Glasgow Irish are starting to hit their stride


GLASGOW Irish began last month with their annual pre-season friendly against Edinburgh Harps in the capital city for the Jason Lyons Memorial Trophy.

On the day, the Irish wore their new black away kit for season 2022-23 and started the game well with Mark Paterson getting on the scoresheet twice. However, a poor refereeing display saw emotions spill over and a red card was shown to Paul Ruby. It was a rough challenge deserving of a red card, but a similar challenge from the opposition moments earlier went unpunished. In the end, with Harps playing well and making use of their extra man advantage, the Irish capitulated eventually losing the match 8-2.

After that match, the Irish lost a key player in captain Tony Garth who has joined Clydebank. So, the club made the decision to make Kevin Barr the new captain for the upcoming season with Chris Gillespie named vice-captain.
Pollokshields United provided the Irish’s first league opponents of the season. Despite a number of call-offs, the team started the match well and restricted their opponents to very few chances. However, a soft penalty award in the 40th minute saw Polloskhields go in one up at the break.

In the second-half Glasgow Irish continued to work hard but lost another goal after a melée in the box. That was followed by an unlucky own goal and the conversion of another soft penalty. Tempers began to fray and Paul Conroy was shown a red card late in the game. Pollokshields made good use of their subs to make and ran out 5-0 winners.
Next up was a tie against Dynamo Redhurst in the Irish’s first home game at Drumoyne, which will be their home venue for this season. An eager Irish side wanted redemption for the previous two defeats. The first 15 minutes of the match was very cagey with both teams struggling to get a grip of the game and few chances created.

This finally changed when Kevin Barr sent a free-kick into the box and defender Paul Conroy hit a first time volley into the bottom corner. This acted as the catalyst for some nice football from the Irish, who looked comfortable until the 75th minute when a ball played into the corner wasn’t dealt with, leading to a free-kick, which was crossed in and scored by Dynamo. Even at 1-1 the Irish had a few chances to get the winning goal, but a mistake by the defence allowed Dynamo to take all three points. The celebrations from the opposition showed how relieved they were with to get the win. It was a hard one to take for the lads, but it just shows just how tight the league is.

The third league match of the campaign saw a depleted Glasgow Irish side take on unbeaten league leaders Glasgow Wellington AFC. As a result, the management to make some tough decisions, such as playing players out of position and playing injured goalkeeper Sean Jones.

However, with only four minutes gone, player-manager, Richy McCabe, played a great pass through to on-form forward, Jay Mathieson, who took his chance and got on the scoresheet early. This set the tone for the game and after 15 minutes, the Irish went 2-0 ahead after Jay McCann worked his way up the pitch and sent a blistering volley past the keeper after good work from Dylan Murray. Wellington pulled a goal back a few minutes later, however, and, at this point the game could go any direction. The Irish’s hard work eventually paid off when winger Tony D got his goal to restore the two-goal cushion. That was nearly under threat when Wellington were awarded a penalty, but the attempt was saved by Jones and the rebound was blazed over the bar.

As the second-half got underway, the Irish were forced into making a substitution with McCann being replaced by Ruby. Early into the second period, Wellington got a goal back to reduce the deficit, but the Irish kept up their excellent play and were rewarded when Murray—with two assists already—scored a goal of his on to make it 4-2. The points were sealed when Deveney scored his second to make it 5-2. Glasgow Irish had more chances to score but getting their first points on the board against a good side who were unbeaten and top of the league, was reward enough.

Next up was a cup tie against Glasgow Wellington Colts—Glasgow Wellington AFC’s B-team. The fact that they were a second-string team didn’t show on the pitch and the Irish knew this was going to be a challenge. The game started with Colts having the better chances but the Irish defence remained resolute. A penalty was awarded to Colts for a hand ball but that man Jones made it two penalty saves in two games to give his side a lift.

The Irish went on to get the first goal of the game when Deveney was brought down in the box and Chris Gillespie steps up to coolly slot the ball into the bottom right corner. Colts kept their attacks coming, though and were awarded another penalty for hand ball. This time they made no mistake to make it 1-1.

Their joy didn’t last long, however, as Mathieson scored to make it 2-1—two goals in two games for the on-form striker. Then a free-kick in the taken by captain Barr saw the keeper make a good save but quick-thinking Juan Carlos ran in for a tap in the rebound to make it 3-1 at half-time.

Colts started to attack more, knowing they had to go for it and on the 75 minute mark they pulled one back to make it 3-2 and set up a very tense last 15 minutes, but the Irish held on and advanced to the next round of the Scottish Sunday Trophy.

Glasgow Irish’s next match is a game against Flip the Mindset at Drumoyne, which they’ll go into with confidence after two wins.