Competition: Leinster Senior League Sunday Division 3A (12th Tier)
Date: 5 March 2023
Result: Loughshinny United 1 – 1 Derry Rovers
Tickets: free (walk up)
Attendance: 35 (approx)
Game/ Experience Rating: ☆☆☆
The Game: First vs second in village-level football as Loughshinny United played a side from all the way over in Edenderry, Co Offaly, Derry Rovers. This is the lowest tier of Sunday Leinster Senior League football, and Loughshinny look all set to launch out of it for next season.
One thing I love about this level of football is what you can learn from the small number of regulars stood around the sidelines. While I kicked a ball around with the kids at the pitch edge, for example, I learnt that the Loughshinny keeper, who it’s fair to say was shaky looking, normally plays full back and was standing in for their missing usual goalkeepers.
Derry Rovers took the lead when he fumbled a cross to a closing striker about 15 minutes in, which hardly seems his fault under the circumstances. Loughshinny were angry – not at him, but generally – with their level of play, with a full-on shouting match instigated at half time. They eventually got level through a header in the second half, before the game’s drama unfolded.
A penalty for Loughshinny was saved, and one of the home team’s strikers reacted by punching a defender, causing a brawl and a quite bitter end to the game, including the Derry Rovers player who had been hit being prevented from following the dismissed player into the dressing room at full time by the rest of their bench. Not brilliant quality, as youi’d probably expect, but great entertainment.
The ground: Loughshinny Park is basically a walk up pitch with a metal barrier around it and a tiny changing area, plus another kids pitch nearby. It’s exactly what you’d expect for the level – no frills, rough and ready, but welcoming with it. There’s a notable slope to the pitch and the whole thing has a great view of the Irish Sea if you stand on the high end. A proper rural feeling spot.
Extras: I mean Loughshinny Harbour is lovely and it’s a five minute walk away. The town isn’t big enough for a shop, so that’s about all you’re getting…
Assorted asides: It’s exposed and so windy, buy coffee on the way over!
My totals for the year so far:
Games: 5. Home wins: 3 Draws: 2 Away wins: 0
Goals: 15. Home goals: 10. Away goals: 5. Goals per game: 3