Raphoe 1st XI made a treacherous journey, having overcome heavy rainfall and flash flooding as they travelled to Bangor on Saturday.
Bangor 1-0 Raphoe
In a real miserable day of heavy wind and rain, it was hard to play any kind of hockey, but both teams managed to create chances in the first half, with Bangor’s chances coming from short corner routines.
But the men on the Raphoe line, Keith Meehan and brother Alan Meehan cleared any chances that was placed out of the reach of goalkeeper Davy Moore.
Raphoe worked the counter-attack well and Jonny Long making the late runs from midfield saw him have Raphoe’s best two chances of the half.
Long’s 1st opportunity was played into him by Tommy Orr and when it opened up for him his reverse stick shot cracked off the onrushing Bangor keeper resulting in a corner.
The second chance was a great team move. Raphoe broke quickly with John Watt getting the ball in midfield and his accurate pass to Tommy Orr allowed the attacker to play a 1st-time ball into Long again and the keeper again was up to the task of blocking the shot with some quick reactions.
On the stroke of half-time Raphoe got a short corner of their own. John Watt worked the ball into the circle from right midfield and Jonny Long first time effort hit a Bangor defenders foot.
However, Tom Eaton’s effort from the top of the circle was hit too high and a free out was given.
The second half started very slow as both teams struggled with the weather conditions. Bangor had a few chances from short corners but still couldn’t find a way past the Raphoe defence.
Raphoe were reduced to ten men when Watt got a 10 min yellow card, with the pitch being extra slippy due to the heavy rain a simple 50/50 tackle where the Raphoe man slipped making it look worse than the tackle actually was.
Bangor got the winning goal midway through the 2nd half when a shelled ball from their left wing found a striker who’s near post flick beat Davy Moore in the Raphoe goal.
Raphoe again went down to ten men when Jonny Long got a green card with 8 minutes to go. Raphoe kept pushing to try and get an equaliser but couldn’t beat the Bangor keeper.
Another spirited performance from the Raphoe team against another team pushing for the league title, but sadly go away from the game knowing at least a point was there for the taking.
Raphoe will now travel to Portadown on December 22 before they travel to Kilkeel on December 29.
Raphoe 1st XI: D.Moore, T. Eaton, E.Lyttle, A.Meehan, K.Meehan, J.Long, T.Orr, J.Wilson, S.Cleverly, Z.West, A.Crumley, J.Watt.