Despite our disappointing draw in Galway on Friday night last, we remain top of the first division. But we're just about hanging on to that top spot by a single point over Limerick. A good crowd headed west and expectations were high as we entered Terryland Park. However as soon as we saw the state of the pitch, there were deep breaths and shaking of knowledgeable heads. There was more sand spread on the playing pitch than there was on Salthill beach and as many humps and hollows as a golf course.
But then both teams play on the same surface so we awaited the kick off with some trepidation away we tore into the hosts with flair and panache, swift and accurate passing. The result was immediate when Noel Haverty latched onto a ball across the box following a wonderful build up. Sitting back in the large, almost empty stand, we dared to dream that tonight could be the night when we'd really turn on the style and be able to enjoy an entertaining 90 minutes free from the usual stress.
Alas, shortly after that opening goal, the team seemed to lose its way with passes going astray and mistakes being made all over the place. Against better opposition, we'd have been made to pay dearly for those mistakes. But as the game wore on, SD Galway grew in confidence and got a stranglehold on the middle of the sand ring. We should have been out of sight after 20 minutes, instead we were holding on.
There were great expectations of a renewed effort in the second half but then disaster struck. Ralph Pieper, the ref from Limerick of all places, awarded us a free out. Meanwhile over in the far corner the linesman was waving his flag frantically. Because the ref , who was about five yards from the play had awarded a free out to us, we expected some of their players would get a yellow card for something we didn't see. But , oh no. Sport like life can be so cruel. After what seemed like an hour, the ref came running back to the box with his finger extended and pointing to the spot. Penalty. Whatever it was, the Limerick ref couldn't see it from five yards but still allowed his linesman overrule him from thirty yards. It would have been funny but for the fact that they scored and we ended up losing two valuable points.
In response Tony Cousins introduced Gillespie, Skelly and Duffy. Their impact was immediate and we had a wheelbarrow load of chances but none mattered. Indeed SD Galway, sensed blood themselves and made sure our hearts were close to our mouths until the final whistle.
Overall, it must be admitted that we played below par. We really can't blame the sandy surface or the linesman. The hosts remain second from bottom and after the game, they looked like they won the game. We know we can play better and indeed the sooner the better. But we're still tops and remain unbeaten.
PLAYER OF THE MONTH /MARCH
March was truly an amazing month, we had five games, with only two at home. Yet we remained unbeaten all month. Hopefully, we'll have more months like that. But it made for a very difficult choice for Player of the Month with an incredible seven players being nominated. This has never happened before and shows that all players played their part in amassing thirteen points. In the end, it was one of our two top scorers who got the nod....Daniel Purdy. Daniel is a worthy winner and tops off a great month for the lad who celebrated his birthday earlier in the month, on the 8th of March. The award , in memory of John Donlon, will be presented before our next home game, which is against Finn Harps on Saturday April 14th.
On Good Friday, April 6th we head down to Limerick. This is going to be a hugely important game which sees first take on second. The Supporters' Club will be running a bus and hopefully we can fill it for a second week in a row. The game is in Jackman Park and kicks off at 7.45pm. Limerick have found their stride again after surprisingly falling to a Waterford team which are not going at all well despite all predictions. Limerick, it is said have plans for the Premier division next year and according to bookies, no one can touch them. Well, we'll see about that on Good Friday night but hopefully we won't be crucified down there. When we play to our proven ability, we can match any team in any division but we simply have to play to a higher standard than what was on show in Galway. What a return trip home it'd be with all three points from Limerick. Is féidir linn.....
CAR BOOT SALE
Time flies, our next Car Boot Sale is this coming Easter Bank Monday, April 9th. As usual it's 10 am-3pm at Flancare Park. The St Patrick's day event was our most successful opener yet and this one promises to be even bigger again. Absolutely every thing under the sun will be on sale and no reasonable offer will be refused. People are now travelling from all over Ireland to the car boot sales, so make sure, if you're local that you don't miss out. With spring now well under way, why not do a spring clean and make much needed money from your unwanted treasures at our Car Boot Sale on Monday 9th.
We'd like to sincerely thank Mary Canning for her wonderful and selfless work for the Club last Wednesday at Flancare Park. Primary Schools from all over the county were holding competitions and with the unusually hot and balmy weather, the youngsters desperately needed drinks and refreshments all day. Mary Canning was in the shop for a solid five hours and coolly dealt with the milling masses for the duration. The rest of us would be moaning and groaning under such duress but the affable Mary simply smiled her way through the grueling five hours. A sincere thank you Mary, your reward will be great...sometime.
Last Saturday night, the Waterford V Finn Harps match was put back to faciliate a Republic of Ireland V Scotland game in the five team Under 18 Centenary Schools Shield. The starting eleven and their schools made for some interesting reading: E Comerford,(CBS Clonmel), C Horgan (Colaiste Einde), R Mathews, (Clonkeen College,Dublin), J O Brien, ( Yeat's College, Galway), A O Donnell, (Carrigaline CS), D Morrisey (Midleton CBS), P Moffat( Clonkeen College,Dublin), B Lenihan, (Presentation,Cork), T Molloy (Colaiste Iognaid, Galway), B Sheedy (Colaiste Iosaif, Kilmallock) and S Maguire (CBS Kilkenny). The last boy mentioned plays with Waterford Utd and played very well against us two weeks ago in Flancare. The amount of players from CBS schools is amazing, given that a few short years ago, these were exclusively Gaelic games schools.Most of those representing their country come from Dublin and Munster with no mention of the midlands, or north western counties.Not one connected to Longford, Athlone, Monaghan, Dundalk, Drogheda, Sligo or Finn Harps at all.By the way, the game was a one all draw with Waterford's Maguire providing the goal; he played again the following day for Waterford in their defeat to Finn Harps.
The Supporters' Club would like to extend its sincere condolences to one of our most loyal supporters, Padraic Connolly and his family on the recent sad death of his brother Frank. Originally from Keon's Terrace, opposite the Cathedral, Frank had more recently lived in Castleknock,Dublin. May he rest in peace.