Cladai GFC Club Notes 11.04.16
Cladai kick off league campaign with a very unlucky defeat.
Cladai made the short trip to neighbours Newtownhamilton on Sunday for the Div 3 league opener. In what was the two clubs first competitive meeting in a number of years, this was a hotly anticipated match evidenced by the big crowd of travelling support.
In what can only be described as difficult conditions with a soft pitch and a strong wind, the two teams took the pitch for the first throw in of what promises to be a long and arduous season ahead.
Cladai started brightly with some positive early possession in midfield and the half forward line. Philip Loughran and Philip Mcgeown linking up well early on to supply ball to the forward line.
With Cladai playing against the wind in the early stages, it was 10mins before Cladai registered the first score of the new season with Philip McGeown tapping over from play.
The game ebbed to and fro throughout the half with Cladai wasteful in possession and newtown missing a number of scoring opportunities.
Cladai registered a further score with Patrick Smith kicking over after a well worked cladai move. This was to be Cladai’s last score of the half with Newtown registering 2 points before the half time whistle. The Cladai defence, well Marshalled by Damien Devlin and captain Stephen Gallogly, had kept Newtown forwards to 2 points in the first half despite Newtowns advantage with the wind.
The second half started very brightly for Cladai. Following a high ball into the box by Patrick Smith, Hugh McSorley rose highest to fist the ball into the Newtown goal against some intense pressure from the Newtown full back.
Cladai’s tails were up with Malachy Mcgeown quickly following with a pointed free. Cladai continued to win possession in mid-field despite what can only be described as some extremely physical play going unchecked by the Newtown midfield. Every ball was hard won and free kicks were not easy come by.
A number of personnel changes were made and cladai struggled to get into their attacking rhythm. Faced with some very slick forward play from Newtown, cladai conceded 3 unanswered points allowing Newtown a foot hold in the game.
The game changed considerably for cladai with quite a serious injury sustained by Gerard McGeown at right half back. Sustaining a leg injury the game was held up while Gerard received treatment on the field before being carried off.
While this incident galvanized cladai for a short passage of the game with scores to follow from Patrick Smith and Malachy McGeown, Newtown were on the ascendency and scored 3 unanswered points as the game ticked towards the final whistle.
A black card for Tiarnan Smith forced a further change for cladai and a back injury sustained by Damien Devlin in a very heavy challenge by the Newtown forward meant that the cladai back line were faced with a late Newtown onslaught. The defence held out for what was looking like a hard fought draw when the Newtown corner forward scored a well taken opportunist goal with almost the last kick of the game to break Cladai’s spirit. Cladai moved quickly up the field but could not register a further score before the final whistle came.
Final Score: Newtown 1-8 Cladai 1-5
In what was a disappointing result in a game that was certainly winnable for cladai they can take some heart from performances throughout the field. Stand out performances from Stephen Gallogly, Patrick Smith, Philip Loughran and Hugh McSorley were the highlight for cladai with the remaining team members ably assisting throughout.
In a physically challenging encounter, Cladai sustained injuries to Gerard McGeown and Damien Devlin and the club wish them a speedy recovery.
There are some real positives to take going forward into the new season with hope of better performances and results to come throughout the year.
Cladai will play Lissummon on Sunday 18th April in Pairc Sean Sabhat. Throw In at 2pm. All support welcome and appreciated.
Underage training for u-6 to u-12 will continue in the field on Wednesday night at 7pm
Could all U-14, U-16 and U-18 players report to training with their respective team managers.