Four goals not enough for Renwick

12 Nov
  • Renwick House 4-6 Derry City Supporters Club
  • McCavery scores 15 minute hat-trick
  • Result “a fair reflection”

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A weakened Renwick team took to the field this week against the reigning Belfast Super Leage Champions, Derry City Supporters Club, in what was a high scoring encounter with good attacking play from both teams. Having had a squad of 16 to choose from the previous week, the manager had his matchday squad reduced to just 12 for a number of reasons. This included the loss of first teamers Gareth Smith and Robert McCaughan, both of whom had made big contributions in previous games. Filling in was Michael Hawthorne and Mark Porter, both making their first starts, as Andrew Lynch dropped to centre-half, allowing Porter to take his place in midfield.

In this fixture last season, the issue of refereeing was hotly debated, and in the days leading up to Wednesday’s match, talk of external referees and Peter Loughridge had been heard among the players. However this was all irrelevant as the team from the Maiden City could only bring 11 players and so Renwick were left to officiate the whole event. Reports that this was due to the rest of the squad being banned by League Chairman Andrew Wallace for having second unofficial contracts are as yet unconfirmed. Chris Carson took the whistle for the opening half, taking his refereeing minutes for the season to 85. Fair play to ye.

A tight physical encounter was anticipated and for most of the first half this was how it was. Neither team took control of the game in the early stages, although using McCullough’s long kicks as a platform to work from, Renwick had the best of the early chances. To describe such play as “Bolton mk.1” would not be unfair. The opening goal however game from midfield domination, with Renwick pressurising high up the pitch. Mark Porter was tenacious in winning the ball back, and released McCavery to the right of the box. McCavery easily beat his man, took the ball to the line and chipped it to the back post, where Ian Buchanan was waiting. After some impressive trickery the Bready man deftly poked the ball past the keeper and into the corner to make it 1-0. As John Motson once said, “what a time to score! Twenty-two minutes gone!”

The goal was just about deserved at this stage, the goal coming in Renwick’s first meaningful attack. Derry had mostly been playing balls over the top of defence with the aim of running in behind but were unable to score due to good awareness and communication all across the defence. Renwick went close again from a corner, with the ball dropping in the box to Andrew Lynch, who had no time to steady himself before shooting just wide of the post.

As the end of the half was drawing close, the Candy Stripes won a free kick mid way inside the Renwick half. Initially it seemed they would try to float it into the box but then decided to strike it directly. From what must have been at least 35-yards out, the Derry right winger stepped up and thundered the ball into the top left of the goal, leaving the young keeper with no chance. This was without a doubt the best goal Renwick have conceded all season, and if there was such a thing as goal of the season, this surely would be a strong contender. It came as a big psychological blow to Renwick who had up to that point played well, without ever truly dominating.

With the game evenly poised at 1-1, Renwick stepped out for the second half, with every reason to believe they could go on and win the match. Andrew Morrison changed places with Chris Carson, who slotted in at right back following a surprisingly uncontroversial 45 minutes of refereeing. Morrison blew the whistle and Derry got the half under way. The composure and disciplice that had marked the first half performance seemed to desert them almost instantly and it was not long before Derry broke through the defence, only for McCullough to smother the ball at the striker’s feet.

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Until the 70 minute mark, Derry completely dominated the game, with Renwick struggling to cross the halfway line. In this time, they managed to score 4 goals and even miss a penalty. While the goals were all of reasonable quality, all 4 were preventable. Derry’s second came from the left wing, with the striker shooting early over the keeper to make it 2-1. The third was a similar story, this time coming from the other side of the pitch. Shortly after, as a Derry striker was bearing down on goal, McCullough came out to clear the danger but mistimed his challenge and took all of the man and little, if any of the ball. Morrison had no choice but to point to the spot and for the third week running, was facing the opposition from twelve yards. Having now mastered the penalty saving technique, David Seaman himself waited for the ball to be struck before moving, and after dropping to his right, kept the ball out. A pleasing moment for the keeper on an otherwise frustrating day. The author of this report would like to apologise to Joel Loughridge for the lack of penalty photography, and will try to ensure that in future supporters are aware of the importance of such events.

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Just about the only piece of goal caught on camera.

Goal number five came from a corner kick, with a Derry striker finding himself unmarked in the box and had the easy task of nodding the ball into the net. Ben Hanna might have got to the ball, but the danger should have been cleared up earlier. The 5th, by which stage Renwick spirits had hit rock bottom came from the a striker being played through a shooting low to beat the keeper. With 70 minutes gone and the score reading 5-1 things were looking bleak for the Elmwood team.

