I’m a bit of a creature of habit and so, with another FBD League campaign done with, it’s time for the usual statistical round-up on it. As usual, this takes the form of who lined out for us in these pre-season matches, who scored what, who the new faces were and how the team performed overall.
Let’s start first with the usual table listing the players who lined out and who scored what. Here’s the 2019 version.
We only played the two matches this year – last year it was four – so this means that fewer lads saw action in January this year compared to other years. Twenty-nine players made it onto the pitch for us at some point this January, compared to 47 in the four games last year.
Despite this, 29 isn’t our lowest January number in terms of playing personnel. Back in 2016 we only fielded 26 lads over the three pre-season games we played then.
Of the 29 lads who featured against Leitrim and Galway, eight of them – Fergal Boland, Jason Doherty, Brendan Harrison, Robbie Hennelly, James McCormack, Fionn McDonagh, Brian Reape and Donal Vaughan – all started in both games. In contrast, not a single one of the 47 players who played pre-season for us in 2018 started in all four matches we played then.
A further three lads featured in both games this year. Stephen Coen and Lee Keegan both started in one game and came in off the bench in the other, while debutant James Kelly made two substitute appearances.
Speaking of newbies, James was one of four lads who played for the county for the first time this month. The others were Conor Diskin, who started the last day against Galway, Ben Doyle, who came off the bench against Leitrim, and Colm Moran who lined out against Leitrim.
Top scorer for us this year, as he also was last year in the FBD, was Jason Doherty. The Burrishoole man bagged 1-7 for us over the two games. Others to feature prominently in the scoring stakes were Brian Reape, with 1-4, and Fergal Boland on 1-3.
Because we drew both games on identical goals/points scorelines, our aggregate scores for this year (3-22) were mirrored by an identical scores against total. Last year, over four matches, we bagged 2-43 but conceded 2-45.
Let’s finish on a high, though – sort of. We were involved in two penalty shootouts this January, winning one and losing the other, but the aggregate score was 6-5 in our favour over the two stalemate settlers. Don’t you just love the FBD?