Cardiff’s Third Win On The Trot Comes At A Canter

Updated: May 11, 2014
Cardiff GAA Banner

Cardiff St Colmcilles 5-12   Western Gaels Bristol 1-5

A 5 star, 5 goal performance from Cardiff ensured that they took another step in the right direction on the road to regaining the Gloucestershire Senior Football League title. St Colmcilles made the trip to St Marys’ RFC in Bristol knowing that anything but a win could derail not only their ambition of taking the league title, but also their hopes of participating in the Senior Football Championship this year.

Having been tirelessly drilled by team manager Eoin Butler Cardiff brought a 21 man panel of players ready to do battle with a hard working Western Gaels side.

On a windy afternoon in Bristol, Western Gaels had the best of the opening exchanges but failed to capitalise on their dominance, kicking two wides in quick succession. Once the Cardiff lads settled they began to pick off some nice scores with sharp shooting Shane Hyland kicking the games opening score from a placed ball. From the resulting kick out, Cardiff retained possession and after a great passing move, put wing forward Paudie Rooney through to fist home the first goal of the game.

Richard MurphyAll game, Cardiff dominated the middle third with Kevin Smyth and Richard Murphy outworking and outwitting their Bristol counterparts. The score of the game came early on, from the most unlikely of sources. The mind drifts back to that great Eric Cantona pass, deemed by the french maestro himself to be his favourite and most fulfilling personal moments in a Manchester United shirt. Although perfectly conceived, weighted and executed, it was ultimately dependent the finishing ability of another to ensure that it made it onto the scoreboard and into folklore. The trigger man was not Giggs, Robson nor Hughes, but a left back, a Corkman from Togher who was once a promising gaelic footballer in his own right, known as Denis Irwin. An unlikely hero to put the icing on the perfectly crafted cake.

As Cardiff Captain Mark O’Neill picked up possession in the half back birth, he made for the posts, working the ball through midfield and finding his way into the half forward line, along the way exchanging passes, with Richard Murphy, Paul Kennedy and Martin Flood. A triangle of passes dragged the Western Gaels full back line out of position and with a simple but effective, defence splitting pass, O’Neill dispatched the ball to the net.

Western Gaels replied with 2 scores from placed balls before Cardiff took back the initiative once more. Cardiff full forward, Martin Flood, a constant thorn in the side of the Western Gaels defence, won a lot of ball in the inside forward line and showed his class as he took a great score from out wide on the right having slipped the shackles of the opposing full back. From the kick out, some quick thinking by corner forward Sean Roddy, saw Paul Kennedy through to split the posts with the half time whistle approaching. There was still time for one more score as Cardiff wing back Tony Murtagh found himself on the end of another great passing move to draw the goalkeeper before cheekily chipping the ball over him and just under the crossbar to make it Cardiff 3-3 Western Gaels 0-3 at half time.

The second half picked up where the first half left off and after some great football from Kevin Smyth and Paul Kennedy, wing forward Aidan Watt was fouled within the range of marksman Shane Hyland who dually accepted the ball and put it over the black spot with the minimum of fuss. Cardiff midfield powerhouse Richard Murphy, who covered every blade of grass, accepted a pinpoint long range pass from wing back Oliver Harney before bursting through the Western Gaels defence and kicking a lovely score.

With that, Cardiff emptied their bench and introduced some fresh legs, a mixture of both youth and experience. Western Gaels although industrious at times were held at bay by the tireless and tenacious tackling of Paddy McHale, Barry McDonnell and Cathal Garvey who restricted Gaels to only 1 point from play.

With the game drawing to a close, substitute Des Foley broke through the Gaels defence and slotted the ball neatly into the bottom corner for Cardiff’s fourth goal. Identical scores from Paudie Rooney and Alan Murphy one after another put a gloss on the scoreline before a deflected shot from Sean Roddy late on ended up in the bottom corner for the final score of the game.

Cardiff will now turn their attention to their upcoming tie with St Judes of Bournemouth next weekend which could have a significant bearing on the final standing in the league and subsequently, the championship. It was Vince Lombardi, the legendary American football coach, who stated that character rather than education is man’s greatest need and man’s highest safeguard. Because character is higher than the intellect. Coming up against a physical Western Gaels team has shown that Cardiff not only have well educated footballers in their ranks, but they display the character to implement an attractive brand of football to good effect.

Cardiff Team: Aidan Farrelly, Cathal Garvey, Barry McDonnell, Paddy McHale, Oliver Harney, Mark O’Neill (1-0) (Captain) Tony Murtagh (1-0), Kevin Smyth, Richard Murphy (0-2) Aidan Watt, Paul Kennedy (0-1), Paudie Rooney (1-1), Shane Hyland (0-4), Martin Flood (0-3), Sean Roddy (1-0)

Substitutes: Martin Doyle, Alan Murphy (0-1), Billy Breen, Des Foley (1-0) Ryan O’Neill, Donal Clancy


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *