Having suffered a heavy defeat in the first round of the Connacht Cup, our U16’s played their first league outing away today against a strong Craughwell side. No more than the U14 game played earlier in the day it was a match that simply produced a great display of attacking and passing football. There was such a display of artistry and skill that one would simply have to be in awe and super proud of this team.
Colemanstown started strong with Ryan Noone & Sean Hansberry outstanding protagonists. Indeed it’s not very fair singling out 2 particular men as in truth the game proved to be the fulfilment of all the promise this entire squad showed last year. Colemanstown’s earliest chance arrived in the 7th minute when Michael Flattery’s through ball was latched on to by the hasty Ryan Noone but his effort skimmed the post. Colemanstown’s early dominance was reqarded on 15mins when Ryan Noone’s corner was cleared by the Craughwell defence but fell to the towering Hansberry who donned the green shirt for the first time this season and his low hard drill from the edge of the 18’ box magnificently found the net.
Following the goal, Craughwell pressed and found another gear and equalised soon afterwards in a good break from midfield. Ryan Noone pushed Colemanstown ahead again after some trojan work on the right wing, cut in across the box, beat three defenders before slotting home a great individual effort from the edge of the 18’ box. Craughwell equalised with a shot from distance which beat Colemanstown’s returning custodian Jason Connolly on the line.
The boys in green proudly displaying their new jerseys kindly sponsored by Gary & Sharon Noone, pushed to the front again just before half time after a great passage of passing football involving Michael Flattery, Ryan Noone & Mike Kelly who delivered a beauty to the inrushing Sean Hansberry who still had a lot of work to do before his low hard effort found the promise land. Half time: Colemanstown 3; Craughwell 2.
Right from the off in the 2nd half, Jayo Connolly pulled off a fantastic save on the near post with a one-on-one effort from the Craughwell striker. Jack Donoghue, in his first game back from injury took the ball nicely on his chest, controlled well and unleashed an unstoppable effort from a good distance out with a quarter hour to go. Everyone will tell you, a 2 goal lead is the most dangerous in soccer and they’re not wrong. The Colemanstown lads sat back a bit, inviting on the opposition and made the crucial mistake of letting the Craughwell lads come at them. With 10mins to play, Craughwell broke through the middle again and slotted home their third as they bid to put in a massive shift for the final 10mins. However, Declan O’ Brien at left back, who at one stage ran the full length of the pitch with such determination just to keep the ball from a Craughwell jersey, Micháel Ryan at right back and the two rock solid centre backs marvelled when it mattered most as the Colemanstown lads held out until the end. Conor Booth & Josh McGuire-Greaney were introduced late in the game in a bid to see out the game which they duly accomplished. Final score: Colemanstown 4; Craughwell Utd 3
It must be said, this was some effort with every lad giving 100% and showing such epic determination which duly deserved this hard earned win for an equally excited management duo on the line, Gary Broderick and Declan Greaney. Best of luck to Menlough U16s in their Co Final against Oranmore tomorrow.
Squad: Jason Connolly, Declan O’Brien, Conor Byron, Dara Hansberry, Michael Ryan, Ander, Sean Hansberry, Michael Kelly, Michael Flattery, Jack Donoghue, Ryan Noone, Conor Moran, Conor Booth, Joshua McGuire-Greaney, Darragh Diskin, Daithi Colleran.