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This Week's Aletto

Valley Lodge,  25th March

Letters: A S I L

Winner: Alison Deery Ward, 18 ONeill St, Carrickmacross 

Jackpot: Euro 2,300

Next week: Deery's

Jackpot: Euro 1,000


14's V Killylough

Carrick Rovers Lions 2-2 Killylough
CMUL 14s Championship
Carrick Rovers welcomed Killylough to the convent lands for their 3rd encounter of the season but still searching for a result against their north Monaghan opponents. Rovers were in good spirits in the lead up to the game, having matched and at times outplayed their opponents in all areas except the scoreline in previous matches, confidence was high we could secure a result.

Rovers began the game well, Breffni in goals gave his defence and teammates great encouragement and advice and could be heard from all corners of the pitch. As Rovers tried to kick start their passing game it was Killylough who looked more dangerous as they tested Rovers with a few early balls over the top. Adam Lynagh and Dylan McEneaney in the centre of defence stood firm and showed good anticipation by dropping back to intercept the through ball with both Conor O’Rourke and Euan Matthews in the right and left back positions tracking back to provide depth and cover.

Fionnan and Michal have formed a formidable partnership in central midfield this season and against Killylough showed their worth as they found each other with short passes before launching an attack. As the game settled it was Rovers who carved out the first real chance of the game, with Dylan Ward muscling his way between two defenders and leaving them in his wake as they simply couldn’t match him for pace. The Killylough keeper came out and narrowed the angles but Dylan comfortably side stepped to the right to find the goal at his mercy but unfortunately could not wrap his foot around the ball as his shot flew past the wrong side of the side netting for a goal kick.

Rovers continued to press and with some good interchanges down the left side of midfield Eoin Duffy found Jack Gillick with a pass just inside the opposition box. Jack took the Killylough goalkeeper and everybody else by surprise with an early and delicately executed shot with the outside of his right boot that saw the ball spin over the Killylough defence and with the goalkeeper stranded was heading for the top right corner of the goals. Gasps could be heard around the grounds as the Killylough players were relieved to see the ball whiz wide of the post and the Rovers players denied witness to a tremendous goal.

Still, Rovers pressed on. Michal showed great determination and pace to support his teammates in attack as they broke on the counter, with Fionnan showing great discipline to hold the centre of midfield and dictate the play from deep and provide the link between defence and midfield. Rovers continued to probe and break down the Killylough defence and eventually found reward for their effort when midway through the second half Dylan Ward found himself in space with a clear sight on goal. Without hesitation Dylan struck a sublime effort leaving the keeper with no chance as the ball found the bottom corner of the net, a skill in itself making it look so easy, and not for the first time this season.

Again, Rovers pressed on, in search of another. Eoghan Dillane showed great work out on the right of midfield, really finding his feet in a new position, winning possession in the tackle and playing the simple 5 and 10 yard pass. The simple 10 yard pass proved highly effective as Eoghan played in Dylan Ward hovering on the line of the last man of the Killylough defence. Dylan turned with the ball and raced clear of the defence and slotted home for his second of the match.

As the end of the first half loomed Rovers were hit with a ball over the top, the defence did their best to intercept but the flight of the ball favoured the Killylough striker as the wind that swept around the convent lands gave the ball an extra yard of pace. Breffni came off his line to try and clear but the bounce of the ball and persistence from the Killylough striker resulted in a head on collision and the referee pointed to the penalty spot. Killylough stepped up and found the back of the net with a well struck penalty.

Rovers regrouped at half time, deservedly ahead and disappointed to concede so near to half time, but still determined to get on the ball and work hard. Rovers found it difficult to make the ball stick in the second half, Jack Gillick showing good touches and strength to retain possession as he tried to move his team forward, but could not find an outlet as Killylough played their way back into the match. Killylough changed formation to 3 up front as they pushed for an equaliser, the opposition number 12 given a free role across the front. Jarod Wenham came on in midfield to give some fresh legs and did well, getting straight into the action, putting in some good challenges and covering a lot of ground. Rovers defended well and the midfield worked hard to close down the space in front of the back 4, but after withstanding a number of continuous attacks Killylough found their equaliser as their number 12 pounced on a loose ball in the box and brought the scores level at 2:2.

Rovers continued to work hard, their efforts visible to anyone present. Each player encouraging the next and striving to get the passing game going, you couldn’t really ask for more. Euan Matthews enjoyed probably his best game of the season so far at left back, showing great determination and desire to win the ball, a marked improvement in his overall performance.

As Rovers fought for better position on the pitch they found some respite as Jack Gillick picked up a ball left of midfield and point blank refused to give up possession as he held off several challenges and was eventually brought down unfairly, winning his team a free kick and the chance to move forward in the game. A innocuous but sneaky kick in retaliation from the Killylough player as Jack picked himself up off the ground went unpunished as the referee allegedly didn’t see it, but credit to Jack as he walked away and didn’t incite the incident further.

The game evened out in the final 15 minutes, each team giving tit for tat. Jarod Wenham found himself in a good position on the edge of the opposition box. When the ball broke he tried a well struck first time shot, hoping to catch the keeper off guard, but the Killylough defence did enough to close it down and clear. Killylough had one final attack of note as the final whistle drew near when the Killylough striker raced in behind the Rovers defence and into the box but was met by the tackle of the match as Dylan McEneaney threw himself in front of the ball as the shot came in. Timing and precision were key, with very little room for error and considering the game was in its final stages it ensured Rovers left with a share of the spoils.

Final Score: Carrick Rovers Lions 2-2 Killylough

Team: Breffni Henry, Euan Matthews, Adam Lynagh, Dylan McEneaney, Conor O’Rourke, Eoin Duffy, Fionnan Cassidy (Captain), Michal Stemplewski, Eoghan Dillane, Jack Gillick, Dylan Ward, Jared Wenham

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