Although our U12’s were totally unprepared for playing on astro surface in their league encounter against Corrib Rangers in Westside on Saturday, they started off well, spraying the ball about to good effect. Harry Mitchell had a great chance but the big physical Corrib Rangers keeper saved well. On 9mins the hosts went a goal up but Colemanstown’s youngsters who donned their new kit for the first time, thanks wholly to the generosity of Ballymacward Hall Committee & Youth Disco, responded well through efforts from Tommy Mellody and again by Harry but their goal bound shots were held well by the vigilant keeper. The hosts dominated the remainder of the half as Corrib Rangers maintained their 1 goal advantage at half time.
We started the 2nd half similar to the first, well on top, but again Jason Rabbitte saw a further effort well saved. Colemanstown defended well with captain Dara Scarry at left back & Conor Laffey at right back both playing well. Corrib Rangers took a stranglehold on the game soon after and went 2-0 up at the three-quarters stage as we were struggling to get a proper foothold with many players having inappropriate footwear for the astro sod. Our young heads dropped a bit when the hosts scored their 3rd. But these lads are built on steel and they rallied to bounce back thanks to some hard work from the industrious Harry Mitchell who got on the end of a ball threaded through the middle from Tommy Mellody to clip it over the keeper and make it 3-1 with 6 mins to go. Colemanstown capitalised on proceedings after that and dominated the remainder of the game. Thomas Mellody put a solitary score between the sides when he latched onto a long ball from keeper Cian Ruane. As the clock was ticking down, the Colemanstown contingent were offering prayers for more time as they felt the equaliser was not too far away but they fell on deaf ears as the referee blew the final whistle to dampen the youngsters’ spirits. Final score: Corrib Rangers 3; Colemanstown 2.
Colemanstown A 4; Loughrea 5
For the 2nd time this season our A team have been knocked out of a cup competition in the cruellest of fashion. Having lost to Tuam in Round 1 of the Connacht Cup earlier in the season on penalties, it was déjà vu again yesterday, this time Loughrea inflicting the damage. The sides were locked at 1-1 a piece after 110mins of scrappy enough football. Loughrea had most of the first half possession as Colemanstown’s best chances fell to Sean Walsh who was one-on-one with the keeper early on and a header from Walsh before half time after he connected to a cross from Squelchy. Garry O’Grady had a glancing header just before half time but was also wide of the target to leave the game scoreless at the break.
5 mins after the restart Loughrea were gifted a goal; a back pass to our keeper which didn’t work out as expected. But the troops rallied by our centre back veterans, who between them had a combined age of 92years. Work out those ages yourself…. Garry O’ Grady formed a good partnership with Eoghan Barrett who both exhibited a tremendous 2nd half display and were at the centre of alot of good attacks involving Gary Lally, Squelchy & Richie Lally. It can be hard for a veteran player to look impressive when you have Enda Cunniffe & Ronnie Geraghty bombing up and down the left and right side of the field with effectiveness and frequency. But the 2 centre backs impressed and although their legs had to be weary walking off the pitch after a stellar 110mins display, there’s a definite truth in the saying ‘there’s life in the ould dog yet’. Colemanstown probably put in a better 2nd half shift and were justly rewarded 27mins into the 2nd half when Richie Lally’s cross from out near the corner found Gareth Lally who scored the goal of the weekend. 2mins later Squelchy had the ball in the net but was judged to be off side. Right at the stroke of full time Ray Moran had a great chance to score the winner but he blasted over the cross bar. And so to extra time which saw nearly a 50/50 split of possession with the issue in doubt right up until the end although no clear cut goal chances fell to either side. With the sides dead-locked 1-1 after extra time, up stepped Richie who dispatched the first penalty with great confidence. Ronnie Geraghty & Squelchy also scored while John Gormally made a great stop to keep us in the shoot-out. However, Loughrea’s custodian turned hero with 2 fine stops to ensure Loughrea advanced to Round 2 of the Michael Byrne Cup as they prevailed 4-3 on penalties.
Our Reserve team had to endure hail and rain on Saturday in Colemanstown but prevailed 3-1 winners over Merlin Woods in their first league encounter since Christmas. Geordan Kenny, Oisin Flannery & Sean Walsh provided the goals.
Next weekend sees another busy schedule of fixtures: Our A team are home to Merlin Woods/Medtronic in the league on Saturday at 2pm; Our Reserves are away to the same opposition at 2.30pm while our U14’s are home to Cregmore/ Claregalway on Sunday at 12noon.