DENNY DIVISION 2B Na Fianna 2 Valley Wanderers 2 WHEN newcomers Valley Wanderers and Tommy Healy Cup Champions Na Fianna took to the field at Mounthawk Park on Friday evening the conditions were more suitable for a regatta than playing football as rainfall bucketed down making conditions extremely difficult for players as water began to gather on the pitch.
At one stage in the second half it looked as if the game would be called off, but thankfully a cessasion of rain ensured the game would be completed. onsequenly the game as a whole was a lottery and comedy of errors combined, as the elements got the better of players especially in the second half. Both sides and the referee John Hegarty deserve gold medals for the huge effort they put in to fight the horrendous conditions that prevailed.
It was a contest in which the passing game was the unwise option and both sides played very cagey and took no chances especially in defensive situations. Valley Wanderers showed that they were well up for the challenge of the Listowel side and they matched them in all departments of play in the opening quarter. Na Fianna had a few half early chances but efforts by Mikey Moriarty and Joe Galvin failed to yield a score.
Valley Wanderers went close when a long range free kick by Declan Clifford evaded everyone and was just a fraction outside the right hand post. Then in the 23rd minute the Tralee side went ahead when the impressive Armstrong Adado jinxing past a couple of defenders and was then grounded inside the box and referee John Hegarty pointed to the spot. Gerard Myles finished to the net in great style.
This setback triggered an immediate respone from Na Fianna but an effort on goal from Damian Murphy went over the top. Na Fianna were forced to make a substitution with Ben Landy caming on for the injured Tarik Barry. Then Valley Wanderers created an opening and Osas Menlegel showed great feet to decieve defenders but his efford was wide. Na Fianna turned up the heat at the start of the second half and four minutes in they were on level terms.
The elements was a contributory factor to the score with Na Fianna moving forward and a ball into the box was caught by the Valley goalie Peter Murphy but he skidded on the greasy ground and the ball went out of his grasp and fell to Joe Galvin who was fouled in the box resulting in a penalty kick. Chris Lyons gave the goalie no chance with a beautifully struck spot kick. Na Fianna were looking for a penalty when Lee Dicken seemed to be taken down but it would have been a harsh decision if it was awarded.
Valley Wanderers should have gone ahead in the 75th minute when Armstrong Adado stabbed the ball wide from eight yards. Na Fianna went ahead in the 78th minute with a wonderfully crafted goal involving two substitutes. A long ball from midfield found Lee Dicken who made ground to release Ben Landy and cutting in he executed a tremendous strike from the verge of the box which nestled in the bottom corner of the net and It now seemed as if the Listowel side were on their way to victory.
However, Valley Wanderers had other ideas and in the 88th minute they struck with a stunning equaliser. A free out at midfield by Declan Clifford was floated into the box where it evaded everyone but Armstrong Adado and he side footed to the net from close range to give his side a precious league point. It was a pity that the conditions were so bad with neither side able to play the type of football they wanted to. Na Fianna: John Toomey, Sean Stack, Tom McCarthy Joe Mc Elligott, Damian Murphy. Christopher Breen, Mikey Moriarty Chris Lyons, Tarik Barry David Dillon Joe Galvin Subs: Ben Landy for Tarik Murphy, Lee Dicken for David Dillon, Adalberto de Oliveira Ghisi for Sean Stack Valley Wanderers: Peter Murphy, Mark Marambu, Declan Clifford, Paudie Cunningham, Dylan Bourke, Conor O'Callaghan, Eddie Healy, Gerard Myles, Armstrong Adado, Osas Menlegel, Colin Slattery Sub: Loukas Murphy Referee: John Hegarty