Penalty Heartbreak for brave U14 side in fantastic Connacht cup tie

A mighty summary of the U14 Connacht Cup tie last Saturday – by Gareth Lally. Colemanstown United 2 – 2 Kilshanvey.

A first cup outing for our u14’s took place on the main pitch last Saturday morning. Space was limited as the lads warmed up as it was great to see three other teams taking part in matches and training on a beautiful mild morning.

The home side had the better of the early exchanges up top with chances falling to Jason Rabbite and Killian Hughes through excellent deliveries down the left from David Walsh which was a sign of things to come for the day. Halfway through the first half David’s corner from the right was scrambled clear in a panic as another corner was conceded. This time Davy added extra whip and caused more panic with the ball going all the way to the net via the head of a defender.

Jonah Donnellan was keeping things ticking over nicely in the middle with controlling passes as Cathal Kennedy had taken to his first U14 competitive game expertly well. The Colemanstown back four of Eanna Burke, Luke Williams Ciaran Keating and Ross Lally looked shaky at the back through the first half with many swiped and rash clearances. This pressure showed in the late stages of the half when a free kick was conceded on the edge of the box and although the resulting strike seemed to have been covered by Fionn Flahtrey in goal the ball found its way to the net. Fionn became saviour twice in the first half and again the same in the second rushing from his line to get a strong connection and prevent a certain goal on each occasion.

A few tactical and positional changes were made at halftime as the ever hardworking Johnny Keane and Eanna Burke were withdrawn for the more attacking prowess of Harry Mitchell and physical dominance of Diarmuid Ryan. Luke Williams was moved to the right back position and in turn into the middle which shows the great versatility of this young man while Diarmuid Ryan and Ciaran Keating had begun to get the ball to ground and shore up the defence. This seemed to give the team more balance and shape as the left side of the home team kept creating chances and like the first have the weapon of a left foot from David Walsh came up trumps to put Colemanstown into the lead. He picked up the ball after good work from Jonah Donnellan and Harry Mitchell and unleashed an unstoppable rocket from 30 plus yards.

Jason Rabbite and Eoin Keague went close with good chances as Larry Muravjos was introduced to add physicality to the back four. The introduction of Gary Gill and Eoin Keague added a freshness which saw Killian Hughes convert from loan striker to right winger were his tireless running stopped numerous Kilshanvey attacks. It looked like the homeside had done enough but a late attack down the right from Kilshanvey was almost broke down by Killian Hughes with first brilliant tracking and a super slide tackle that had the misfortune to fall to a Kilshanvey player for the equaliser and force extra time.

Both sides traded half chances in extra time before the evenly matched game was finished with penalties to come.

Jason and Gareth left the penalty decisions up to the squad themselves and after a quick chat between themselves 5 brave and confident men stepped forward.

Kilshanvey were first to the spot and dispatched with ease. First for the home side was Harry Mitchell who expertly dispatched to the keepers right. Fionn got his finergtips to the second but was unable to keep it out. Next up was captain Ciaran Keating but his effort was over hit and sailed over the crossbar. So tight was this game one would expect such small margins to be so decisive. Kilshanvey scored their third spot kick before Jonah Donnellan’s low effort scrambled its way to the bottom corner. Kilshanvey dispatched their 4th and left Killian Hughes the tough task of score or be dumped from the cup. He cooly sent the keeper the wrong way and found the side netting.

But alas it was not to be as Kilshanvey made no mistake with their final penalty winning this great spectacle 5-3 on penalties.

Next up for these lads is an SFAI Cup game at home to Premier League Tuam Celtic in Colemanstown at 11:30 this Saturday, in what will be a huge day for the club with the opening of our walkway and second pitch, the lads will look forward to a bumper crowd to push them into giving a huge performance.