Is Friday Night Really Football Night?
Friday nights under lights at Healy Park and one would have expected to see a large crowd assemble to watch a pair of championship quarter finals. Sadly on Friday night that was not the case and having watched the fare served up it seemed that those who opted to stay at home had made the right decision. However they did miss one or two debateable issues as both games threw up “scores” which appeared to be missed by the match officials. Ryan Gartland was adamant his shot had hit the net in the first half of the Eskra v Urney game but the umpires felt otherwise while in the senior game it appeared that a Derrylaughan shot went over the bar, struck the stanchion and bounced back into play. Once again the umpires were “unmoved” much to the annoyance of the lough shore forwards. While the quality of the football played will hardly make either of these matches collector’s items, nevertheless the DVD recording of both these incidents will be worth looking back on if only to determine what exactly happened in those two situations.
The Power NI Intermediate Championship game between Eskra and Urney produced a reasonably entertaining first half with little between the teams in terms of possession or scores. It was full of honest endeavour but short on quality. However Eskra won’t worry about that because ultimately they came to do a job and they did it and are now through to the last four. As far as they are concerned it was objective achieved and they can now begin preparing for the semi final. Urney will look back on this game as a missed opportunity where they never really got going and only began to threaten late in the game by which stage the gap was too large. Playing with fourteen men did not help their cause either and in spite of the best efforts of Johnny Lafferty and Mark Devine they failed to trouble the Eskra defence significantly through the hour.
Hopes were high that the senior game would provide a spectacle for the supporters but in spite of the intensity of the tackling and one or two flashes of brilliance from young Mark Bradley the game failed to arouse too much passion or excitement among the supporters. Killyclogher won largely because of their good first half display but they know that they will need to improve considerably if they are to have any chance of obtaining a place in the final.
Both teams made some very elementary mistakes and the quality of passing and distribution from both the foot and hand was poor. The percentage of misplaced passes and wasted attempts on goal was much too high for any team wishing to make an impact in the senior championship. However the St Mary’s can at least take solace from the fact that they are the first team through to the semi finals of the Power NI senior championship. They will hope to have Dermot Carlin back for that game and his presence will prove to be a huge bonus for the team.
For Derrylaughan it is a case of going back to the drawing board and reflecting on what was for them a very disappointing and low key display. They will wonder how they managed to underperform so poorly in the opening half and will now focus their minds on the final few league games of the season.