Thursday, June 02, 2005


They say there’s a fairytale aspect to this football club, but in the opinion of your humble correspondent the feats of these brave Hollywood boys are more from the fantastical pages of Tolkien than anything Hans Christian Anderson could come up with.

As if last weeks stunning comeback against Bucky Ramblers was not spectacle enough, FC Hollywood conjured up a shock win against the much fancied Vikings, unusually missing their traditional beards and horned helmets.

It certainly was Valhalla for the men in Orange when the final whistle blew, as they had spent the final fifteen minutes of this pulsating tie desperately defending their keep, like Brian Boru in days of yore, defending a two goal lead which had seemed beyond their wildest dreams on the basis of the first quarter of this match.

The slick Norsemen dazzled an often bamboozled and disorganised Hollywood back division in those opening exchanges, with goalkeeper Tommy Martin (on more prosaic detail this week after last Tuesday’s goalscoring heroics) making save after save, the post coming to the their rescue also.

Brian Keane and Damien Ryan, if not at sixes and sevens, were dragged hither and thither, but dug in manfully, and the tigerish Ryan and Richie McEvoy made last ditch clearances to save Hollywood bacon.

If the phrase “against the run of play” ever required definition, then the good folks at the OED need only refer to Killian Buckley’s goal on twenty minutes to give Hollywood the lead. Ryan’s cross was wicked, Buckley’s run brave, and his , ahem ‘shoulder’ was the body part that bundled the ball home. The Vikings scratched their heads a bit at the bizarreness of it all, and indeed Hollywood themselves seemed to half believe some cosmic prankster had caused them to see a mirage in the Booterstown heat.

1-0 was the reality though, and the Oranginos, boosted by their audacity, infected themselves with a ferocious tenacity that yielded the Vikings barely a inch to weave their webs of one-touch passing.

Some semblance of normality appeared to be restored five minutes into the second half, when a Vikings move down the left flank was worked inside and the ball poked home at the back post. Surely the Hollywood resistance would crumble now as the Viking longboats advanced on their crumbling defences?

Not a bit of it!

A mere five minutes later Keane brought the ball out of defence and spotted last week’s hat-trick hero Enda Mulry in the left channel. Keane’s pass was raking and accurate, and Mulry took a touch before firing an exocet of a shot into the bottom corner. Pick that out!

The Vikings to their credit did not panic, but there was an intensity to Hollywood’s defending that suggested they would not succumb again.

When Hollywood won a corner with ten minutes remaining there was no rush from the men in Orange to advance in numbers. Buckley’s dead ball was accurate, but Geoff Rooney still had no right to pull of the flying, diving back header that shot into the Vikings net and gave Hollywood a cushion they were able to defend in the final, desperate minutes.


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