It was yet another lovely sunny Sunday at Longfield, perfect conditions for a good game of football, pitch in good condition and an air of belief in the team after picking up their first league points the previous week. Sadly that’s as good as it got for the Seniors.
The game started like all tussles with Foreglen, tough and competitive. With both sides showing commitment to play Football. The game was evenly balanced for the first 20 minutes until a straight red card for Jimmy McElhennon handed the visitors an advantage. At the break the Martins went in with a goal between the two sides with a second half breeze to their advantage. Not an ideal situation but certainly not a dire one either.
The second half saw the Martins keep trying and playing some good football given the situation. In fact the game could have swung either way until the last ten minutes where Desertmartin squandered some good point scoring opportunities, with the ball staying in play and a very efficient Foreglen side sweeping down the pitch and not making the same mistakes to put the game 5 points in their favour.
The game ended up with the Martins loosing by 7 points with a scoreline of Desertmartin 0-8 Foreglen 1-12.
With several negative points from this game hitting the Martins, yet another injury. Leading scorer, Donal Murray, picked up a serious knock which will almost certainly rule him out of next weeks game, joining brother Rurai Murray, JP Higgins and Colm McDaid to the ever growing Martins injury list, and suspensions for Gregory McGovern and Jimmy McElhennon ruling them out of the championship against Steelstown. It looks to be hard times ahead for the Martins.
The one highlight out of this game was the introduction of Paul Kidd as a first half substitute. He showed maturity and calmness beyond his sixteen years of age. It was an impressive display from the newest “Kidd on the block” and hopefully the first of many. He must have staked a strong claim for a position in the starting 15.
With the Championship coming next week the Management and players alike face the difficult job off rebuilding the team and morale. I think it would be a huge step forward for all club members, and indeed people of the parish, to get behind the team for the game next week, and show the players that we are behind them and unified in our support for them. A huge loud, vocal and encouraging support could be just the ticket the lads need to lift their spirits.
In stark contrast to the Seniors the Reserves picked up another 2 league points against their North Derry visitors. The Reserves have a good blend off youth and older craft that works well within the team. The backs as usual where very miserly in keeping the visitors to single figures and in keeping a clean sheet as well.
It would be wrong to single out any one of the backs as they where all excellent and as a unit the provided a strong foundation for the rest of the team to play open football. Dec Kidd Jnr had another good game between the sticks and pulled off a great double save in the last five minutes for the back seven to keep their clean sheet.
In midfield Dermot ‘Gordon’ Kelly provides the steady hand on the tiller and keeps things moving the right way. Johnny McGovern chipped in with a good score from distance. In the forwards, Paul McGovern and Aidy McGugan took some great scores and caused constant problems to the Foreglen defence.
With the Reserves having a comfortable half time lead of 2-7 to 0-6 the Management had the chance to introduce several substitutes into the fray, and one of these, Gavin ‘Dingle’ Kidd scoring 1-1 from play. All in all it was a good team performance from the Reserves who ran out 3-12 to 0-8 winners