Nobber 3-7 Trim 1-8
Trim had already qualified for the quarter final of the Intermediate championship after a victory over St Michaels in the last round.
Win lose or draw the 'Town' side could not improve on second position in the group or be replaced by another team in the second spot. Nobber on the other had it all to play for because if they beat Trim and St Michaels lost to St Ultans or did not win by more than three points then the Black and Amber outfit would qualify for the prelim quarter final next week.
The match was played in Paddy O'Brien Park the home ground of Navan O'Mahonys and great credit must go to the O'Mahonys club for the preparation of their pitch which was in brilliant condition.The courteous and friendly stewarding was another feature of the night. Paddy himself would have been as proud as punch of his club. It was also great to see the referee on the pitch early, with four umpires and two lines men.
Brendan Murphy was very intent to keep the winning run going and extend the winning run to eight matches unbeaten in league and championship. He constantly stressed the importance of winning this match to his players at training all week but on the evidence of the Trim team's performance in Paddy O'Brien Park last night Murphy's words fell on deaf ears all week.
The performance had no intensity, no passion, no will to win, no appetite and was a mistake ridden performance. Time and time again the Trim players while in possession of the ball took the wrong option, gave away possession when there was no need to. The team stopped doing what they had been doing to great effect over the last seven games, passing the ball to the man in a better position, they also stopped the quick movement of the ball up field, stopped the tireless work rate, stopped making the unselfish runs and if they are honest with themselves they got what they deserved, a five point beating from a very ordinary Nobber outfit.
Nobber got off to a great start and had the ball over the black spot after just thirty seconds when their young star payer Jordan Morris kicked a lovely point. Trim replied in the third minute when James Cullen scored by fisting the ball over the bar after a nice move up the field by the reds. Nobber were taking the ball off the Trim forwards on a regular basis because the Trim players chose to take the ball into contact rather that give the ball to a better placed player. Nobber were using the long ball into their forwards but in fairness Luke Moran and Rory McGrath were marshalling Morris and veteran Brian Farrell to good effect. The sides remained at one point each until the Aaron Lynch pointed for Trim after seventeen minutes. This was The Reds first score in 15 minutes and they boosted their score line with a goal by Owen McGrath a minute later. Dimmy Higgins made an excellent run through on goals and he laid the ball off to McGrath who finished to the back of the net. It took Nobber twenty one minutes to register their second through Dale Larkin. Larkin added another point immediately after. Trim were unlucky not to have got a second goal on the 29th minute. Nobber keeper Brendan Heffernan made a great save from a James Cullen shot. In the thirty first minute Nobber hit a long ball into the Trim square, Brian Farrell tapped the ball down to his brother Niall who finished the ball into the back of the net to give the North Meath club a 1-4 to 1-3 interval lead.
In the first eight minutes of the second half both teams traded points Trim's scores coming from the boot of Aaron Lynch. Nobber found the back of the Trim net for the second time in the 38th minute. Trim responded with an excellent point from Aaron Lynch. Sub Sean Meade added a brace for Nobber while defenders Rory McGrath and Darryl Phelan replied for Trim. The Nobber management were telling their players they needed goals as St Michaels were six up in their match and their team responded with a third goal on the stroke of full time but it was not enough for the North Meath side as St Michaels went into the prelim-quarter final with a two point better score average.
Brendan Murphy and his management team have a job on their hands now to get their team back playing the way they had been playing in the previous seven matches. This team thrives on moving the ball fast up the field by hand or fist, by working hard for each other on and off the ball, by running off the shoulder to support the man in possession of the ball, by making unselfish runs to make space for a team mate ,by playing with high intensity in every match by having a never say die attitude to win the game and by giving the ball to a team mate in a better position. Sadly none of the above mentioned attributes were on display last night in O'Mahonys home ground Paddy O'Brien Park.
Trim: Barry O'Callaghan, Darryl Phelan (0-1), Luke Moran, Rory McGrath (0-1),Alan Douglas, Ciaran O'Rourke, Daire Lynch, Francis Murphy, Robert Burke, Paul Munnelly, James Cullen (0-1), Sean Fitzgearld, Dimmy Higgins, Owen McGrath (1-1), Aaron Lynch (0-4). Subs: Brian Dowling for Higgins h/t, James Toher for Owen McGrath 42 minutes, Ciaran Joyce for James Cullen 42minutes