All-Britain Inter-County JFC
London advanced to the quarter-finals of the junior championship after a rousing final quarter of a game that ebbed and flowed in the glorious weather in Bristol.
Played at St Mary’s Old Boys RFC, an open and high scoring game had a bit of everything with penalties to both sides to add to some fine team and individual scores.
John Daly opened the scoring for London straight from the throw in. London won possession and worked the ball up the field for Daly to raise the umpire’s flag for the first of many occasions on the day.
London’s quick start continued with points from Padraig McGoldrick and Sean Lavery also in the referee’s note book in the first four minutes.
However, Gloucestershire got into their stride and had a purple patch of their own with two quick fire points from Gavin Dungan, this after great work by Padraic Totten and Ciaran Canning in carrying the ball out of defence.
In fact, the teams were all square in the 10th minute after another team score for Gloucestershire finished off by Eoin Fanning.
Conor Murphy quickly responded to get London’s noses in front again however it was back to a balanced scoreboard after Brendan Agnew kicked the first score from a dead ball.
It was around this time that the London management team decided to shuffle their pack and with the introduction of Cathal Flynn and Aidan McGarvey, and a few positional changes, it was set up for a great second quarter of the match.
The next score was also from a dead ball this time for London with the impressive Padraig McGoldrick splitting the posts.
The game then entered a barren seven minutes without a score, however, this didn’t lessen the spectacle as the endeavour displayed from both sides was of championship pedigree.
Chances went a begging as both defences were on top, and the next flag to be raised was from London’s Conor Murphy for his second of the half. The men from the capital kicked on with the remaining three points of the half, two from James McDermott and another for McGoldrick. Half-time score; Gloucestershire 0-4 London 0-9.
Both teams took refuge from the weather at the break, and the second half started like the first, John Daly running through and hitting the roof of the net. Agnew replied for Gloucestershire with a point from play, however, Daly quickly cancelled this out with another point in the following minute.
Momentum would once again swing back in Gloucestershire’s favour as points from Tim O’Loughlin, and another free from Agnew, closed the gap. Gloucestershire were then awarded a penalty after a foul on the man running through on goal.
The referee had warned the players about encroaching the area and as O’Loughin’s penalty was saved a retake was ordered. O’Loughlin duly converted the retake to leave a goal between the sides with 18 minutes still to play.
The next score would be vital and it again came via the spot as London went straight down the pitch and worked through the hands to release a player bearing down on goal who in an almost carbon copy was fouled and a penalty was awarded.
Up stepped Daly who made no mistake on his kick. He added another point from a free, after James McShea had pulled one back for Gloucestershire.
After sub McGarvey grabbed a point, two goals in two minutes for London put the game to bed. The first came from Murphy and then Daly completed his hat-trick.
Eoin Fanning restored some order for Gloucestershire with a goal and a point. However, Daly was to have the final say with another major of his own to take his personal tally to 4-3. London had two more points from play to run out winners on a score line of Gloucestershire 2-9 London 5-14.
Overall, London were the stronger team on a day of free-flowing football. Both teams showed their qualities both in defence and in taking their scores, with 7-22 scored on the day. John Daly stood out for London with his tally of 4-3.