Eunuchs put Renwick to the Sword

22 Oct

Renwick’s Belfast Super League season began in defeat in a testosterone-fuelled encounter at Boucher Road on Wednesday. Fresh from a 9-3 drubbing of Donegal Rangers last week, gaffer McCullough made just one change, Michael Mitchell coming in for Translink victim Joel Cromie. Richard McKelvey refereed the first half and new signing Adam Devenney started on the sidelines. Mitchell soon repaid his manager’s faith in him as he grabbed a quick brace inside the opening ten minutes. In the second minute Robert Cromie’s right-wing cross was cleared to the edge of the box, where Mitchell promptly lashed in an unstoppable drive. The second had a touch of good fortune about it, as Mitchell’s inswinging corner curled straight in at the near post. Renwick had indeed started the first half very brightly, but soon found themselves on the back foot as the engergetic Bayern began to stamp their authority on the game, closing down well and playing effectively as a unit. They had soon pulled one back, and continued to dominate, pulling several good saves out of McCullough, before scoring again prior to half time. Renwick began to lose their discipline, and tempers flared, with both Hanna and Cromie getting involved in altercations. All in all, Renwick were lucky to arrive at half time still level.

Campbell went close with a long-range effort

Changes were needed at half time, and so McKelvey replaced Campbell at right back, and Devenney made his debut up front in place of Mitchell, with the elder Cromie moved to right midfield. Again Renwick started the half better, and both Cromie and Devenney were guilty of missing gilt-edged one-on-one chances. The Eunuchs were more like an energy-saving long-life lightbulb, not really doing anything at the start, but getting gradually brighter and staying bright, while Renwick’s standard lightbulb soon burned out, despite early promise. Laboured analogies aside, Eunuchs were soon on top again and took the lead after a defensive mix-up for Renwick, one of several that afternoon. It was at this point that Joel Cromie finally turned up, having walked from Finaghy after an impasse with some train doors. There was an exchange of Cromies, and the younger brother’s introduction gave Renwick extra attacking incentive. However another defensive lapse put Renwick 4-2 down, and the deficit proved too much for them to recover from. There was a consolation goal, as J Cromie jinked past 2 defenders and the keeper before squaring for Devenney to tap in the simplest of debut goals. However the comeback was never really on, and the 4-3 finish was undoubtedly a fair result.

Bayern’s cause no doubt helped by the introduction of an ex-Japanese international at half time

Defensive frailties proved costly for Renwick

Fresh from a 45-minute walk, Joel arrives

Unencumbered by his adventure, he soon slipped through the Eunuchs defence like a wet bar of soap…

…before setting up Renwick’s answer to Park Ji-Sung

All in all, Renwick have lessons to learn from this defeat. At the back, more decisiveness and conviction needs to be shown. In the midfield Renwick were constantly overrun, leaving McCullough with a choice of sticking with his 4-4-2 system, or changing to a 4-3-3/4-5-1 and slotting an extra man in there. Up front, chances were wasted and the ball didn’t stick, which was a stark contrast to the Eunuchs, who were surprisingly potent. There were a few encouraging signs, not least the showing from sub Devenney, who promises to help Renwick tap into the lucrative Asian market. Nonetheless, much improvement is needed for next week, when Renwick face the intriguingly-named Jay’s Football Friends.

Man of the Match: McCullough was one of the few Renwick players to emerge from the match with any credit, shaking off the effects of only having one leg to make several quality saves.

Renwick: McCullough; Campbell, Carson, Hanna, McCollum; Mitchell, Pete, Peoples, Hawthorne; Cromie R, Aicken. Subs: McKelvey, Devenney, Cromie J.

Caption competition:

The winner gets to replace Ben at centre-half next week


2 Responses to “Eunuchs put Renwick to the Sword”

  1. rosemary October 22, 2010 at 2:59 pm #

    a man outstanding in his field. But think ill pass on centre half though!

  2. Joel October 25, 2010 at 12:14 pm #

    All this talk of eunuchs had Ali concerned…

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