Dunderry’s away game with Oldcastle was switched from Milbrook to St Loman’s Park in Trim at the eleventh hour after the recent heavy weather again left both clubs home pitches unplayable.
On a bitterly cold evening in Trim, Oldcastle the nominated “home” team made the long journey to take on Dunderry in the third round of the A League. Dunderry made a number of changes from the very disappointing performance in round 2 against Curraha.
David Jennings was back between the sticks, Conor Dempsey moved to full back, county man Paddy Kennelly was back at centre field and Jamie Grifferty made his first start at full forward. All in all 7 of the team are eligible for under 21 as Kevin Dowd continues to work towards his championship XV.
The game started on a soft pitch with both teams lining out with a sweeper system, trying to negate the influence of either teams star forward. Dunderry were first out of the traps with an excellent score from Dermot Kelly, cutting back inside on his left foot to score from an acute angle. Stephen Coogan doubled the lead after 9 mins with a free. Oldcastle replied with two quick fire points of their own to level things. An excellent stop from David Jennings on 17 which led to a disallowed goal for Oldcastle for a square ball was one of the games highlights. Oldcastle again took the lead before Paddy Kennelly scored a beauty on the 22nd minute to level things again.
Oldcastle again replied capitalising on Dunderry’s indiscipline with two frees to lead 5-3. Kennelly and Coogan fired Dunderry back to parity just before Oldacstle again from a free ended the half ahead 0:06 to 0:05. All in all a satisfactory first half, a much improved performance from Dunderry from the previous week. Oldcastle looked dangerous on the break as they moved the ball at pace through the ranks. Dunderry on the other hand seemed to labour in getting the ball to the inside forwards.
The second half started with a quick Coogan free. This was followed by three scores in three minutes from Oldcastle. Things looked ominous for Dunderry as they seemed to be opened up at ease. This feeling was to change as Coogan again converted a free before a storming series of play ended up with Marc Kane firing to the net to give the local support something to cheer for in the freezing night. Dunderry came into their own in the third quarter and really dominated the game. Conor O’Shea, Liam Dempsey & Stephen Coogan continued their early season impressive form, but the star performer of the night was Kennelly who showed his county credentials. Dunderry were now 1-10 to 0-10 ahead with time running out for Oldcastle. There were a few nerves in the crowd and on the sideline in the last minutes but Oldcastle could only convert a late free after Oisin Martin received a black card for a last ditch tackle.
All in all, it was a very satisfying game, and a welcome two points. Dunderry are working towards a settled side, the younger players are making good strides in their transition to adult football. With a number of injured players to welcome back to the fold, supporters can look forward to the season with optimism.
David Jennings, Aaron Newman, Conor Dempsey, Aaron Feeney, Marc Kane (1-0), Conor O’Shea, Oisin Martin, Liam Dempsey,
Paddy Kennelly (0-2), Ronan Brady, Conor Farrell (0-1), Dermot Kelly (0-1), Stephen Coogan (0-6), Jamie Grifferty, Alan Waters
Subs: Jordan Martin for Grifferty (22)
Eoghan Dempsey for Brady (39)
Martin Garry for Kelly (50)
Jack Brady for O Martin (Black Card 61)