Shamrocks beat Drum

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Newry Shamrocks 2-10. Drumgath 1-10.

NEWRY Shamrocks survived a late Drumgath comeback to secure victory in Friday's entertaining Division Two clash in Pairc Esler.
Both sides are in a state of transition and it was two youthful teams contesting for senior honours.
Drumgath have been hit with mass retirements since winning the Down Intermediate Club Championship last year, while the Newry side are starting to strike the balance between experience and introducing young players. Shamrocks manager Paul Lambe has introduced young Jody McGovern into the senior set-up and on Friday night he showed glimpses of the potential he has, bagging two points and engineering several more. At only 17-years-old McGovern has vision and accuracy and it is no unfair comparison to suggest he could be the next Marty Clarke for Down in the near future. A treble winner with Linfield FC U19 this season, McGovern was initially overlooked for the Down Minor side, but it won't be a surprise to see the Shamrocks playmaker play for Down in the near future.
And with the potent forward line of McGovern and Mark Haughey, both Linfield FC footballers, and Jack Haughey, the City side have an explosive attack.
The Drumgath side at times lacked conviction as poor handling at crucial periods, when they had Shamrocks on the back foot, proved costly. It is understandable given how many players at under 19-years-old they played, but the Drums young guns are talented footballers and should be more confident about how they will fare in Division Two this season.
Drumgath could have enjoyed a dream start but Shamrocks keeper Colm Heaney denied Colm Maginn a certain goal after he burst through the heart of the Newry defence before shooting. As the referee had given advantage en route to his shot Colm McComish converted the resultant free to give Drumgath and early lead.
But with only two minutes played Shamrocks took the lead after Jack Haughey sped down the right flank before cutting inside and from a narrow angle he accurately buried his shot into the top corner of the near-post net.
What may have been lacking in quality was more than made up for in enthusiasm as both sides went for the jugular throughout, but it was Shamrocks' experience and a bit more composure in attack that was the main difference.
Jack Haughey and Conall Gough tagged on points, whilst Jack McAvoy and Ryan Hillen replied for the Drums.
Shamrocks defender Daniel Kane, who had a brilliant game stretched the lead although big Packie Downey launched over a long-range point to keep Drumgath in touch. Colm McComish's converted free narrowed the gap again but the Drums failed to build on momemtum despite mounting a series of attacks and Shamrocks duly punished with the hard working Fergal McAvoy kicking between the posts.
The half finished as it started with Colm Maginn attacking only this time he struck a point from distance.
Half-time: Shamrocks: 1-04 Drumgath 0-06.
Young McGovern squeezed over a point and he was involved in the move of the match when from the right corner he floated a pin-point cross-field pass to the unmarked Kane who off-loaded to Mark Haughey and the full-forward simply tapped over the bar.
Drumgath were wasteful in front of posts while Jack Haughey displayed hunger and courage to bull through the Drums defence and drill over bar. And when Mark Haughey was upended in the square he had no hesitance in stepping up and converting the spot-kick, sending the ball to his top right corner of the net.
Jack Haughey tagged on another point to give Shamrocks a 2-07 to 0-6 lead with 20 minutes to go and Drumgath looked static and demoralised.
But they were inspired by big Packie Downey who from 21-metres from goal, collected a long pass from player-manager Jack Lynch, and while the target-man seemed to take an eternity to turn towards goal, his shot must have broken the sound barrier as he rifled brilliantly into the net.
The Drums were back in the game and a converted free from McComish left only a goal between the sides.
There was plenty of vocal support as the Drumgath fans sniffed an opportunity to get something from the game and the Shamrock crowd were concerned the game was slipping.
The City side needed cool heads and it was young McGovern who led the charge as he shook off his marker before rushing towards goal and kicking over the bar.
Still it was all to play for as McComish and Ryan Hillen replied and only two points separated the sides with three minutes remaining.
Mark Haughey dropped deep to bolster the Shamrocks defence but it was the City men that had the last say as John McAteer, who had worked tirelessly all evening, sensibly fisted over the bar to seal victory.
SHAMROCKS: Colm Heaney, Daniel Kane, James Dickson, Neill McParland, Nathan Murphy, Eoin McGuinness, Damien McKeown, Conor Gough, Fergal McAvoy, John McAteer, Conall Gough, Conor Fegan, Jody McGovern, Mark Haughey and Jack Haughey.
DRUMGATH: Cavlan Parsons, Ryan Trainor, Paul Hillen, Miceal McArdle, Gary O'Reilly, Padraig Lively, Liam Hynes, Jack Lynch, Colm Maginn, Gareth Maginn, Ryan Hillen, Jack McAvoy, Cathal Tumilty, Colm McComish and Packie Downey. Subs: Ciaran Devlin for G O'Reilly ht'.

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