Tough First day for U16s in Connacht Cup

Our U16s may have looked despondent today in Barna/ Furbo following their first game of the season after a tough and maybe somewhat bruising defeat by Championship side Barna Furbo but both teams were pretty even in the first half and stepping on to the field alongside possible championship title contenders ( a division above our lads) in itself was exciting and always going to be tough.

Colemanstown had the first real chance on 10mins as a lovely back heel flick from Ryan Noone linked up with Conor Moran and back to Noone whose low hard drill was saved by the keeper’s feet. With Aaron Burke unavailable between the posts stand in keeper Michael Flattery made his first save on 12mins. The hosts opened the scoring on 14 mins with a speculative shot from distance from 40yards which powered over Michael Flattery’s head and into the net. Michael Flattery showed further good ball handling with another good save while Barna / Furbo had another long range effort which thundered off the crossbar.  Colemanstown had three consecutive corners as they applied some pressure, the 3rd corner saw Mark Donnellan get his head to a Ryan Noone delivery but his effort was saved by a well positioned defender on the line as the keeper was well stretched. On 37mins Colemanstown levelled matters when another corner from Ryan Noone was met by Donnellan whose glancing header was on its way but Michael Concannon got the final poke on it to make sure.  Moments later Dara Hansberry got on the end of Ryan Noone’s through ball and his effort was just wide of the right post. Half time 1-1.

The second half was just 12mins old when Colemanstown’s defence was torn apart and the hosts scored with a well worked move past 2nd half stand –in keeper Dara Hansberry. 10mins later another defensive error allowed Barna/ Furbo go 3-1 up. The hosts made it 4 on 24mins after a teasing ball into the danger area was back heeled to the net, although Dara Hansberry almost got his hands to it. Conor Moran drew a one handed save on 27mins with a good effort from a long distance which originated from a Noone corner as Niall McDonagh, Conor Byron & Fionn O’Connor all tried in vain to get a boot to it. Just on the half hour mark of the 2nd half, a sloppy clearance from Barna’s keeper was well intercepted by Ryan Noone who rounded his man and with just the keeper to beat he fired straight at his feet. Barna/ Furbo turned the screw for the last 15mins as the pressure failed to ease for the Colemanstown lads. A free kick from the edge of the 18’ box found the target while a delivery from Barna / Furbo took a deflection off a Colemanstown boot and the ball bounced nicely for their striker who headed home easily on the back post. Barna /Furbo got another right at the death for a cruel and exhausting first test for these lads but a ‘good learning curve’ on their first day of U16 football action for Declan Greaney & Philip Dee’s side as Gary Broderick went AWOL for the first official outing.  We all know the fighting spirit of this team is equivalent to the current community ethos which is as strong on the pitch as it is off it.

U16s next outing is a long trip to Sligo side Strand Celtic in the first round of the SFAI Cup which will be an equally tough task on Saturday Oct 5th.