R Shirley's goal the difference V Glennane 2nd XI 1-0
By edward simpson
Icing on the cake as TRR M3's finish strongly as the highest placed third XI in all of Leinster
They dont come much bigger than this, Glennane 2nd XI at home late on a Sunday afternoon, last match of the season.
Glennane fielded a strong side, had only lost two matches all season (losing x 2 to runaway leaders Trinity 1st XI), and judging by their warm up were in good form and 'up' for a big match/performance... We were missing Findo, Mac, Rig (yes thats another jug each, and several more were missing but cant remember who...)
Our thanks to John Blakeney for umpiring straight after playing his match (they won!) and to Arthur, Sam, for helping out.
Like the sweets, TRR Heroes played to their strengths with the team on the pitch, we kept a hold of the ball, a real sense of hold onto the ball at all costs, no wild passes, keep it simple, and boy from GK to CF every man jack us played with determination, making for an epic & tough match, both sides created chances well saved by both keepers, Ed stick saving over the cross bar, defense Ritchie, Greenie, Scott x 3, Sam, held on, were excellent with front marking, picking off/tackling/winning the ball time after time. There were several scary moments but our luck held. Down the other end, Ryan Phil, Hinds, Roly, Scott, RJ played out of their socks creating chances keeping us in the game knowing if we did concede we could and would score.
Half time score 0-0, both sides playing excellent hockey, must have been great to watch this on the sidelines (eh Mr & Mrs Shirley?).
This match was going to be decided on one goal, it was evenly balanced, with all to play for.
The second was played at an even higher tempo, both sides moving the ball looking for opportunities, time after time TRR Heroes stole the ball, tackled like men possessed, and switching into attack mode. Glenanne had set a high press and put our defense of Greenie, Scott x 3, Ritchie, Sam under intense pressure, but everyman jack of them had a blinder, working for each other, communication you name it we displayed it. We talked at half time about Carpe Diem, if you see a moment to press to put them under pressure take your moment, a slow/poor backpass (one of the rare mistakes Glenanne made!) saw Ryan immediately press the player, winning the ball, heading to their D at pace, I think he took a shot at GK, keeper saving, then with the rebound drew the keeper out and round cool'y slotting home the winner....1-0
Huge cheers from all except the oppo, this really meant something, we were in a real dog fight and this goal was one of the best experiences/feelings I/we've had in the last few and a half seasons...
With about 20 mins left on the clock Glen's threw everything at us, under intense pressure we did not buckle, clearing the danger, excellent tackles, we put everything into this and more. I think there were at least 8 short corners to defend, still no way through for the Glens, solid defense from Scottx3, Ritchie, Sam, Ed to Greenie, a wall of Blue/Brown.
Plenty of injury drama's, Ritchie in the wars, first his 'free' hit an oppo player in the chest, and minutes later was himself struck on the nose, blood everywhere, but still we fought on.
Thankfully the final whistle blew, it felt like it took forever for the final whistle, TRR holding on with a well deserved 1-0 win v Glenanne 2nd Xi. One of the Heroes commented that Glenanne was the best team we had played all season (possibly...), for me that was the most rewarding match we have played since languishing at the bottom of Div 5, 2.5 seasons ago, really really proud of all the team and the Heroes who played.
Some stats for you, that was Glennane's only loss outside of Trinity all season, we have finished third in the league a commendable 2 points behind Glenanne who finished 2nd, we are the highest placed 3rd Xi in Leinster.
Shearer's picture has been added to this match report (last one for the season - hurrah!) as he has been nominated and in the running for Club Player of the Season award, which was won by Ritchie not so long ago! Lets all get behind him and vote for him from as many different IP addresses as possible... Why he ever left to YM...
DOD - Not many contenders as you would expect, possibly Ritchie for increasing 'extra' time x 2, but on a day of Heroes, and this is a first, their will be NO DOD awarded...
MOM - Several stand out performances, Greenie, Scott C, Ryan, Phil, Ed, MOM in the last match of the season goes to.... ALL OF THE HEROES (and yes thats a jug each x 14).
Our thanks to John B for umpiring, to Mr & Mrs Shirley for their support (we may need to grow our fan club!) all season, I dont have the stats on who has golden boot but suggest its between Ryan V Shearer? Thanks also to Findo for captaining, coaching, organising and being patient with us, and to Dylan for all his time/coaching.