Sunday evening at 6pm in the Wonderful new Clonard Gaa grounds ended a long wait for the Trim Footballers and the new Management Team of Brendan Murphy, Mark Gilsenan, Demo Dempsey and Barry Moyle’s. The lads like every other club team in the county have been training since the first week in January to make sure they are fit and ready come the “First Round” as its is frequently referred to in the dark , cold , wet winter nights of endurance training. In every club on a pitch shining with white frost , in a dense fog you will hear the seasoned campaigner at the back of the bunch shouting out continually as the 5k run is just about to end, “Lads push it out to the line hard it will all be worth it come the FIRST ROUND”
You can now picture who the seasoned campaigner is in you club. Everything in club football in Meath is planned and executed to have your team ready and in tip top shape for the “First Round”. Everybody at training knows how important the “First Round” is, It’s a chance to but to bed the bad League results and performances, it’s a chance to erase any injuries or problems the team may have had in the run up to the “First Round”. A win in the first round of the championship is vital to every club footballer and team management it keeps the hopes and dreams alive for making the knock out stages come late August. A win in the first round makes all the hard training nights and days over the previous thirteen weeks worthwhile, and it will always revitalize the training in the coming weeks. A “First Round” win is where it’s at for a Meath Club Footballer in April. Make no mistake about that!!!
Unfortunately for this young and brave Trim side the first round championship win was not achieved last night in Clonard. It was not from the lack of trying from the boys in Red & White they battled hard in very wet and slippery conditions , they battled from the first minute to the sixty fifth minute they battled to the bitter end. One wonders what could have been if in the last ten minutes should Trim have taken the points to cut the Bllinabrackey four point lead instead of trying for a goal.
Trim started the match brightly, they attacked right from the throw in and had a shot at goals in the first minute that drifted wide of the post. From the kick out Frankie Murphy gained possession, played a great one two with Cieran Joyce and Frankie struck the ball over the bar with the left peg to give Trim the first score of the game in the second minute .This was just the start that Trim needed and for the next six minutes Trim never let the ball cross their own half way line .Trim forward line of Brian Dowling, Aaron Lynch , Neil Heffernan and Daire Lynch were moving well and gained lots of possession but when they tried to turn their markers they slipped or fell due to the very slippery conditions. In this time Trim were awarded two frees and a forty five witch were Taken by teenager Aaron Lynch but all three were missed. To be fair to young Lunch it was a most difficult night for place kicking as the underfoot conditions were very slippery and there was a swirling cross field breeze. Ballinabrackey were playing a very defensive game and dropped all but two men into defense and then broke out with speed once possession was gained. The Bracks forced Trim keeper Barry Callaghan to make two very good one on one saves early on but this tactics was beginning to work by the tenth minute when they scored their first point of the match. This was followed straight away by another one in the eleventh minute. In the next ten minutes neither team raised a flag of any colour, to be honest the standard and type of football that was been played was very boring to watch for the large attendance at the match. In the twenty first minute Trim forward Neil Heffernan scored a lovely point from play to break the monotony of the game. This was followed by a point from Ballinabrackey on the stroke of half time. The large attendance seemed very happy to hear the half time whistle.
Half Time Score :Trim 0-2 Ballinabrackey 0-3
The second half started with Trim again registering the first score of the half after one minute to bring the side’s level at three points each. The Bracks went one ahead again three minutes later and then went on to score five more unanswered points in the next sixteen minutes. Trim fourth and last point came from the boot of Neil Heffernan this point also proved to be the last score of this totally unforgettable match. The Bracks dropped all fourteen outfield players inside their own last third of the field for the remainder of the match, which was to be in total fifteen long boring minutes. Time and time again Trim tried in vain to breach this what is now an all to common word used in Gaelic football circles blanked defence. The goal was just not going to come. Ballinabrackey were happy to defend the four point lead and they did this very successfully.
Trim will be bitterly disappointed with this loss and they could not get to grips or break down a very well organised blanket defenceive system of Ballinabrackey, Trim now need to pick themselves up and get ready for what is now a vital “Second Round” match against Walterstown who ironically are managed by Owen Carroll who was Trim football manager for the last two years
Full Time Score Ballinabrackey 0-9 Trim 0-5
Trim Team & Scorers : Barry Callaghan, Ger Dwane, Luke Moran, Rory McGrath, Cieran O’Rourke, Shane Downes, Daryl Phelan, Frankie Murphy(0-1) Alan Douglas, James Cullen, Cieran Joyce(0-1) Darie Lynch, Aaron Lynch(0-1) Neil Heffernan(0-2) Brian Dowling
Subs; Joe Donohue for Frankie Murphy 37 minutes,Owen McGrath for Brian Dowling 37 minutes, Declan Dowling for Rory McGrath 45minutes, Mikie Cullen for Aaron Lynch 53 minutes, Sean Fitzgearld for Cieran Joyce 58 minutes