ryan, Clubhouse manager who is off to Portugal checking on Clubhouse facilities at grounds over there. He managed his holidays so that he wouldn't miss a game. Now that's real commitment.
Irish sports reporting lost a real friend recently with the death of legendary and gifted Con Houlihan, from Castle Island. Con had a unique style and was probably the most widely read sports commentator in Ireland ever. When it came to the beautiful game, he had a soft spot for St Pats, their fans and environs. May he rest in peace.
Former Irish international players Paul McGrath and Packie Bonner played in a testimonial match in Galway on Saturday night last in memory of former Aston Villa star Eamonn “Chick” Deacy who died earlier this year in February aged only 53. The event saw Terryland Park renamed Deacy Park, who was capped four times by the Republic of Ireland . The testimonial match involved members of the Aston Villa side that Deacy helped win the English championship in 1981, including Mc Grath and former Irish international Gareth Farrelly.
Deacy, a left back, played for Limerick and scored Galway Rovers first league goal before moving to Villa in March 1979. Deacy played for Galway United when he returned to Ireland and for West United after his retirement from senior football. As one Longford based Villa fan said he was always “Decent Deacy”.
JUST THE TICKET
Emmet Ryan is putting together memorabelia from our wonderful Cup times but is short just two items. He's looking for an FAI Cup Final Ticket from 2001 and a League Cup Final ticket from 2003. If you can help, please get in touch with Emmet on 086 1600093.