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posted 13 Oct 2011, 10:01 by Unknown user

Traditionally, meetings between Aglish and Ballinaclough national schools have always served up very exciting and skilful matches. Their football clash on September 23rd last again upheld this trend. The nicely manicured terrain of McDonagh Park, Nenagh hosted this competitive opening round fixture. Weather conditions were beneficial to a positive and open style of football. If underfoot football conditions were mirrored in racing terms, then “good to firm” would be an appropriate description.  Interestingly both the skill and commitment levels could also be described as being similar. From the onset it was clear that both sides meant serious business. It has to be noted that referee, Mr Christy McLoughlin, did a great job in keeping a nice flow to the game. ( One in fact could be forgiven for thinking that maybe Christy had served his refereeing apprenticeship under the guidance of Mr Cody in some of those infamous training session matches around the hurling fields of Kilkenny). Both sets of defences foraged and tackled to good effect, and as a result, both sets of forwards worked hard for scores. This trend continued from the start of the first half right through to the final whistle. When half time arrived Ballinaclough found themselves ahead by a margin of 4 points. Ballinaclough were best served in the first half by Ellen Maher in defence and Shane Steed at midfield while Cein Fitzpatrick proved a constant thorn in the Aglish defensive sides. Eoghan Slevin, Catherine Tighe, Kevin Harding and Conor Gavin were Aglish’s finest during this period also. The second half produced many fine passages of play and opportunist score taking. Both sets of parents and supporters were treated to impressive spells of team and combination plays. It was only mid way through the second half that Aglish began to take an upper-hand on the morning’s proceedings. Substitute Conor Ryan showed great awareness, skill and maturity when dispatching a rocket to the Ballinaclough net. This goal gave Aglish a 6 point cushion and now Stephen Gavin, Dean Harding and Jack Darcy began to dominate. With 5 minutes remaining on the clock, Ballinaclough threw everything at the Aglish defence. Ballinclough players, Cathal Delaney, Ciara Dwan, Darragh Nolan and Diarmuid Fitzpatrick  all stepped up to the mark and showed great heart to narrow the gap to 3 points with 2 minutes remaining. A fine save from Kevin Harding late in injury time ensured that Aglish emerged as victors on this occasion on a scoreline of 4 -6 to 4 -3. Both sets of panels must be praised on the sportsmanship and respect they displayed both on and off the field. Again there was only a kick of a ball” idir na foirne” and we will wait with great expectation and excitement for the return leg after Christmas. Both panels will again do battle for the spoils, but next time however it will be fought over the small ball. (We hope Christy will refrain from visiting Cody country between now and then!)