On a cold and windy Sunday afternoon at Robert McCallion Memorial Park we overcame a very good Neale team by the minimum.
Having won the toss we decided to play against the strong wind in the first half. The first score of the game by the visitors led to a bit of uncertainty in the stand as the referee appeared to have blown the whistle before the ball was kicked over the bar. Nonetheless the point counted and the Neale soon extended their lead with a pointed free and one from play.
Mark Forkan got us off the mark with a very well taken point with great work by John Carney, Liam Moran and Johnny Burke. From a hop ball where it appeared that Joe Kelly was clearly fouled the Neale restored their three point lead and soon extended it to four. Liam Moran got one back from the dead ball only to be cancelled out by another Neale point and after 20minutes the score was Swinford 0-2 Neale 0-6.
Some great work in the middle of the park led to our next two scores. First a great intercept by Mark Forkan led to a Liam Moran point and then Joe Kelly intercepted the ball and went on to pop the ball over the bar. We were flying now and soon had the deficit back to one with a fine point by Jason Carney. Both teams finished the half with points from the dead ball (Liam Moran) to finish the half Swinford 0-6 Neale 0-7.
Playing with the wind in the second half we started off very uncertain and it was nearly ten minutes before the first score of the half. Unfortunately it was a goal to the Neale. A bit of uncertainty between goalkeeper and full back line left an open goal for the Neale to put the ball into.
It was now an uphill battle which took us until the 18th minute to sort ourselves out. After great defensive work by John Carney the ball fed its way to Liam Moran who got us off the mark for the half. This was soon followed by a fine point by Ryan Convey and another free by Liam Moran. James Devaney then leveled the game and with seven minutes left a monster point from Liam Moran after great work by Fergal Harte had us leading for the first time.
James Devaney then won a free on the edge of the box and second half substitute Jack McDonnell made no mistake. James soon put us three ahead by punching the ball over the bar after a great ball from Johnny Burke.
With the game in injury time the Neale threw everything at attack and scored the last two points but was not enough to deny us an opening day victory. The game finished Swinford 0-13 Neale 1-9.
In tough conditions it was great work to start the league campaign off with a win. Next up is away to Ardagh in two weeks time.
Swinford Sean Kavanagh, Alan McLoughlin, Fergal Harte, Steven McNicholas, Jason Carney, Sean Brady, James Lavin, Mark Forkan, Joe Kelly, John Carney, Liam Moran, Johnny Burke, Kevin McDonagh, Ryan Convey, James Devaney. Subs Jack McDonnell
Scorers: Liam Moran 0-6, Devaney 0-2, Forkan, Carney, Kelly, Convey, McDonnell 0-1 each