We returned to league action last night in our Leinster Senior League, Major 1 Sunday, fixture as we played host to in form Stella Maris.

Stella, currently sitting 4th, were unbeaten in their last 4 games. Winning their last 2 and coming into the game off the back off an impressive 6-1 victory away to Celbridge.

The gate on the other hand came into the game sitting 2nd from bottom having lost our last 4 games. However, Rome wasn’t built in a day and the players at the club have come together over the last two weeks, since the defeat to Clondalkin, and re-emphasised the importance of sticking together, believing in each other and trusting that it will come good.

On to the game…whilst it finished goalless it was far from a drab affair. Both sides jostling for position in the opening exchanges it is probably fair to say that the home side settles into the encounter the better of the two. Early chances were created as Shane Brothers went through on goal only to be denied by Stella’s in form keeper, the rebound was missed in what was seemingly an open goal. A few minutes later, after some lovely play from back to front, starting with the impressive Adam Roche, saw Brothers again get off a stinging shot destined for the goal, thwarted by a rock solid left handed save from the Stella keeper.

Halt-time 0-0. More of the same please.

Stella, surprisingly, changed keepers at half-time. They visitors started the 2nd half brightly and made early changes in the 2nd half that freshened them up and saw them start to get on top for a sustained period of time. Indeed, they’d a chance which, depending on who you’re supporting either didn’t or did cross the gate goal line. Referee, excellent on the night, waived play on and the gate managed to scramble the ball clear.

Stella continued to press and had a flurry of set piece chances towards the end of the game. They were nearly caught pushing for the winner when the gate broke 2v1 with the tireless Carl Bourke bursting through from midfield, released by the impressive Brothers, 1v1 and a heavy touch from Bourke saw the keeper come out and quickly smother the chance.

And so the game ended, a fair result, both teams win chances to win it. For Stella their unbeaten run continues. For us, the Gate, the early slump stopped, and hopefully a catalyst that helps bring the players together with the aim to push up the league.

We may be wrong but we think that is the 1st scoreless draw across the league so far this season.