There is an old and often used adage that goals win football matches. It is not always true, particularly if you are fifteen points behind and the goal comes in the last minute. However a timely goal in a tight game can benefit a team by much more than just what it adds to the scoreboard.
Sunday past was a case in point when Derrytresk’s Joe Mc Kee landed what turned out to be a knockout blow against Dromid Pearse’s. The score came at a vital stage of the game as the Kerry champions chased the game. The Munster men were two points down and were beginning to build momentum as they went in search of the scores that would bring them back into the game. The Derrytresk defence remained strong and resolute but also sought to counter attack at every opportunity. The pressure was growing and few would have complained had the Tyrone men decided to just hoof the ball clear to relieve the siege temporarily.
However that is not how Paul Canavan’s side does things and instead they continued to build from the back in the hope of creating a scoring chance or running down the clock. Their composure on the ball appeared foolhardy at times but with Sean Slater and Cathal O’Neill imperious on the ball they made sure Dromid had to work very hard to create shooting opportunities or regain the ball when they lost possession.
Derrytresk’s goal came about as a result of excellent defensive work and quality use of possession. The Kerrymen were turned over while on the attack just inside the Derrytresk half and Jay Dillon made a break for the space. Cathal O’Neill and Joe Mc Kee both went in support of him as they had done all afternoon and suddenly the whole pitch seemed to open up. Dillon’s pass found O’Neill who carried the ball before off loading to the number 11. Joe Mc Kee still had a lot of work to do and a lot of ground to cover as he held off the challenge of Dromid’s centre back before unleashing a rocket that almost lifted the net.
The roar that came from the crowd was as much one of relief as of jubilation. Not only had their players lifted the siege on their own goals but Joe Mc Kee’s goal was the score that sealed the game. Dromid’s players looked visibly deflated after it and although several of them battled gamely to close the gap, Derrytresk, boosted by the goal, refused to yield and went on to win convincingly.
Goals may not always win matches, but as we saw in Portlaoise on Sunday sometimes in their timing, creation and execution they are worth much more than a mere three points to any team.