Home Draw with Blues Secures Div 1 League Safety

18 Oct 2009

The Joes senior team went into the last game of the season with Division 1 league survival very much in the balance. Along with the Malachis, the Gaels and the Brides, the last round of matches would decide who was relegated and who went into a survival playoff. Their opposition was last years senior champions and current top four team, Newtown Blues. The Joes did have the advantage of having the match at home.


The opening quarter of the match was eventful. The scoring was opened with an Alan Mc Kenna free, before a Peter Brennan goal puts the Joes into a good lead. There was also the first controversial occasion of the game a shot on goal from Daragh Smyth hit the underside of the crossbar, before bouncing behind the line. Numerous witnesses are full certain that the ball bounced behind the line, including the Joes umpire, however the referee did not give the goal! (photo of the goal that never was is above) The Blues would go on to score six points in the half, before the scoring for the half was wrapped up by a second Alan Mc Kenna pointed free, after he had been fouled himself. With the exception of the goal that wasnt given the first half was pretty low scoring and uneventful, very much unlike the second half that was to come.
Half Time Score: St Josephs 1-2, Newtown Blues 0-6


The Joes started brightest in the second half and soon turned the deficit into a lead. The first point of the half was again an Alan Mc Kenna free, this time after Derek Mulligan had been fouled. Mulligan was again involved in the next score, this time winning a long ball in before setting up Daragh for a point. The next controversial decision was to come with seven minutes gone in the half. This time Mully did well to win a breaking ball out the field and earn himself a free, the free was played straight into Ollie Mc Donnell, who was clearly dragged down in the area. Again the crucial call would go against the home side with no penalty given, to the huge surprise of the home crowd! This was soon followed by the third controversial call of the match, on this occasion David Reilly drove forward from defence and the move was finished with what appeared be a Derek Mulligan point. The Joes umpire (not the same man involved with the goal incident in the first half) was well positioned and gave the point, the Blues umpire disagreed and for the third time the crucial call from the referee went against the Cluskey Park outfit.


Another goal chance presented itself shortly after, when Alan Mc Kenna had a fisted effort on goal, this didn’t come off, but quick thinking from Derek Mulligan saw him hand pass the ball over the bar. The Joes fifth unanswered point came when a move started by Philip Kinahan in defence and featuring more good work from Mulligan was superbly finished by Mc Kenna. However, just as the Joes had stretched their lead to three points, the Blues came straight down the field and levelled the game with a goal of their own from Jason Delehan. Yet the next score of the game would restore the three point lead. With 16 minutes played, Skid Reilly won a free in the middle of the field, he then proceed to drop kick the free towards the square, it dropped perfectly for Tomas Smyth, who neatly finished to the net. The lead was pushed out to four with an Ollie Mc Donnell point, after he had been set up by Daragh Smyth. Blues again came straight down the field and cut the lead with a Keith Lynch point. Alan Mc Kennas fourth pointed free of the match restored the four point lead. The Joes nearly stretched this out to five points, but a Mc Donnell shot came off the post, the Blues gathered and yet again went straight down the field and goaled, this time from substitute Ian Mc Manus. A free from Colm Judge would level the game.


The Joes thought that they might have won the game when in the last minute of normal play Mc Kenna was fouled and again despatched the pressure kick over the bar. However with over 32 minutes played Keith Lynch was fouled and Colm Judge had the opportunity to level up the game.
Full Time Score: St Josephs 2-9, Newtown Blues 2-9


As it turned out the draw was a good result for both sides as the word filtered through that the Gaels had lost the mental calculators were employed to confirm that the Joes were indeed safe. The point turned out to be sufficient for the Drogheda men to make the top four also.


Team: Paul Dromgoole, Philip Kinahan, Anthony Kennan, David Reilly, Bernard Mulligan, Conor Murtagh, Mark Dromgoole, Conal O Hanlon, Peter Brennan (1-0), Peter Mulligan, Daragh Smyth (0-1), Tomas Smyth (1-0), Derek Mulligan (0-1), Ollie Mc Donnell (0-1), Alan Mc Kenna (0-6)
Subs Used: John Mc Guinness for Peter Mulligan

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