Monday 23 September 2019

Swords stay positive after away defeat

Leinster Senior League Senior Sunday Division: SH FC 2 Swords Celtic 0

Dan Bannon

Swords Celtic suffered a tough opening day loss in the Leinster Senior League Senior 1 division to Sacred Heart Firhouse Clover on Sunday morning.

The away side were well on top in the early exchanges, but two goals at the end of the first half proved to be their downfall as Firhouse were better equipped at taking their chances.

The loss will pain boss Brendan Kennedy whose side started the game in blistering fashion, stringing together some crisp passing moves and applying a period of sustained pressure.

After that dominant spell the home side firmly took a grip on proceedings and Swords goalkeeper Stephen Trimble was forced into two top-drawer saves in quick succession to keep his clean sheet intact as Firhouse Clover went up the gears.

The opener then game from a swirling free kick delivery from a wide position, with Trimble having no chance from Gary Trimble's finish from close in. The delivery forced Swords to retreat so much that calls for an own goal were made.

The north county Dublin side can have no complaints about the second goal just before half-time.

Losing possession in an attacking position left them exposed. From the opposing outside left position, Mikey Doyle drove down through the heart of the back-pedalling spine of the Swords side, beating three men before very nearly losing control. A game of pinball in the box then ensued before finally falling to Carl Wynn to bury to the net and give the game an ominous feel about it.

Swords, to their credit, tried to change it up at the break and showed real endeavour in the second half, striking both the crossbar and upright on two occasions.

The game could have been a draw in the end, but Firhouse Clover saw the tie out with stout, no-nonsense defending, playing to their physically strong strengths.

With the new season only one game in, no need to panic is the message from Swords, especially as there were plenty of flashes of quality on show which could suggest the campaign will be a quite a promising one.

Stephen Ball, for one, impressed on his debut in midfield and Ciaran Maguire played his first game of senior football and looked comfortable in doing so.

Having come down last season and navigated their way out of the league the year previously, the experience and knowhow of what to expect should see Swords get back to winning ways in the near future.

Swords Celtic: Stephen Trimble, Keith Reilly (Adam Bolton), Ciaran Maguire, Sean Kelly, Graham Duff, Jonathan Lynes, Stephen Ball, Andrew Timmons (Tom McCarthy), Darren McCormack, Anthony Burke (Robbie Burke), Stephen Blake (Andrew Bermingham).

Fingal Independent