Well the first weekend of the season finally arrived for our A team & U14’s. Excitement was high and positions picked – both managers knew their teams shape and their plans; all they had to do was execute the plan. However, things didn’t go all that great for either side. A battling but well depleted A team under the management of Timmy Holian were beaten by a strong Claregalway team yesterday in their first competitive game, Round 1 of the FAI Cup. Although the game was scoreless at half time, Claregalway turned it around in the 2nd half to win 4-0.
Then today our U14’s took on league and cup double winners from last year, Ramblers in Colemanstown, as the sun was out with only a few clouds gathering. These U14 lads under the expert guidance of David Gilligan had it tough. Clearly from the off, Ramblers were the better side and only for the true bravery of Jason Connolly in goals, it may have been even more. Ramblers opened the scoring on 6mins with a long ball which split the defence for Ramblers striker to run on to and even though Jason Connolly saved well, the striker hammered home the rebound. Jason Connolly made a few more top drawer saves spreading himself well before Conor Byron worked hard to win a corner which was swiftly taken but cleared after momentary hesitation by Ramblers defence. Ramblers doubled the score on 16mins with a cracking header and made it 3-0 with another header which left Connolly with no chance. Sean Hansberry pulled one back with as good a free kick as one would see at this level, which found the top corner of the net to leave the interval score at 3-1. The second half was only 2mins old when Ramblers made it 4-1 and an uphill battle on the cards for the boys in green. They added another 8mins later when it looked like an impossible angle to score but somehow squeezed the ball past Connolly in the Colemanstown goal. Sean Hansberry had another chance with a free kick but Ramblers keeper parried it out, the rebound again finding Hansberry but this time his effort was over the crossbar. Conor Moran then linked up with Michael Flattery whose effort was not too far off the mark. Luke Lally had a good run through the middle of the field before releasing Michael Flattery who was just wide of the post. Sean Hansberry then played Michael Kelly who hit the woodwork while straight up the other end, Connolly drew a massive save in goals. Full time arrived to great relief for the Colemanstown lads who certainly got a good baptism of life in the fast lane today. Final score: 5-1