GAA | Gaels and Gers can’t be separated

U18 League Division One

Dundalk Gaels 3–6 Geraldines 2–9

Dundalk Gaels and the Geraldines served up an entertaining draw in their opening game of the U18 Division One League at the Ramparts on Monday night.

The match was only a few minutes old when the Haggardstown side drew first blood. A great move which originated in the Geraldines full back line saw Dan Corcoran run the length of the pitch, passing through the hands of a number of his teammates, before finishing expertly past Kyle Connor in the Gaels goal.

This rude awakening kickstarted the Gaels into action but they found points hard to come by in the early stages, kicking four wides — two of them frees — with scorable efforts, while Geraldines corner-back, Matty Fee, kept his backline well marshaled.

At the other end, the Gers also struggled to get any joy out of a rugged Gaels backline that looked cohesive with Gavin Farrell, Tom O’Connell and Charlie Donnelly catching the eye.

The Gers upped their game and added a further point through Jack Reid and they could have taken real control of the game had it not been for the alertness of young Gaels netminder, Kyle Connor, who somehow managed to keep Liam McDonnell’s goalbound effort from a scramble out.

The Gaels hit back and those in attendance were treated to an exhibition of point scoring by John O’Hare, who kicked four sweet points without reply to propel the Gaels into the lead for the first time in the match.

However, the lead lasted just minutes as Reid, Ben Mooney and Feidhlim Joyce started to punch holes in the Gaels defence to extend the visitors lead to two. An Andrew Curley free for the Gaels left just one between the sides at the break, 1–3 to 0–5 in favour of the Gers.

Gerry Hoey’s side dominated the opening 15 minutes of the second half, pinning the Gaels back for extended periods. When the Dundalk side did break out, a combination of some sloppy passing or stout Geraldines defending sent the ball back the way it came.

The Geraldines scored six unanswered points during this period, with substitute Neil Smith coming off the bench to contribute two well taken scores, and it appeared like there was no way back for the Gaels.

However, they were thrown a lifeline when a defence splitting pass by Adam Hooper set Conor Nicholson in behind the Gers defence and his pace took him away from the pursuing defenders to finish superbly in the bottom left corner of Ciaran Peelo’s net.

It looked like it was game on at this stage but the Geraldines burst the Gaels’ bubble when Jack Reid breached the blue and white backline to fire past Connor and make it 2–9 to 1–6, leaving the hosts with a mountain to climb with just eight minutes to go.

To their credit, Packie O’Connor’s team dug deep and some great work on the right wing by Tom McDonough ended with him releasing a pass to Tiernan Duffy and the full forward finished the ball low to the net.

The next passage of play saw the Gaels perform their own version of the Geraldines’ opening goal with the ball moving the length of the pitch down the left wing.

A number of interchanges between Andrew Curley and Luke Murray ended with the substitute raising the green flag to leave just one in the difference.

The game was in the melting pot at this stage but it was the Gaels who secured a draw when John O‘Hare added another of his trademark points in the dying stages.

The final whistle blew shortly after, bringing a game that had many handling errors and many missed chances to an end. Both sides will reflect and feel that a point apiece was probably the correct outcome.

DUNDALK GAELS: Kyle Connor; Stephen Rylands, Charlie Donnelly, Patrick Farrelly; Gavin Farrell, Adam Hooper, Liam McFadden; Andrew Curley (0–1), Edgar Bitainis; Liam Lawless, John O’Hare (0–5), Cain Bromley; Tom O’Connell, Tiernan Duffy (1–0), Conor Nicholson (1–0). Subs: Luke Murray (1–0) for L Lawless, Mark Hanna for L McFadden, Jack Duffy for P Farrelly, Tom McDonough for C Bromley.

GERALDINES: Ciaran Peelo; Eoin O’Hora, Dan Corcoran, Matty Fee; Senan Duffy, Paraic Cunningham, Ross Kelly; Dylan Sharkey, Ben Mooney; David Murdock, Feidhlim Joyce, Paddy Craven; Liam McDonnell, Jack Reid, Conor McGowan. Subs: Liam McDonnell for J Reid; Ronan Greene for D Murdock; Neil Smyth for L McDonnell; Oisin Geoghegan for P Craven; Ciaran Fee for C McGowan.

REFEREE: Kevin Carroll.

U18 Division One League results

Mattock/Hunterstown 1–7 St Mary’s 2–14
Dundalk Gaels 3–6 Geraldines 2–9
Roche/St Bride’s 0–11 Naomh Mairtin 2–14
Cooley Kickhams 1–12 St Patrick’s 2–9

U18 Division Two League

St Nicholas 0–10 Na Piarsaigh/O’Mahony’s/Dowdallshill 3–5
Newtown Blues 2–16 Dreadnots 1–10
Wolfe Tones 0–7 St Mochtas 3–12
St Fechins 3–11 Oliver Plunketts 4–8

U18 Division Three League

Naomh Fionnbarra/Lannleire P-P Dundalk Young Irelands
Dundalk YI conceded.
O’Connells/Stabannon/Mitchels 2–13 Kilkerley/Naomh Malachi 2–12

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.