Skryne leave it late to snatch a draw in Enfield
Seamus Connolly Catering A League, Division 1A – Round 9
Na Fianna 3-06, Skryne 2-09
After gifting two early goals to Na Fianna in the first half and another in the second half, Skryne spent the entire game chasing down Na Fianna’s lead. They were rewarded for their graft in the final minute of the game when Mark Battersby lofted a free into the penalty area. The ball was punched down towards man-of-the-match Shane Smyth. Smyth got hold of the ball on the edge of the small parellelogram, swivelled onto his left foot and despite the attention of a number of Na Fianna defenders, shot to the back of the net to draw Skryne level for the first time in the game. Skryne launched another attack deep into injury time and were unlucky not to secure the victory. Nevertheless it was a positive outcome for a team that has been ripped apart with injuries throughout the league campaign and on the night were missing another three players who were attending their graduation. The Skryne lads answered the call to arms and produced a gutsy display to earn a well-deserved draw.
In a frantic opening 5 minutes, Na Fianna opened the scoring with a pointed free in the second minute. Skryne hit back straight from the kickout when Oisín Keogh struck a terrific goal after he ran from midfield dodging several challenges before unleashing a low shot past the Na Fianna keeper into the back of the net. Skryne barely had time to celebrate when Na Fianna attacked down the left side. Skryne did well to dispossess the Na Fianna forward, but then a stray pass in front of the Skryne goal landed in the grateful arms of another Na Fianna attacker who blasted a left foot shot past Skryne net-minder Ciarán Lenehan. Just a minute later the Skryne defence were punished for another mistake and the # 12 for Na Fianna capitalised when he saw his shot at goal slipped into the bottom left corner of the net at the butt of the post to put them four points clear. Skryne had a number of excellent chances of points in the minutes following this goal, but they went for goals instead of the easier points and came away with neither. Na Fianna added another pointed free on the quarter-hour mark. Skryne closed the gap in the second quarter out-scoring Na Fianna by three points to one with Mark Battersby firing over two frees while Shane Smyth hit a peach of a point with the outside of his boot to lift the boys in blue. Half-time: Na Fianna 2-03, Skryne 1-04.
The second half took a while to get going with both sides guilty of early mistakes. Na Fianna finally opened the scoring 7 minutes into the half and then added another to stretch their lead out to four. A Mark Battersby free followed by an excellent score from Mark Swan kept Skryne in touch of their opponents at the midway point of the half. Na Fianna added another pointed free and then Oisín Keogh replied for Skryne. Disaster struck again 19 minutes into the half when Na Fianna’s wing half-back sent a ball into his left corner forward who turned and shot across the face of the Skryne goal. Ciarán Lenehan dived to his left and managed to get a hand on the ball but the loose ball was pounced on by a Na Fianna player who reacted quickly to kick the ball to the back of the net. Skryne again saw the gap increase to five with time running out. Thankfully, when the chips were down, the lads responded. Oisín Keogh fired over despite close attention from the Na Fianna defence. A Mark Battersby free reduced the deficit to just three with 4 minutes remaining. Skryne attacked forward in search of scores to close the gap but were struggling to break down the Na Fianna defence. But with normal time almost up Skryne’s hero on the night Shane Smyth grabbed the all-important goal which ensured the Taramen didn’t leave empty-handed. Full-time: Na Fianna 3-06, Skryne 2-09
All is pretty tight at the lower end of the Division 1a table and Skryne will need to show more of this evening’s fighting spirit to stay out of the drop-zone with three tough games remaining against Summerhill and Gaeil Colmcille away and Ratoath at home.
Skryne: Ciarán Lenehan; David Rathbourne, Andrew Moore, Niall Lenehan; Tommy Carpenter, John O’Regan, John Finnerty; Stephen O’Brien, Michael Doherty; Paddy Carpenter, Oisín Keogh(1-2), Shane Smyth(1-2), Mark Swan(0-1), Padraig Finnerty, Mark Battersby(0-4, 4fs).
Subs Used: Robert Gallagher, Conor Donohoe
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