Junior Football Championship 2012 – Naomh Olaf vs Ballinteer St Johns Match Report
Pairc Ui Bhriain played host to a local derby on Sunday morning as home side Naomh Olaf welcomed Ballinteer Saint Johns for the opening round of the Junior Football Championship. A noticeable wind gave the visitors a degree of advantage as the match started but it was Olafs who won first possession with Full Back Cian Faulkner and Eoin Byrne showing well. Ballinteer soon got motoring though when Sean O’Reilly laid the ball off to midfielder Peter McGlynn whose neat shot split the posts. The attacking threat from the visitors lay in the speed and technique of corner forwards O’Reilly and Conall Dee. The next two points in this opening period came from Dee and O’Reilly respectively but the true work was being done in midfield where good supply was being sent in by McGlynn and Frank Ward.
O’Reilly’s burst of pace was a source of difficulty for the Olafs full back line and, after running out to retrieve possession, the Ballinteer forward’s clever pass back in towards goal found full forward John Hickey in acres of space. Hickey’s dangerous run directly at the Olaf’s net was a real opportunity for the visitors to double their lead; however an excellent parry to his shot by Olaf’s net minder Patrick Donohue forced the ball away from goal to be mopped up by Ward who settled for a point. The resulting kickout was claimed in the air by Niall Dunphy who started another attack for his side and ultimately led to a Jack O’Brien point. Following good defensive work by Olaf centre back Brian Murphy, Mousa Patel set off on a solo run at the Ballinteer rearguard; Patel was clearly the home side’s most dangerous threat in the middle of the park and his work rate won his side a free from 30 yards out. David Lynch, Olaf’s corner forward, launched a ball in that dropped just short of the posts and was cleared by the team in black and orange.
Olaf attempted to regain the initiative when midfielder Jack Dunning plucked the ball from the sky only to be bundled down onto the sod. The free found half forward John Dillon in space however the shot in dropped on front of Ballinteer keeper Martin Sorohan. The resulting play seemed to sum up the home side’s fortunes when Ballinteer’s next play in towards Dee looked to be overcooked. With the ball heading for the end line Dee’s attempt to retrieve it was met with a fair shoulder by Olaf full back Michael McDermott; however a resulting free from Ward saw the Marley Park side move 6 points clear. A neat goal from O’Reilly, and a classy score from far out in midfield by McGlynn, combined with a point from Niall Dunphy off the right foot on the run, finished off the proceedings for the first half.
The second half started off in a similar vein to that witnessed in the first with corner forwards Dee and O’Reilly combining to good effect for another Johns point. The score line was not doing justice to a team that was showing well in the play particularly around the middle third. Olaf’s eventually broke their duck within a few minutes of the restart when Denis Kelleher kicked a free over the bar. A fantastic point from far out on the left corner by Olaf’s number 24 was a sure contender for score of the match. Following good interplay between Patel and Olaf’s corner forward Jack Lee, a Ballinteer foul gave Kelleher another shot at the posts which he duly converted.
Several more points from Ballinteer, and a goal from Dee, took most of the bite out of the second half. Ballinteer substitute Ronan Clabby provided one final score of note in the match when he pointed from a huge shot high into the air from far out on the left sideline.
Full Time: Naomh Olaf 0-03 Ballinteer St Johns 2-13