As the Gaelic season enters the final weeks of the season competition, at both ends of the league it was intense as all teams looked to position themselves for the all important finals day on June 20.
The first game of the day saw the basement boys meet up as the Wolf Tones took on the Cabra Gaels.
The Tones, who were looking to add some respectability to their poor showing of 4 points to date reshuffled their pack, replacing the disruptive Ger Cohen with the dominant defender Ger Finnegan.
This ploy saw immediate results with Mick Kehoe finding his shooting boots and Shaun Geils scoring a superb goal and a point to leave them leading by three points late on and they looked all set to record their first win for many weeks.
A disputed last minute free kick was awarded to the Cabra Gaels and little Declan Cassidy lofted in a Hail Mary pass to see Simon Wetherell flick the ball into the net for three points and a tie much to the jubilation of the gathered Cabra fans.
The next match up saw the league leaders Western Gaels take on the second placed Gabriels.
With three points in it at half time the red Gabriels showed some impressive defence to keep the greens at bay and snuffed out hopes of a comeback with follow up points from Ronan Guilfoyle and Tom Elliott.
The greens replied with scores from Stuart Reed and Tim Fitzgerald but it was all in vain as the strong Gabriels panel eased to a comfortable victory.
The Western Gaels next took on the Wolf Tones, who buoyed by their earlier showing were determined to build upon their earlier improved performance.
As the Gaels struggled to impose themselves the teams exchanged points between Keith Nicholson and Tim Fitzgerald but a goal from Todd Osterdorf opened up the game in favour of the Tones who took a three point advantage into the second half.
In a scrappy second half the Gaels could not find the goal needed to get back into the game despite the prompting of the newly trim Jim McElvanna and a point from Mick Kehoe sealed a surprise and deserved win for the bottom boys over the league leaders.
The final men’s game of the day saw the Gabriels with the chance to take over the top of the table with a win over the Cabra Gaels.
The Cabra Gaels took an early lead with ex-star Declan Cassidy pointing twice and Scott Brittain adding another it looked like another upset was on the cards.
Strong words at half time from captain and Australian long jump champion Rich Marion saw the Gabriels come out fired up.
for the second half and a volley of points from Dennis Rowe and Eoin McNamee put the match back in the balance.
Tom Elliott’s scuffed and deflected effort five minutes from time gave the Reds an unassailable lead to put them on top of the table.
The first ladies game of the day saw Buffer’s Alley take on Rosie O’Connor’s Na Piarsaigh and despite the hot sun, lack of substitutes and O’Connor’s point taking skills from long distances, Buffer’s Alley walked away with 11 points to Na Piarsaigh’s 6.
Buffer’s points were clocked up by Janice Agnew with 2 goals, newbie Tanya Brown with 1 goal and impossible to catch Bobeth O’Garro with 2 points.
Sarsfields were up next against absentee captain Regina O’Connor’s Oliver Plunkett’s.
Joan Murphy whizzed around the pitch at lightning speed and with the accuracy of Michelle Bailey and Sophy Broad, Plunkett’s end of match score came to 4 points, but this was not enough to outperform top scorer Avril O’Reilly’s personal points accumulation of 6.
Oliver Plunkett’s next challenge was Buffer’s Alley and both sides tackled this game with great enthusiasm and skill but Buffer’s captain Sherri Francis was right on target and with O’Garro’s and Janice Agnew’s help, a total of 4 points were scored beating the opposition’s tally of 3 points by the narrowest of margins.
The final game of the day saw Na Piarsaigh take on Sarsfields and both sides slogged it out with Na Piarsaigh’s accumulation of point scores from Rosie O’Connor, Laura Fitzgerald, Georgina Bowers and Tracey Lees coming to 7 in all, just failing to surpass Sarsfield’s goal scores from Helena McGrath, Rebecca Bateman and points from Avril O’Reilly and Emma Ward who altogether achieved 8 points.
Sarsfields continue to cling to the top spot of the league table with a total of 19 points with Buffer’s Alley hot on their tail with 18 points.
Third and fourth place are occupied by Oliver Plunketts and Na Piarsaigh so with just three days play left before finals day, there really is everything to play for.
Dates for your diary:
Saturday 20 June – Championship Finals Day
Friday 26 June – Gaa-La Ball (presentation and 10 year anniversary celebration)
Contact [email protected] for details
Johnny Carey, Yohann Regnard, Ger Finnegan, Shannon Moylan (on ball), Todd Ostendorff