Pipped at the post by Dorsey Emmets.
Cladai travelled to Dorsey for their third league game of the season hoping to put the opening two games defeat behind them and get some league points on the board.
With an extensive injury list with up to 7 potential first team players out, Cladai started the game with a young and somewhat inexperienced side who came out of the blocks with hunger and desire to show well.
Settling into the game quickly, Cladai registered their first score with a point from Philip McGeown following a well worked move through the midfield. Cladai settled into the game and moved the ball about with pace making the Dorsey midfield and half back line work hard to win possession.
Malachy McGeown pointed Cladai’s second score from a free kick from 21yds before Dorsey broke the steady Cladai defence with a point from play of their own. Cladai continued to work hard with Mark McGivern coming out from the half forward line showing for the ball and leaving space for Ryan Devlin and Tiarnan Smith to run into from midfield. This proved effective with Cladai picking up a free kick which Malachy McGeown pointed with assurance.
Cladai back line again well marshalled by Stephen Gollagly and Shane Leonard, conceded a free with Dorsey put over for a score line of 3-2.
Cladai picked up the pace and began to build attacks from the back with Liam Doyle and Conor Doyle linking up well on the right wing and playing the ball into full forward where Hugh McSorley won another free which Malachy McGeown put away. Cladai’s tails were up and their dominance in the midfield and half forward area continued to pay off with Malachy McGeown pointing a further 3 free’s in a a good exhibition of free taking.
Ryan McArdle harried and hassled in corner back, keeping the Dorsey forward line at bay and down to a final point of the first half. Cladai finished the first half with a point from the ’45 from Hugh McSorley.
Half time: Dorsey Emmets 0-3 Cladai 0-8
Having played with the advantage of a slight breeze in the first half and using this advantage to good effect, Cladai were keen to get the second half started with the hope of continuing some of the fast flowing football that they showed in the first.
Dorsey started much quicker and stronger scoring a point from the throw in. Cladai half and full back line were caught cold allowing Dorsey forwards through with ease. Dorsey continued to come forward and only for some quick thinking from Padraig Leonard in corner back, Dorsey could have scored a goal. Cladai resolve was again quickly broken however with Dorsey hitting the back of the net leaving just 1 point in it.
Cladai were struggling to get to grips with the game and Dorsey were beginning to dominate possession throughout the field. Questionable refereeing decision ensured that Dorsey capitalised on their possession and pointed again to level the game.
Cladai attempted to rally with Philip McGeown dropping deep in an effort to pick up possession and Gerard McGeown making runs from the half back line. Cladai could not however find the momentum and pace that they had in the first half and Dorsey went out in front with a further point from play.
Paddy Smith made way for Miceal Gorman in the forward line in an effort to shake things up a bit. Dorsey continued to come forward registering a further point. Cladai were dealt a big blow with Ryan McArdle, who was having a very strong game in corner back, had to be taken off with a suspected broken elbow. He was replaced by the returning Miceal Savage.
Dorsey added a further two points to leave them 3 points clear before Cladai registered their first score of the second half on 25mins with a pointed free from Malachy McGeown. This was the catalyst for a late cladai rally with the half back line pushing forward supporting midfield in an effort to take the game to Dorsey. Philip McGeown added a point from play after some good work down the line by Liam Doyle and Mark McGivern. With it now a one point game, Cladai threw everything at the game seeking an equaliser or winning goal and their efforts were very nearly rewarded when Hugh McSorley managed to get a slight touch on a high ball in from midfield. His effort was scooped up by the Dorsey keeper and cleared down field. Cladai midfield and half back hassled hard in an effort to win the ball and get the play up field again.
The end of the game saw Shane Leonard receive a straight red card for what can only be described as a frustrated and ill advised tackle at the in the closing seconds of the game. The referee may have considered some leniency given the stage the game was at and some of the very questionable tackles that had gone before.
Cladai’s efforts to level the game were beaten by the final whistle and Cladai recorded their third straight defeat on a score line of
Dorsey 1-8 Cladai 0-10
In what can only be described as a game of two very distinct halves, Cladai will be disappointed to have lost this game.
With a number of more established and experienced players to return from injury, Cladai can not only look at this as an opportunity lost but as an opportunity to see what the younger players can bring to the team.
There are undoubtedly some signs of improvement from cladai and not every game will pose the same stern test that a much fancied Dorsey side pose. Positives can be taken from the displays by Ryan McArdle (although now injured), Liam Doyle, Mark McGivern, Stephen Gallogly and Ryan Devlin as well as the free taking exhibition by Malachy McGeown. For the first half Cladai showed that they could play open, expansive and attacking football and with some concentration on keeping their discipline, Cladai will get positive results as the league campaign continues.
Cladai’s next game is against Pearse Og’s II on Friday 6th May at 7.30pm in Pairc Sean Sabhat.
The Club and Committe members would like to extend their congratulations to Senior Player Paul Sweeney and esteemed committe member Leon Gallogly on their recent nuptials.