On an evening where everything seemed to go against them, Swinford managed to maintain their unbeaten start to Division 1B on Friday evening against Islandeady.
Swinford started well with John Carney opening Swinford’s account with a well taken goal after an intelligent pass from Darren Campbell. Jack McDonnell then followed up with a fine point from play. Things then took a turn for the worse as Barry McShea had to be replaced after 10 minutes due to injury and Joe Kelly and Paul McDonagh picked up yellow cards.
Islandeady rallied and converted a couple of close range frees. Swinford reacted and finished the first-half strong with 2 more points, one from Tom Horkan and another from Colin Dempsey. Just as half-time loomed, Paul McDonagh was sent off for a second yellow. Islandeady scored from the resulting free and the score at half-time was 1-3 to 0-3.
In the second half, Swinford had to re-shuffle their team around and the senior management selected Colin Davey to come on for Tom Horkan to help fill the void at half-back. This worked well as the Swinford defense had an excellent second-half, frustrating the Islandeady team on many occasions with excellent performances in particular from Fergal Harte, Jason Carney and the sweeping Sean Kavanagh.
However, Swinford failed to threaten the Islandeady goals and Islandeady kept chipping away at the lead. The only score Swinford got in the second half was another fine score from play from John Carney. On two occasions, Swinford were baring down on the Islandeady goal, only for the player to be stopped with dubious challenges. Swinford will feel aggrieved not to have been awarded a penalty for at least one of this attacks but all requests were waved away by the referee.
Islandeady finally drew level with minutes to go and with Joe Kelly receiving his second yellow to join Paul McDonagh on the sidelines, Islandeady looked looked the most likely winners. Swinford however, managed to hold out for the draw and will be somewhat content that they managed to get something out of the game when much went against them.
Next week Swinford face Kiltimagh in the first round of the Championship and will need to step it up if they want to start that campaign with a win.
Damien Geraghty, Jason Carney, Barry McShea, Aiden McLoughlin, Stephen Henry, Paul McDonagh, Paul McNicholas, Joe Kelly, Kevin Doyle, Jack McDonnell, Sean Kavanagh, Tom Horkan, Darren Campbell, Colin Dempsey, John Carney Subs: Fergal Harte, Colin Davey and Mick Walsh
Thanks to Pete Glavey for the quality pictures below!