‘A’ Team through to Connacht Shield Semi Finals

By the skin of their teeth springs to mind in this Connacht Shield Quarter Final played at home this morning.  In the warm up Corrib Celtic looked strong and keen with a young looking side and 20 players togged. Colemanstown on the other hand looked the opposite with players missing for one reason or another. The visitors started the brighter, more energetic and applied pressure on Colemanstown in every part of the field. Colemanstown were well structured in midfield and at the back but were a little shaky in possession at times mainly due to a few lads who had little playing time of late.

Mid-way through the first half Corrib Celtic’s lone striker got played through a ball from midfield and in a burst of pace left our defence for dead to coolly slot past Edo Flannery, (who was making his first ever ‘A’ Team start for Colemanstown along with young Dylan Grady) who nearly got his fingers to it.  Shortly after conceding Jayo Finn got injured making a tackle in front of the dug outs, he showed his warrior-like qualities and tried to play on for a number of minutes before succumbing to the injury and was replaced by Stephen Burke who slotted in at right back with Ronnie Geraghty moving into the centre alongside veteran Garry O Grady who is motoring for Colemanstown at present.

The game toed and frowed until half time with few chances created with the visitors going in 1 up at the break. Timmy Holian pulled all the strings in rallying his troops at half time and reiterated the need for patience and more positivity going forward. To further his half-time impotence he put all his irons on the fire and put on Sean Walsh up front, our last sub replacing Padraic Quirke. Ray Moran dropped into centre-mid with Sean Walsh and Dylan Grady up front.

With the cobwebs brushed off the Colemanstown lads at this stage, the half time rest and team talk was well clear in the heads, Colemanstown started the second half strongly. Ronan Carr dropped to left back with Alan Finn pushing up on the left wing as Colemanstown started dominating the play. The back 4 were solid and well-structured with great leadership and communication from the two stalwarts of the team Ronnie Geraghty and Garry O’Grady. Richie Lally (Mr. Reliable) worked his socks off with his box to box running and constant words of encouragement to his surrounding players. As Colemanstown increased the pressure, chances got closer and closer and it was clear to say our attacking threat was building. Youngsters Jack Kennedy and Dylan Grady did trojan work down the right side combining well together. With 15 minutes to go, following a Colemanstown attack the Corrib keeper miss-kicked a pass which landed at Dylan Grady’s feet and from 30 yards out Dylan sweetly lobbed the ball into the top left corner of the goal to level things up.

The goal fuelled the fire in the Colemanstown bellies with Dylan Grady’s confidence from his goal delivering more influential play from the youngster. With 5 mins to go, he ran onto a through ball on the wide right and with his pace, he beat the Corrib right back before looking up and picking out Alo Finn on the back post who sweetly struck the winner home. Ultimately, it was a reward for the unstinting and diligent service of many of these players and for the hard graft and patience in grinding out the win. It was a brilliant result as the lads await the draw against Swinford FC, Kilkerrin Utd or Real Tubber which should be revealed this week. Squad: Edo Flannery, Ronan Geraghty, Garry O’Grady, Jayo Finn, Alan Finn, Jack Kennedy, Richie Lally, Padraic Quirke, Ronan Carr, Dylan Grady, Sean Walsh, Stephen Burke and Ray Moran.

Next ‘A’ team game is away to Moyne Villa in the league on Friday night in a double header with the U14s against the same opposition under lights in Headford.