Callan Gaels 2-16
Doire Trasna 1-7
With the rain beating of the windshield on the way up the Glenshane, you would have been forgiven for turning back, but the rain had abated by the time the boys lined out to leave a firm slick surface.
With Oran Kelly in for the coin toss this week in the absence of Paul McCrystal recovering from concussion the previous week, we started against the wind and crucially won the throw in and after 2minutes of pressure won a 45. The kick was short but picked up by Oran Kelly to open the scoring. Doire Trasna then made the best of their wind advantage for a few minutes, but only came away with one point and three wides, with good pressure from the away defence. Dillon Collins then got on the ball up front and skipped through a few tackles and into the box before flicking it across to Ryan McGuckin at the rear post for an easy tap in on nine minutes. McGuckin was then pulled down after getting on the ball well, and the resulting free was dispatched by Aaron Moore.
The home side then went on a bit of a run for a few minutes, starting with a shot on goal, but Liam Macinnes stretched well to stop the ball sneaking in under the bar and out for a 45. Doire Trasna got three points on the bounce attacking with the breeze. A turn over saw the Gaels run the ball out of defence and the ever lively Dylan Bloomer had his shot parried wide by the keeper. Bloomer then got on the end of the resulting 45 to shot over the shoulder to score. Using the wind to send the ball in long and taking advantage of a goalmouth scramble Trasna poked one in the net on 22 minutes to make the score 1-4 a piece. Oisin O’Neill came on for Caelan Croskery who battled well for 25 minutes. Trasna pushed another wide before the sides exchanged scores again to finish the half 1-5 each, a good return for the Gaels into the stiff breeze. Dominic O’Connor came in for Shea Bell at half time.
If Callan Gaels thought the second half would be plain sailing with the wind they were caught on the bounce as Trasna pointed in the first minute, and won a 45 from some pressure straight after. There was a period of possession for the Gaels, but some aimless play led to long periods of up and down the field until the Trasna fouled 45m out and to the right of the posts. Aaron Moore stepped up confidently to dispatch a morale boosting outside of the boot effort. Oran Kelly then scored again, and as the pressure was mounting Dylan Bloomer was pulled down in the box for a penalty. Aaron Moore’s shot was stopped on the line and a forceful follow up was deemed too strong for the referee and Moore was yellow carded. As the game seemed like it might cut out rough Oran Kelly took it by the scruff of the neck turning over the resulting free kick, and gliding in at an acute angle to roof the net. The flood gates then seemed to open and Moore smashed yet another outside of the boot effort. Two points followed from Eunan McElhennon coming in for his first game of the season and showing the older boys how to look good on the ball. The full back Aodhan Conway also got on the score sheet and spent much of the final 15 minutes in attack as Trasna fell back behind the ball, leaving the keeper and Ryan McAllister alone in one half of the field with O’Connor holding the pocket. Kelly pointed again on 24 minutes from play and with a free on 25 minutes, and Bloomer who plagued his marker all evening slotted over a well won free of his own on 26 minutes. A wide out shot then dropped short straight into the arms of Tiernan O’Neill not long on the field who gratefully pointed from in front of the posts. By the time Aaron Moore pointed on 29 minutes the game was well over and the score was 2-16 to 1-7.
All said Callan Gaels worked hard for the win and for each other, and look more assured with each game, and with strong replacements to enhance the side when they come on. With three wins from three they will look forward to their biggest test of the season thus far facing Slaughtmaus at Longfield in a top of the table clash. After two epic battles in the league and the championship semi last year, this could turn out to be a decisive game in this year’s league.
Team: Liam Macinness, Ryan McAlister, Aodhan Conway, Shea Bell, Caelan Croskery, Oran Kelly, Kieran Moore, Dillon Collins, Aaron Moore, Gavin Donnelly, Kelan Meharg, Dylan Bloomer, Ryan McGuckin.
Replacements: Oisin O’Neill for Caelan Croskery, Dominic O’Connor for Shea Bell, Eunan McElhennon for Dillon Collins, Tiernan O’Neill for Kelan Meharg