Easy win for Ireland's 2012 GAA All-Stars in New York
Help from New York and replacements sees a powerful close
The 2012 Irish all-stars, with a little help from New York and replacements, used a powerful closing finish to easily take the spoils by a score of 8-17 to 8-7 in this fun filled and entertaining contest at Gaelic Park on Saturday night.
The winners trailed by two points with seven minutes gone in the second half but then outscored their opponents 6-5 to 3-2 the rest of the way. But for brilliant saves by Brendan Kealy it would have been a wider margin as the goals came in after countless five and six player moves.
Donegal and 2012 manager Jim McGuinness will be happy with the win in a challenge contest, but his powerful Donegal side would have fits if they ever allowed two, let alone eight goals.
That said, the game was played with little if any defense played by the outfield players. The keepers, in particular Kealy, were very busy, with the Kerry native stopping at least five further goals.
The first half was played at a leisurely pace. Remarkable with the 13 a side format, only four goals arrived over the half hour.
The 2011 side dominated the first 15 minutes and were poised in a 2-3 to 0-4 lead after Ray O’Carroll had a well finished goal from a long Bernard Brogan delivery.
The 2011 side did have three of the first four points, with Karl Lacey carrying the ball constantly up the middle and then flicking to a teammate at opportune times.
The game changed, however, when MD McCauley crashed the ball in to the net five minutes in. His side followed with a Brogan point before the wood work at both ends took a battering.
The 11s had strikes that rebounded out to safety from McCauley and Kevin McMenamin, while at the other end Paul Kerrigan crashed a shot of the outside of the post. Goal chances a begging, but a sign of things to come.
The sides swapped points before Rory O’Carroll had the second major to give his side a 2-3 to 0-3 advantage with a quarter of the game over.
The 2011 side dominated the second quarter, however, and they outscored their rivals 1-7 to 1-1 with Donnacha O’Connor grabbing the goal with seven minutes left in the half, while Donegal’s Niall Gallagher also had a screaming point that he certainly was hoping would stay low.
The side actually had a 1-11 to 2-4 lead with 30 seconds left in the half before a five player sweeping move resulted in McCauley grabbing his second goal of the half when he finished to the net from the final Brogan pass.
The game stayed surprisingly close as the second half opened. Paul Kerrigan had a goal in the first minute for McGuinness’s side, and Leo Keegan followed with a point off the diving Kealy’s hand when he advanced to the 14 yard line.
The response was swift from Pat Gilroy’s side as they forged back into the lead for the final time with a 2-1 burst. A thunder bolt from Brogan on three minutes was followed by his second of the game when the quick thinking Ben Brosnan flicked a short free to the open Dubliner who made no mistake.
A towering point from wide on the right increased their advantage to 5-5 to 2-12, but alarmingly that was where it fizzled.
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