Sean Hansberry’s winner sees U16s progress in Connacht Shield

There was a huge physical battle in Colemanstown this afternoon when our U16 team took on Sligo premier league juggernauts Real Tubber in the Connacht Shield and eventually edged through to the next round of the Shield with a 2-1 win. The chances were few for both sides in the first half as the game was played predominantly in the middle third with the home side lording the game for the first 25mins although failed to muster much in terms of goal chances. Colemanstown found the opener on 20mins when Ryan Noone smashed home a free kick after Didac was fouled. The giddiness among the home support was quelled within 5 minutes, however. Defensive hesitancy afforded space for Real Tubber’s No. 10 to cut in from the left flank and equalise with a fine finish from 8yards past the advancing Jason Connolly. Colemanstown were given a scare 5 mins later when Real Tubber’s effort from close range clipped off the post giving Colemanstown a let-off. Half time 1-1.

10mins after the restart, a quickly taken free kick from Real Tubber saw their striker control the ball perfectly and strike on the volley only to blaze well over the crossbar much to the relief of the Colemanstown lads. In the ensuing play Didac hit the side net for Colemanstown. Midway through the 2nd half, a dangerous delivery from the right was clutched by the safe hands of Jayo Connolly. On 66mins a goal looked ominous for the visitors only for a perfectly timed footblock from Declan O’Brien. A minute later some superb exchange passing between Sean Hansberry & Mike Kelly led to Hansberry smashing in the winner with an unstoppable effort from 35yards to a rapturous applause. Declan O’Brien then played Jack Donoghue down the right flank and as Donoghue beat his man, his weak shot in the end was easily saved by the keeper. With 10mins to go, Colemanstown had a gifted chance to squeeze in No. 3 as a long delivery from Mike Kelly was parried by the keeper but as Didac momentarily went to turn and shoot, the ball was half defended, fell to Conor Booth who blasted wide. For the last 10mins Colemanstown held on thanks to the superb defending of Declan O’Brien, Dara Hansberry, Fionn O’Connor who was immense and the ould reliable Conor Byron.

This was a tough physical game in which everyone played their part while it was good to see Micháel Ryan back after a dislocated finger in his last outing.

Squad: Jason Conolly, Micháel Ryan, Fionn O’Connor, Dara Hansberry, Conor Byron, Michael Flattery, Mike Kelly, Sean Hansberry, Ryan Noone, Didac, Jack Donoghue, Declan O’Brien, Mark Donnellan, Conor Booth, Luke Lally, Conor Moran, Josh McGuire-Greaney, Conor Moran, Michael Concannon, Daithi Colleran.