There were just the 10 goals in this Kilmessan Shield encounter (!), in another very entertaining game involving this energetic Torro side.
Torro took an early lead with a fantastic team goal involving four players, where the ball was worked through the Muirhevna Mor defence. Eventually Evan Bird received the ball and played it across to the back post, where Aaron Englishby was on hand to apply the finishing touch. Torro should then have doubled their lead, when again it was Aaron Englishby who was presented with another great chance at the back post, but this time he put his effort wide.
It didn’t take Muirhevna Mor long to equalise though, after they capitalised on Torro’s failure to properly clear a ball from the box, and struck the ball home from close range. The game was finely balanced at this stage and both sides looked dangerous going forward. It was Muirhevna Mor who scored next however, with a quick counter attack; though Dan Shields made a terrific save to keep out the initial effort, the ball fell nicely for the attacking player.
By this time Torro were still troubling the Muirhevna Mor defence, and had their opponents on the back foot on numerous occasions, with Andy Tolan in particular being a thorn in their side. Torro then missed a gilt edged opportunity, when Evan Bird went on a great run and rounded the keeper, but his finish somehow went the wrong side of the post.
It was Tolan who then equalised when he got on the end of a Gerry Murray pass, and he outpaced the defenders to finish coolly past the onrushing keeper. But Muirhevna Mor then showed why they are a top Premier Division side, and punished Torro with quick counter attacking. They showed clinical delivery, and finished into the net on two occasions before the end of the half.
For the first of the two, their striker turned a Torro defender in the box and rifled the ball to the far corner. For the second, a well worked move down the left led to a pin point cross to a Muirhevna Mor player, who got between two Torro defenders to head home from six yards.
Half time score …
Torro United 2 – 4 Muirhevna Mor
Torro came out in the second half looking determined to get back into the game, and it was Andy Tolan again who looked like pulling one back. Andy was put through on the opposition keeper one-on-one, but this time the keeper saved his effort. Midway through the second half, Torro were reduced to 10 men when Andy was then dismissed. This made the comeback task all the more difficult, but Torro never flinched and stayed competitive to the end.
Though Torro battled through this period and impressed all over the pitch, Will Gore in particular put in tireless effort up front. Torro were duly rewarded a third goal, a peach, where Peter Carroll stepped up to take a free kick from at least thirty yards out, and found the top corner with it.
Torro now had the bit between their teeth and flowed forward at every occasion. With ten minutes left Torro created two fantastic scoring chances within minutes of each other. Firstly, Connor Coogan got onto a ball behind the Muirhevna Mor defence, and lifted the ball over the head of the advancing keeper. The strike, however, went over the bar. Minutes later, Evan Bird worked himself into the box with the ball, and seemed destined to score from ten yards, but dragged his shot wide.
Torro still continued to press and with five minutes left they eventually got the equaliser. Colm Gilsenan pounced on a loose ball, and made no mistake in finding the net. Draw match !
The joy and belief were short lived though, as immediately after the kick off, Torro conceded a penalty. This arose from a lack of communication between defenders and goalkeeper, allowing a Muirhevna Mor player nip in and get the ball. Then, he went down rather easily under a challenge. The penalty was scored and was rapidly followed by another goal two minutes later, to end Torro’s hopes of success.
For the Torro team, there was plenty to be pleased about in the performance, and also lessons to be learned from playing against a well experienced, Premier Division side.
Excellent for Torro were Colm Gilsenan, Aaron Tolan, Aaron Englishby and Peter Carroll.
Torro United Team: Dan Shields, Shane O’Brien, Peter Carroll, Paul Shields, Gerry Murray, Aaron Tolan, Aaron Englishby, Colm Gilsenan, Will Gore, Andy Tolan, Evan Bird.
Subs: Connor Coogan for Aaron Englishby, Paul Lennon for Paul Shields.