St Colmcilles Edge out St Nicks in Gloucestershire League Semi Final

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Updated: July 7, 2014
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St Colmcilles Cardiff       3-06                                       St Nicks Bristol                  0-07

Cardiff St Colmcilles got one over on their closest rivals of recent years with a hard fought victory over a very good St Nick’s side at Old Cryptians Rugby ground in Gloucester on Sunday. A huge crowd had gathered to witness the double header of matches which encompassed both Gloucestershire League Semi Finals on a weekend of football co-ordinated to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the St Patricks GAA Club in Gloucester. Fantastic work has been done by St Patricks in recent years and their fantastic facilities and great underage development program is a testament to all those who give their time so generously. In the earlier throw in, St Judes of Bournemouth booked their place in the league decider by overcoming a tenacious Western Gaels team from Bristol.

Cardiff and St Nicks have met on a number of occasions in the league and championship in the past few years with St Nicks outwitting Cardiff on their last few meetings. This however was not the case in Gloucester as, apart from a slow start by the Cardiff side, they dominated the game for large periods. A bright start saw Bristol draw first blood with a well worked score which saw Gavin Duggan open the St Nicks account with the first score of the game. Cardiff got on the scoreboard through a Sean Roddy free before Noel Roche responded in kind for Bristol. It was at this point that Cardiff asserted themselves on the game by winning their individual battles, particularly in the middle third. They say that water covers around 71% of the earth’s surface, if this is true then the remainder is surely covered by Kevin Smyth and Richard ‘Jimmy Barry’ Murphy. Cardiff debutant Nevin Riches also made himself known early on with his tough tackling and good distribution.

As Cardiff poured forward early on, a break down in attack ended fortuitously as a defensive mix up saw a Bristol defender loop a misplaced clearance off his own cross bar before Cardiff corner forward Sean Roddy followed up to bulge the onion bag and put Cardiff in the driving seat with a lead that they would not relinquish. From the resulting kick-out, Cardiff again broke as Richard Murphy, along with Cathal O’Carroll at centre forward, who was very economic in possession, linked up before finding Shane Hyland at corner forward. Hyland beat his man and in doing so, created enough space for Martin Flood to raise a white flag. Sean Roddy added another point from a placed ball to see Cardiff lead at the break after good work by Tony Murtagh. Cardiff were clever in their distribution with accurate kick-outs and great tenacity to mop up any breaking ball.

The second half saw St Nicks out of the blocks early, quickly registering a point from a free and another from the lively Gavin Duggan before St Colmcilles managed to gain a foothold in the game. Great work by Paddy McHale and Mark O’Neill in the Cardiff defence saw Ollie Harney, who was imperious for Cardiff, arrow a pin point pass in to Sean Roddy who put wing forward Paudie Rooney in on goal. Rooney was off quicker than a bride’s nighty and finished with aplomb as he cheekily lobbed the onrushing Bristol goalkeeper with a finish that his cousin Wayne would have been proud of.

Great work from Martin Doyle at centre back, who could not be culled, saw Cardiff add another two points from full forward Martin Flood and substitute Alan Murphy to put further daylight between the sides. St Nicks had one final surge forward which saw Billy Bob Breen and Mark O’Neill make more blocks than a lego factory before the ball eventually found its way over the bar. Cardiff however had the last word as David Quinn started a great move with Tony Murtagh and Shane Hyland creating space for Sean Roddy to lash home his second goal of the game to ensure that Cardiff claim their place in the league decider. Cardiff St Colmcilles will now meet St Judes of Bournemouth in the League decider with a time and date to yet be confirmed.

Cardiff: Aidan Farrelly, Mark O’Neill, Nevin Riches, Patrick McHale, Ollie Harney, Martin Doyle, David Quinn, Kevin Smyth, Richard Murphy, Tony Murtagh, Cathal O’Carroll, Paudie Rooney, Sean Roddy, Martin Flood, Shane Hyland. Subs: Billy Bob Breen (for Nevin Riches) Des Foley (for Paudie Rooney) Alan Murphy (for Shane Hyland)

 

–          AF

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