St Colmcilles Cardiff v St Nicks Bristol

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Updated: April 7, 2014
Cardiff GAA v St Nick Bristol

Gloucestershire Senior Football League Round 1

St Colmcilles kicked off their 2014 league campaign with a defeat by the narrowest of margins on a sunny afternoon in Cardiff in a repeat of last years Gloucestershire County Final. It was familiar foes St Nicks of Bristol who took the points back over the Severn Bridge by making their superior possession in the middle third tell on the scoreboard.

St Colmcilles debuted no fewer than 5 new players in a new look team. Cathal Garvey, Tony Murtagh, Richard Murphy, Kevin Smyth and Johnny Hennessey. Newly installed Cardiff Team manager Eoin Butler was concise in his message before the game. Work work and more work. In the early exchanges St Colmcilles handled themselves well. All of the new additions bedding in well and playing with a fluidity which is earned over a far greater period of time than they have had the luxury of enjoying as of yet.

Johnny Hennessy was a great outlet for Cardiff and won the world of ball in the early stages bringing those around him into the game and causing problems for the Bristol defence. Paudie ‘Studless’ Rooney was a constant thorn in the side of the Bristol defence using the ball very well and getting on the score sheet in the process. His movement more reminiscent of cousin Wayne, creating space and scoring chances for fellow marksmen Paul Kennedy and Sean Roddy who were finding their range.

At the other end of the field, the steady head of Cardiff veteran Barry McDonnell at full back who led by example ensured that Cathal Garvey and Paddy McHale didn’t allow St Nicks a sniff of the whitewash in the Cardiff goalmouth. Tony Murtagh and Ollie Harney delivered great ball into the forward line whilst Captain Mark O’Neill was steadfast and tenacious as ever as Cardiff went in 0-7 to 0-5 up at half time.

St Nicks started the second half brightly  but it was St Colmcilles who drew first blood as they stretched their lead to 0-9 to 0-6 as Richard Murphy and Kevin Smyth worked tirelessly at midfield. Despite this a resurgent Bristol team began to get on top once more, winning possession more freely and mopping up the breaking ball with relative ease. This resulted St Nicks taking the lead with a scoreline of 0-10 to 0-9. A good spell from Cardiff late in the second half went unrewarded as they could not make it count on the scoreboard with St Nicks holding out to win by a single score.

This will serve as a timely reminder to the Cardiff lads of the level that they need to reach in order to win back the League and Championship titles. Their proclivities for hard work must now be funnelled into practical application for the business end of the year on a step by step basis. That first step is to be taken in Plymouth in less than a week and must ensure that, after a year without silverware, the Cardiff apple cart gets back on the road to redemption.

Cardiff Team: Aidan Farrelly, Cathal Garvey, Barry McDonnell, Paddy McHale, Tony Murtagh, Ollie Harney, Mark O’Neill, Richard Murphy, Kevin Smyth, Paudie Rooney, Sean Roddy, Aidan Watt, Paul Kennedy, Johnny Hennessey, Shane Hyland.

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