Gilligan’s U15’s prove to be men & U13’s sustain winning form

Plenty of hard work has been put into the underage academy and structures in the club over the last few years and now the club are reaping those rewards. To start with our U15’s yesterday  ….….. David Gillgan’s young army assisted by co-manager Philip Dee put in a ferociously contested league thriller at home against Carraroe side MacDara, in what was a battle of the top two with both teams unbeaten thus far in the league. It was by some distance their most entertaining and nail biting performance in Gilly’s two seasons in charge of this team, and he himself suggested as much. So much so, the sizeable support stood to applaud King David & King Philip and their mighty army off the field

Both teams started evenly matched with little or nothing between the sides. MacDara had the first real chance on 8mins with a piledriver which ricocheted off the crossbar, onto the goal line and into the safety of Jason Connolly’s hands. 2mins later the visitors had another chance as our defenders were stretched but luckily the striker drove his effort wide. Colemanstown’s first real chance arrived on 29mins as Ryan Noone floated in a free kick but Fionn O’Connor failed to connect fully and struck wide. Ryan Noone had a goal disallowed just before half time for a foul in the box and one got the feeling that a solitary goal would win this game such was the evenly matched sides. 0-0 at half time.

Colemanstown upped the tempo in the 2nd half and played more explosive soccer. Fionn O’Connor was redeployed as a central defender and Niall Mac added more bite. MacDara had another great chance 7mins after the restart through a volley but Jayo Connolly stretched well as the ball looked to be creeping in by the far post. The breakthrough was made on 12mins in a move originated by Micháel Ryan at the back, involving Ryan Noone down the line who crossed into Sean Hansberry and while the towering striker still had a lot of work to do, he skipped by 2 defenders and rounded the keeper to tap into an empty net. It took them barely 2mins to add a second as Hansberry this time provided the assist and the ball fell to debutant Jack Donoghue and his clinical finish was nothing short of sublime to put the impetus firmly in Colemanstown’s favour. 4mins later MacDara were back in the game as Connolly made a fisted save from a corner to concede another, this time taken from the far side and as the ball was swung into the box, their striker finished from 8yards. Colemanstown could easily have added another as Hansberry again did great work down the right flank and crossed to Jack Donoghue and one would have put their house on him to burst the net, but instead he whopped his shot over the bar. Niall Mac failed to get enough power on his effort after initial perfect control with his chest while the ensuing clearance fell to Sean Hansberry who drilled his effort across the face of goal.

As the tension was unbearable in the closing stages, MacDara rolled up their sleeves in a bid to find an equaliser and looked dangerous on the break but Fionn O’Connor, Micháel Ryan, Dara Hansberry and Conor Byron were simply outstanding in the 2nd half. Ryan Noone found Jack Donoghue but he belted his effort wide as the midfield powerhouse of Niall Mac, Mark Donnellan & Mike Kelly continued with their crunching tackles in midfield. Jason Connolly had to be vigilant in coming out to the edge of his box on two occasions to gather a long free from the back as all eyes were on Ned to blow for full time. When he did, it was like the heavens opened and everyone we know up there poured forth singing the Alleluia chorus and then we knew an epic had just taken place under our eyes. It was a near vintage, tough, physical performance put in by these lads which brings them one step closer but still 2 tough games yet to play. One thing for sure though, they’ll be plenty of sore bodies today.

Squad: Jason Connolly, Micháel Ryan, Luke Lally, Dara Hansberry, Conor Byron, Fionn O’Connor, Michael Kelly, Mark Donnellan, Ryan Noone, Sean Hansberry, Conor Moran, Niall McDonagh, Jack Donoghue, Michael Flattery, Michael Concannon, Josh McGuire-Greaney, Dara Diskin, Artur Nilkulins, Declan O’Brien.

Our U13’s togged yesterday against Tuam Celtic for the first time without star performer Thomas Mellody who has gone to greener pastureland with Galway Utd. They racked up a few decent goals as they whizzed around the field under caretaker Ole Gunner aka Robbie Parker. Manager Jason Finn must have been in the back room with Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa (had to look that one up…. ) such was the level of detail on team formation left for Ole Gunnar to adhere to.

The difference between Tuam Celtic & Colemanstown yesterday was swift and stark as the boys in green hit the ground running and were 4-0 up after 15mins through a Jayo Rabbitte brace and a Cilly Fahey brace; the pick of them Fahey’s 2nd as he showed legs like he had just stolen something nice. Harry Mitchell finished a fine move originated from keeper Cian Ruane involving Ciarán Keating, Cian Burke, David Walsh and finished by Harry. At this stage Gary Lally arrived to assist Ole Gunnar and as the black and white togs peeped out from under the coat one knew exactly that he had come straight from the hurling field.

Cilly Fahey claimed his hat trick before half time as he latched onto a long ball over the top from Jason Rabbitte, held his composure before slotting to the left of the keeper. Eoin Keague scored immediately on his introduction when he got on the end of David Walsh’s left footed corner to make it 7-0 by half time.

Immediately following the restart Jayo hit the butt of the post and central defender Luke Williams wasn’t too far off target with a header.  Harry smacked home his 2nd of the day when he connected well to Fahey’s delivery. David Walsh scored a piledriver from the edge of the box after Eanna Burke’s first attempt was only half cleared. Goal No. 10 was finished by Rabbitte who claimed his hattrick with a piledriver following a great passage of play involving Ross Lally, Rabbitte, Larry Murrajvos, Fahey, David Walsh and finished by the Rabi. No. 11 came from Eoin Keague who claimed his 2nd of the day after meeting a Johnny Keane cross with ease. Ciarán Keating could have added to the tally late on but 11 goals was more than sufficient to claim all 3 points as Cian Ruane had a quiet day between the posts.

These are a united bunch who played the wings to great effect and were economic with almost every passage of play. Next up for these lads is the Divisional Cup against Corrib Rangers on March 9th at home.

Squad: Cian Ruane, Ciarán Keating, Luke Williams, David Walsh, Jonah Donnellan, Eanna Burke, Cian Burke, Killian Hughes, Harry Mitchell, Cillian Fahey, Jason Rabbitte, Eoin Keague, Larry Murrajvos, Johnny Keane, Ross Lally, Dara Scarry (inj)