Colemanstown U14’s were gutted yesterday as they were knocked out of Round 1 of the Connacht Cup against city side Corrib Rangers in Westside yesterday morning. It was a thrilling encounter as Colemanstown relinquished a 2 goal lead on 2 occasions to lose out on penalties with a 4-4 result after extra time. Colemanstown survived an early onslaught from Corrib Rangers who appeared to possess superior fitness despite the best efforts of our lads. Jason Connolly made a great double save on 7mins while Corrib Rangers hit the side net although Jason Connolly appeared to have the ball covered while another early shot was squandered over the crossbar by the home side. But Colemanstown soon settled into the game and found their shape which is a testament to the spirit of the side and the players who gave everything. But this does not make it any easier to bear the result. Sean Hansberry had our first effort from a free kick after Josh McGuire–Greaney was fouled but the Rangers keeper saved well. Conor Byron had an effort from a corner on 30mins which the keeper saved. Ryan Noone had a great effort on 33mins which went right across the face of goal after good work in defence from Michéal Ryan. 0-0 half time.
The 2nd half was only a minute only when Micheal Flattery found Ryan Noone who after great work took a shot at goal which was parried by the keeper only for little Josh McGuire-Greaney to tap home to great jubilation from the Colemanstown attendance. Jason Connolly had to come off his line quickly on 2 consecutive occasions to avert danger. Ryan Noone was well over the crossbar with his effort after a run down the right side of the field. Colemanstown doubled their lead minutes later in what was an exact replica of their first goal when Noone & McGuire-Greaney again combined to push Colemanstown further in front. Ryan Noone did the hard work while Josh McGuire-Greaney was in the right place at the right time to finish superbly. At this stage our defence were well on top with Dara Hansberry, Luke Lally and Liam Molloy excelling assisted by wing backs Micháel Ryan & Conor Byron. In truth, the hosts were 2nd best after McGuire-Greaney gave Colemanstown the 2 goal cushion as Colemanstown dropped deeper to defend their 2 goal lead and were caught off-guard as Corrib Rangers found the break- through to claw back the lead with a well taken goal. Michael Flattery found Ryan Noone who had the ball in the net 19mins into the 2nd half but was adjudged to be off-side. Jason Connolly made another top drawer save as the striker was about to pull the trigger but Connolly was quick off his line. Mark Donnellan had half a chance as he beat the defender but his cross to Ryan Noone was sniffed out by the keeper. Colemanstown regained their 2 goal advantage on 57mins after Sean Hansberry worked hard to win a corner which was sent in superbly by Ryan Noone and finished by Conor Byron on the back post and it looked like there would only be one winner. The goal was soon cancelled out as Ranger’s striker was on hand to tap home an easy effort after Jason Connolly parried the first effort. And then almost immediately from the kick-off the hosts equalised from their best player on view, No.7, who finished well by the butt of the post to much disgust after Colemanstown’s hard work and bring the game to extra time. 3-3 (full time)
The first period of extra time saw Corrib Rangers score straight from the off but this seemed to awaken the Colemanstown lads and within 5 mins Colemanstown had 2 golden opportunities; the first from Conor Byron whose effort went right across the face of goal and moments later from Michael Flattery. Josh McGuire-Greaney claimed his hat trick again just before half time of extra time after Ryan Noone showed great pace down the wing, beat 2 defenders before crossing into McGuire-Greaney who shifted the balance yet again. There wasn’t much to shout about in the 2nd period as Colemanstown sustained some great pressure late in the game while after a tense, thrilling encounter, the game went to penalties. Unfortunately for us things didn’t work out our way in the shoot-out as Corrib Rangers advanced 3-1 in what was a great learning exercise for these boys who despite being fatigued and expending all their energy, they certainly did themselves and their mentors David Gilligan & Niall Cunningham proud. It was a day that these youngsters were heart- broken from 12 yards out!. There’s no better feeling for a player than bagging a hat trick and in fairness it usually wins you games but for Josh McGuire-Greaney he’ll have to wait another day for victory with another hat trick while the power house performance of Michael Kelly, Michael Flattery & Sean Hansberry also deserved victory. Panel: Jason Connolly, Conor Byron, Liam Molloy, Dara Hansberry, Luke Lally, Micháel Ryan, Micheal Kelly. Sean Hansberry, Micheal Flattery, Ryan Noone, Josh McGuire-Greaney, Mark Donnellan, Darragh Diskin & Johny Bondarevski.