“You’re away to Rathcoole 10:30 KO” read the early Tuesday morning text from Gary O’Connor. “Is it 7:30AM already!”
After three league defeats in a row, Saturday’s fixture was a must win game for a Blessington team that had been without a league win in their last three outings. With that in mind, the coaching staff sent their players off for some naturally occuring cryogenic chamber therapy to a well-known location at the edge of Glen Ding wood.
With preparations complete and the players thawed out, the team departed a cold but sunny Blessington quietly confident of registering their 3rd league win of the season.
A changing of the guard on the line saw flag bearing duties for the day handed over to Gary “Green ball” O’Connor and with everyone else, including the teams in position the referee took a long look at his watch and the match kicked off.
From the outset it was clear that Blessington had the measure of their opponents and with only a minute on the clock, a dangerous attack down the right led to the first corner of the game. This came to nothing but with pressure building on their opponents, it seemed only a matter of time until the deadlock would be broken. And it was!
After another swift move forward, a dangerous ball was whipped into the danger area by Jack McManus and the attempted clearance was picked up by Jack Hardy, who curled a right footed shot beyond the Rathcoole keeper for the opening goal of the game.
Some excellent work by Shane O’Connor shortly after the restart out on the right almost led to a second, but the Rathcoole keeper was equal to his close range effort. It wasn’t long however before Jack Hardy had added a second and Blessington were now in cruise control. Total dominance combined with excellent team shape, saw Aidan King get on the end of an excellent move and blast home a third from the edge of the Rathcoole box. Game Over!
As the half wore on, observant onlookers would have noticed the numerous shades of green, that had been created by the weaving trail of footprints on the heavily dewed grass. But when young Bobby came up for a corner at the end of the first half, the many shades of green were quickly replaced by a single shade of Gray. Excellence! His powerful shot from the edge of the box ensured his ever first goal for the club and a 4-0 lead for his team at half-time.
Billy Moore and Zach Power were introduced at half time and Patrick foley swapped places with Ciaran Clarke alongside the ever present Matthew Callinan in defence. Postions taken, a quick check of the watch and the match resumed.
As the second half progressed Blessington appeared to take their foot off the gas and five minutes in, Rathcoole pulled one back. The rest of the half however, remained a largely uneventful affair until 3 minutes from time, when Blessington were awarded a penalty. Patrick Foley stepped forward and neatly tucked away the ball to the keeper’s right, to leave a final score-line of Rathcoole 1 -5 Blessington.
Third league win of the season, 5 goals scored in each victory and after 3 tiring away day fixtures in succession the team and their loyal supporters are now due a well-earned and much welcomed home fixture.
The neighbouring houses of Blessington College can once again look forward to being woken up by a dawn chorus of containers being clattered opened, pitches being marked and pegs being hammered into the frozen ground.
“Is it 7:30AM already!”
Blessington Team: Patrick Foley, Matthew Callinan, Ciaran Clarke, Bobby Gray, Jack Hardy, Aidan King, Shane O’Connor, Jack McManus, Billy Moore, Zach Power.