DENNY DIVIISION 1A
Shannon Wanderers 1 Tralee Dynamos 2
THIS was the only game to survive the weather on Sunday and very blustery conditions prevailed at Sandhill Road in Ballybunion. Scrutinising the two sides prior to the game only one result looked likely with Tralee Dynamos winning all their games so far this season and Shannon Wanderers rooted close to the bottom of the table winning just one game in eight.
However, Shannon Wanderers are always a side that will give it their best shot no matter who they are playing and they gave their more illustrious opponents a good run for their money but eventually they succumb to Dynamos greater firepower.
This was Dynamos' 12th win on the trot and few would argue that they are almost certainties to win out the league title.
The average age of this Shannon Wanderers side is just 20 years and they showed maturity beyond their years as they made Dynamos fight for every ball. Spurned on by raw enthusiasm and commitment they never threw in the towel at any stage and kept going to the very end. The closeness of the game must also be attributed to their goalie Joe Downey who made a series of great saves during the game.
Dynamos enjoyed most of the early dominance with James Wall and Jamie Mc Intyre winning the midfield battle and lightning fast striker Danny Roche a constant threat up front. They went ahead after just 12 minutes when Danny Roche ran on to a long ball out of defence by Mark Fitzgerald and after stealing a march on defenders took off like an express train and tucked the ball neatly past the defenceless Wanderers goalie Joe Downey.
Just four minutes later then doubled their lead with Scott Monaghan making a run down the left flank and then floated in an exquisate cross to Danny Rocke who controlled the ball beautifully and found the net with great aplomb.
Now it looked as if it was going to be an easy win for Dynamos but Wanderers kept plugging away and with brothers Padriac and Cormac Walsh and Paul Horgan working hard at midfield they were beginning to create a few scoring chances. Their best chance came in the 39th minute when Paul Horgan raced on to a throw and he centred to Aaron Farrell on the six-yards box and his powerful header was brilliantly saved by Dynamos keeper Chris Hegarty.
Over the next few minutes Dynamos had a number of chances with Danny Roche clipping the outside of the post and Aaron Houlihan shooting wide from a good scoring position. A long range effort from James Wall looked destined for the net in the final minute of the half but Wanderers keeper Joe Downey dived full length and tipped it around the post. He was called into action again at the start of the second half and made a great save to deny Scott Monaghan.
Adam Piggott and Aaron Houlihan went close for Dynamos, while Morgan Sheehy whipped a free kick just inches over the crossbar for Wanderers, before the hosts brought themselve right back into the game.
Aaron Farrell won possession just outside the box, and spotting the Dynamos goalkeeper off his line he tried out a speculative lob. It looked like it was overhit but the Atlantic gale coming in from the estuary was kind to him and it dropped under the crossbar into an empty net.
Dynamos began to close out the game passing the ball about very well and creating chances in the process. Danny Roche was denied his hat trick in the 75th minute by another save from Joe Downey.
While Dynamos were worthy winners one had to admire the tenacity and courage of a young Wanderers side. This is a young side that has great potential and if they can be kept together for a couple of years could blossom to be
very successful. SHANNON WANDERERS: Joe Downey, Sean Stack, Thomas O'Rourke, Ian Mannix, Padriac Walsh, Cormac Walsh, Aaron Farrell, Paul Horgan, Sean Quinn (Sean Dowlong 58mns), Brendan Gorman (Darren O'Rourke 82mins) and Morgan Sheehy TRALEE DYNAMOS: Chris Hegarty, Shane Carey, Theo Diggins, Mark Fitzgerald, Aidan O'Connell, Aaron Houlihan, James Wall, Jamie McIntyre, Scott Monaghan, Adam Piggott (Brian O'Connell, 82 mins) and Danny Roche. Subs: Brian O'Connell for Adam Pigott. REFEREE: Tom O'Sullivan