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Emyvale V Clones Junior Championship

In the preliminary Round of the 2018 Junior Championship Emyvale defeated Drumhowan and on Wednesday, August 22nd they progressed to the next round by a victory over Clones. The game was played, mostly under lights, at Castleblayney on a fine evening weather-wise and the football kept the spectators totally involved to the final whistle. A draw seemed likely but Emyvale put an end to that expectation with a goal and a point in injury time. This was the proverbial game of two halves - Emyvale were quite dominant in the first half but Clones came out strong in the second and gradually chipped away at Emyvale's lead until they drew level but could not get that important score to bring them victory. Indeed during the first half they had a number of chances to put a score on the Board but time after time they sent it wide. Emyvale put a few excellent runs together in that first half and penetrated the Clones defence to get a score and they got frees within range and converted most of these. However the weekness of the Emyvale centre was exposed in the second half and were it not for the great work of Ryan McAnespie is getting forward movements moving quickly the end may have been different. Captain, Daniel McMahon, played a captain's role and had a very good game and in the dying seconds was instrumental in a turn-around on his own half back line. For the last quarter of the game Emyvale had to play with a man down as Gavin McKernan earned two Yellows but the extra effort of covering was done by Greg devlin and Ryan McAnespie with Robbie McAllister getting into the game. Sean McMeel and Aaron Loughran were sound in defence and had to be very alert for the fast runs by Fintan Kelly and James Mealiff. Fintan suffered an ankle injury towards the end and had to he assisted from the field, so we wish him a speedy recovery. We are told that it was not as serious as first thought. For the future Manager, Declan Loughman, has improvements to make. A number of players were unable to get into the game and struggled to match the speed of opponents. Some gave up the chase and left it to others. A couple of players were too quick to tell the referee how to do his job which showed where their concentration lay. The entire team needs to play as a team and they showed sporadically that they can do that but it must be more consistent. Regarding the referee I was quite pleased with his performance but the game has developed in such a way now that there is little protection for players when three and four players can tackle an opponent and thump. pull, drag, and push him to the ground but he will be penalised for over-holding. That is allowing our game to become more rough and tumble and it is not entertaining to watch and not fair on the good players, who are usually singled out for extra attention of that sort.