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It was that bad

In a manner reminiscint of a resurgence against DV last season, and on the same pitch, Renwick started to play football again, and the goals soon followed. When Ben Hanna found himself with the ball wide on the left he instinctively headed for goal, beating a man before picking out Mark McCavery who finished calmly. Renwick kept the pressure on, and only minutes later scored again. The attack again developed from the left of the pitch, Ben Hanna picking up a loose ball on the edge of the Derry box, shaping to shoot but cleverly sliding in Michael Hawthorne who crossed to find McCavery in the box, who poked the ball into the net. Another hat-trick for the main man, despite being very isolated for large passages of the game.

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Despite the Renwick dominance in the middle of the park, or maybe because of it, Derry managed to sneak another goal, this time a striker running through the heart of the defence and stroking the ball into the corner of the net, leaving the score 6-3

Finally, with 5 minutes left, McCavery found himself in a one on one with the Derry keeper, and calmly slotted the ball into the bottom left corner. Despite stopping the clock for every stoppage in the game, there was nothing more the referee could legitimately do to influence the score and so blew the final whistle just as the sun was setting over the Ozone.

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Changes in personel certainly played their part in this match, but even so Renwick may well feel they could have come away from this game with at least a point. But it was not to be, and for the 2nd time in 3 games, Renwick were left to ponder what might have been. Seven hardcore fans managed to make it out on a cold Belfast day, and as ever, the support is appreciated.

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Particularly noteworthy performances came from both Ben Hanna and Steven McCollum. In spite of some shocking tackles, Hanna performed his defensive duties well and was effective in attack, relishing the extra space left in the wide areas by McCaughan. McCollum, who some felt might struggle without Smith beside him, proved all the doubters wrong and gave an accomplished performance, dealing confidently with most things that came his way. Gavin Tenaciouswell and Philip Dunwoody, who has been consistently good since the start of the league, also deserve a special mention.

Renwick: McCullough, Morrison, Lynch, McCollum, Hanna, Dunwoody, Blackwell, Porter, Buchanan, Hawthorne, McCavery Sub: Carson

Man of the Match (shared..again):

Steven McCollum and Ben Hanna

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Photos

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Put his name on every single ball that came anywhere near him. Didn’t get all that many..

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Stretchlikeelasticwell

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In a quick round up of other Belfast Super League news, the Union vs. QUBNISA game was called off at the last minute as one of the teams failed to turn up. Renwick, who face the reinstated Northern Ireland fans next week, will be hoping that the fault lay with Union and that a similar fiasco won’t occur when they go to play them.

Piecam fans will be disappointed to learn that Trinidad and Tobago were playing at Cherryvale today, and thus there will be no Piecam this week. Incidently T&T managed a credible 3-3 draw with Donegal Rangers. Church of Ireland’s dismal start to the season continued with a 8-0 hammering at the hands of Derryvolgie, while Bayern Eunuchs took World XI “to the cleaners” in a 5-0 win. Renwick currently sit 3rd in the league, but this position is skewed by the glut of games in hand teams behind them have somehow managed to amass. Full details on www.belfastsuperleague.com

On a day given over to remembering, remembering the events of Wednesday afternoon is the last thing most Renwick players will be wanting to do. Renwick know they are better this, and will be out to prove this next week.

Finally, for those who have ordered the Renwick 50 games shirt, you now owe Andy Morrison £21 if you had any number on your shirt, otherwise £19. The shirts have been ordered, but probably won’t arrive until early December. However they have been paid for, so money would be appreciated!

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4 Responses to “Four goals not enough for Renwick”

  1. Peter November 12, 2009 at 4:15 pm #

    James McCullough … proving himself already to be something of a Pepe Reina-like penalty-stopping king! Well played. Did any of the previous incumbants of the RHFC #1 jersey ever save as many as two?? [I’d be surprised if statman Phil doesn’t have a record of it!]

    Anyway, surely given the shambolic state of affairs at the mother club, all teams affiliated with Derry City in any shape or form should be thrown out of their respective leagues!!! On the other hand, their Belfast Superleague team might suddenly start to get stronger and stronger over the next few weeks!

    :-D

  2. Joel L November 12, 2009 at 4:25 pm #

    I doubt I ever saved 2 penalties. Ive probably only saved 2 in my entire career.

    Regarding the photo with this caption: “Put his name on every single ball that came anywhere near him. Didn’t get all that many..”
    … presumably any ball that was played on the pitch was “near him”. I hear he covered alot of ground, and not in the way that most footballers do…

    Photos…penalty…enough said…

  3. Phil November 13, 2009 at 1:11 am #

    To my knowledge, neither Joel or Jonny McCollum ever saved a penalty in the Renwick no. 1 jersey. I think a better caption for that guy would be: “shouted a lot, achieved little”. And, for the record, even though I borrowed them from Gav, those red socks are NOT L****pool socks!

  4. Peter November 13, 2009 at 3:17 pm #

    Let’s not forget Andy Lytle has famously saved a penalty AGAINST Renwick!

    http://www.shallwesingasongforyou.co.uk/?p=442

    PS – Phil loves Liverpool!

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