Our U14A boys travelled to Westside on a sunny warm Saturday to play Corrib Rangers. When these two teams met earlier in the season Colemanstown came out on top by a high score, but this was a more tightly contested affair against a stronger Corrib team. Colemanstown started with intent, with some nice passing play between central midfield duo of Tomas Rogerson and Joshua Buckley leading to a pass into the box to strikers Ronan Screene and Joshua McDonnell who went wide of the mark.
Colemanstown continued to press in the home sides half, with some nice movement on the wings from Nathan Mannion and Ryan Concannon sending balls towards the front two, with a couple of shots going wide. The home keeper showed fine form as he kept the ball out of the net with shots then from Tomas Rogerson and Ronan Screene. Corrib were keen to score and Conor Walsh was quick out of his goal line on several occasions to gather the ball before the Corrib strikers could get to it. Deadlock was broken 20 minutes into the first half when a clear handball from the Corrib defender led to the referee pointing to the penalty spot. Cillian Roche made no mistake to power it into the back of the net to make it 1-0.
Nathan Mannion found himself one on one with the keeper a few minutes later, his resultant shot was saved by the Corrib keeper but he made no mistake to pounce on the rebound and place it into the bottom corner to score a lovely goal with great celebrations with his teammates. Corrib upped their game and the central defence duo of Cillian Roche and Jamie Burke were solid with their tackles and attacking the ball all through the game. Colemanstown won a free kick shortly after, but it was hit over the bar by Cillian. It remained 2-0 at the break.
The game was evenly contested for the opening period of the second half, with left and right backs Cathal Keane and Alex Kelly on their toes with some solid defending. 10 minutes in to the second half one of the Corrib players was brought down in the penalty box and their player made no mistake to leave the Colemanstown keeper no chance to make it 2-1. Further shots from Colemanstown players Joshua Buckley, Cillian Roche, Ronan Screene and Tomas Rogerson went wide of the mark or were saved by the keeper, who had a super performance throughout the match. Colemanstown made a few positional changes with Conor Walsh moving into midfield, Joshua Buckley up front and Joshua McDonnell in goals. 2 lovely corner kicks taken by Tomas Rogerson were cleared by the Corrib defence, who then went on the attack with both Jamie Burke and Cillian Roche making vital interceptions. However shortly after Corrib showed good build up play to launch a lovely strike and score bringing the score level on 2-2.
The unseasonably warm day led the referee to pause for a water break for both teams with 15 minutes to play. While Colemanstown had plenty of opportunities throughout the game they needed to be more clinical in their finish and beat the Corrib keeper. The opportunity came shortly after, following some solid defence and midfield passing play with a ball into the box from Cillian Roche that looked like it was heading over the end line, but for a determined Nathan Mannion who sped after it to keep in it play, taking a shot from a tight angle which flowed across the entire goal line finishing in the opposite corner of the net to score his second of the day. No more than he deserved for his tenaciousness in keeping the ball alive and his determination to get it into the back of the net. The Colemanstown defence shored up with support from midfield to keep the Corrib attackers out for the remainder of the game.
It finished 3-2 to Colemanstown and with some of the lads having come from hurling trials that morning and having given it their all on the pitch on such a warm day they were glad to hear the final whistle. This win leaves them at the top of the table.
A word of thanks to the parents who helped out at the match, carrying equipment and performing sideline flag duties as well as to the lovely kids from Westside who were there to watch the match for their several offers of chairs for the sideline! Match report by Orla McCaffrey