Monday 22 July 2019

Carthy shines for Mearnog

Adult Football League: Naomh Mearnog 0-25 Ballyboughal 1-15

Rory Kerr at Torcaill

As left footed footballers go, Shane Carthy is one of the best in business. Five years ago he gave a man of the match display for Dublin in the Leinster final against Meath before the pressures of football would see him take a long sabbatical as depression began to get the better of him.

Carthy received treatment in time and off the pitch has become a role model in terms of advocating mental well-being.

First and foremost, he is in peak shape. Wednesday's display, which saw Naomh Mearnog register their seventh straight win on the trot, was another example of how valuable a player he is.

It may well be that Carthy returns to the Dublin senior fold at some stage but for now Mearnog will be happy to have him.

His presence in the middle of the field is immense. He drives Mearnog on, threads through perfect passes while his spatial awareness and reading of the game is something to behold.

Needless to say, Ballyboughal were always going to have their hands full. Captain Ritchie Downey, by comparison, did not have a good day at the office.

The newly wed was only fifteen minutes on the field when he was called ashore after picking up an early yellow card.

It was a hot evening out in Torcaill and, as such, there was an added edge to this local derby where the visitors needed a win to stay in touch.

Wednesday's defeat, their third of the season, doesn't leave them out of the reckoning for a promotion spot, but it does leave them put under a bit pressure to make the play offs as the season begins to wind down.

They did make a go off it in the second half with a scrappy goal from Keith Lynch bringing them back to within four point points with quarter of an hour to go.

However, a composed Naomh Mearnog side never wilted as they remain joint top with next door neigbours St Sylvesters and Castleknock.

The opening half, however, was a well contested one with the inside line of Niall Murphy, Sean Hawshaw and Alan Doyle motoring well for the home side.

Points from Jamie Walsh (from a 45) and Murphy would open up a two point lead entering the second quarter but the next few minutes would see both Downey and Walsh depart, the latter received a black card for a rather needless challenge.

At this stage Ballyboughal had edged in front with scores from Greg Rooney and Ciaran Wynne but they could have stretched their lead after a short kick out from Mearnog had been intercepted by Ballyboughal.

However, Ben Callinan could only blaze wide as Mearnog regrouped to send over the two final points through Murphy and Fee to lead 0-12 to 0-10 at the break.

And Mearnog would kick on after the restart as Ballybougal struggled to contain Mearnog's probing runs down the middle as Mearnog put together an impressive eight point run with Carthy very much to the fore.

Mark Phelan and Seavers, the latter who had now moved out to midfield at this stage, would then trade a point apiece before Lynch scrambled the ball over the line, although Ballyboughal might have had a penalty before that.

However, Mearnog, through the very impressive Murphy, were not to be denied and and could even afford to miss a penalty late on in the game when Murphy sent his spot kick wide.

Naomh Mearnog: Mark O'Connor, Cian Daly 0-1, Frank Doyle, Darren O'Brien, Fintan O Connor, Brian Doyle 0-1, Matthew Shorthall, Michael Gibbs 0-2, Shane Carthy 0-6(0-2f), Oisin Taylor, Mark Phelan 0-2, Jamie Walsh 0-1(0-1 45'), Niall Murphy 0-8, Sean Hawkshaw, Alan Doyle 0-1 Subs: Aodhan Fee 0-3, Ollie Feeney, Stephen Mooney, Jamie Storey

Ballyboughal: David Downey, Will Cooney, Jonathan Rooney, Tony Rooney, Cormac Flynn 0-1, John Rogers 0-1, Ritchie Downey, Cathal Flynn, Greg Rooney 0, Timothy O'Sullivan, Cathal Begg, Ciaran Wynnn 0-1, Gerry Seavers 0-7(0-3f), Ben Callinan 0-4. Subs: Keith Lynch 1-0, Padraig Flynn Cian Casey.

Fingal Independent