Colemanstown U16s 3 – 2 Athenry

Colemanstown took on neighbours Athenry at home on Saturday in their latest league encounter. Both teams came into the game with a good record to date. Athenry hadn’t lost any league game & Colemanstown with just 1 loss so an evenly balanced game was anticipated. Although Colemanstown conceded an early goal through a free kick which found its way to the net, this resulted in the home team taking awhile to settle and find their rhythm. The first half was a tit for tat affair with some fast and furious football on show from both sides. It took until the 20th minute for Colemanstown to find themselves in the ascendancy & create their first half decent chance; a cross from Jonah Donnellan into the box which the sliding boot of Jason Rabbitte was centimetres away from.

Cian Ruane had a vital interception when Athenry looked dangerous on the counter attack and they had the ball in the net but the referee rightfully judged the striker to be offside. On 35mins Harry Mitchell, although sandwiched between 2 defenders, still managed to get his effort on target which was cleared off the goal line, fell to Jack Jordan and he in turn saw his effort whisked from danger by an Athenry defender. With 4 mins left in the 1st half, Fionn Flattery required a great diving save to keep his goal intact from a free kick and showed good reflexes and was well alert for a double stop as Athenry did their best to force the ball over the goal line. 1-0 at half time with Colemanstown securing much of the first half possession while many chances were wasted with the lads trying to play that all elusive killer pass.

In the second half, the maestro found his music and played it to perfection 4mins after the restart. Harry Mitchell who played probably his best game in a green shirt, got on the end of a loose ball, following a surge through the middle from Jonah Donnellan, took a shot which deflected off the keeper and in. It was no more than he deserved for chasing everything to the bitter end, even hopeless balls that he knew he hadn’t a hope in hell in getting near & tormenting the Athenry defenders from the off. As big Jack used to say ‘put them under pressure’. 2 mins later, Harry provided the assist, again sandwiched by 2 defenders, he found Jason Rabbitte in space on his left and he fired a bullet into the far right corner leaving the keeper with no chance. Colemanstown got their 3rd 9mins into the half when Luke Williams was taken down, Tommy Mellody floated in the free kick which Williams got a boot to, it deflected off the post out to Jack Jordan & he dispatched it with ease from close range. Jordan had a further chance but found the side net after connecting well to a Mitchell cross.

Cian Ruane had another vital interception at the expense of a corner as Athenry’s No. 4 went on a harrowing run; the resultant corner was fetched safely by Fionn Flattery. At this stage Eanna Burke, Johnny Keane & Larry Murrajvos were fresh legs introduced for tiring bodies. With 10mins to play Athenry’s No.4 got one back following a run up the stand side of the field, cut in across the box, beat 3 defenders before dispatching just inside the left post to set up a nervy last 10mins. With 5mins to play, Athenry’s No. 8 saw red for a double yellow as Harry Mitchell picked up the loose ball but fired a tame shot in the end straight at the keeper.

It mattered little in the end, as another 3 goals, another all-round team performance and another Colemanstown victory. 3-2 it finished and for Jason Rabbitte it was rivals on the day and hurling team mates the following day. You can’t beat a bit of rivalry, whether one likes it or not!. Thanks to Alan ‘Junior’ Finn who is now on a big wage demand for his assistance with the lads in the 2nd half!

Squad: Fionn Flattery, Dara Scarry, Ciaran Keating, Cian Ruane, Dean Connaire, Luke Williams, Jonah Donnellan, Jack Jordan, Jayo Rabbitte, Tommy Mellody, Eanna Burke, Johnny Keane, Larry Murrajvos, Cathal Kennedy.