On a weekend when only few matches went ahead due to adverse weather conditions and poor pitch conditions, the cold baltic conditions didn’t deter our youngsters nor Kinvara’s from togging out early on Saturday morning in the U11 Development league. Although the parents and mentors almost died from the cold, the kids felt absolutely none of it as they played to their hearts content, enjoyed every moment and amused each other with their antics!.
Unlike all other development league games; Kinvara arrived with 14 players and Colemanstown had 28 players ready to go, it was agreed to play two 7-a-sides, with Colemanstown splitting 14 players on pitch 1 and 14 on pitch 2. To ensure adequate game time per player, each player played a half each in 2 matches played simultaneously. It was an opportunity for our young lads to practice the skills they have been developing at training.
Pitch 1: Team 1 managed by Laura Parker
Joshua Buckley, Fionn Flattery Diarmuid Ryan, Ross Lally, Cathal Kennedy, Shane Kenny, Patrick Flynn.
Colemanstown found themselves on the back foot early on as they conceded a goal within seconds of the kick off and another a few minutes later with a shot from distance. Josh Buckley then made a great double save to keep Kinvara at bay. Colemanstown got one back through a sublime move originated by Shane Kenny, involving Cathal Kennedy & finished at the far post under the keepers legs by the lurking Patrick Flynn. Another super save at the butt of the post by Josh Buckley before Fionn Flattery diverted a pass which would have put Kinvara’s darting No. 12 through one-on-one with the keeper. Not long before the break a string of super saves by Buckley couldn’t deny Kinvara their 3rd when the ball looked to have gone wide but it somehow squeezed through a hole in the net…. some darning to be done! Diarmuid Ryan & Ross Lally excelled in defence while Cathal Kennedy, Fionn Flattery & Shane X ran their hearts out at midfield.
In the 2nd half another Colemanstown team took to the field. Killian Hughes, Cian Burke, Sean Connolly, Ella Carroll, David Walsh, Shane Quirke, Killian Roche.
From the off, David Walsh scored within seconds but was cancelled out soon afterwards from a one-on-one strike from Kinvara despite the best efforts of Killian Hughes who had made a great save just before that. Killian Roche then curled his effort around the keeper to make it 4-3 after he connected to a well taken Shane Quirke corner. Killian Hughes & Killian Roche traded the No. 1 spot and it was Killian Hughes who levelled matters with a beauty after Shane Quirke squared the ball across to him. The fearless Ella Carroll & Sean Connolly were in the thick of the midfield action while Cian Burke didn’t put a foot wrong in defense. At this stage it was end to end stuff as Killian Hughes was on the end of David Walsh’s thwarting run down the line to put Colemanstown 5-4 up as the Kinvara lads were getting tired. 5-4 it finished and a great turnaround from half time. For fear Kinvara hadn’t enough played, both sides agreed to play an additional 10mins to ensure the Baltic conditions would really make it far from cosy for the parents and mentors. The additional time saw Kinvara bag 2 more while Kilian Hughes went closest when he headed wide from a David Walsh corner.
Pitch 2: Team 2 managed and reported by Orla McCaffrey
7 Colemanstown players played the first half on pitch 1, swapping with the other 7 Colemanstown players at half-time, to ensure all the young lads got their chance to don the green shirt. The first 7 on the pitch were Conor Walsh, Nathan Mannion, Ronan Screene, Ryan Concannon, James Queeney, Aaron Lyndsay Bane, Eoghan Ryan. While Kinvara outscored the Colemanstown team in the first half, our lads displayed some excellent passing skills and superb tackling, especially in defence from Ryan Concannon and Nathan Mannion. In midfield and up front, Conor Walsh and Eoghan Ryan got stuck in and supported the defence as well as getting the ball up the pitch with Ronan Screene and James Queeney doing excellent work in battling the Kinvara defence and around the midfield. Despite some solid goalkeeping from Aaron, Kinvara roared ahead and scored 5 without reply in this half, with some excellent shots. While frustrating for the Colemanstown lads, they kept their cool and pushed on, being very unlucky not to score in this half with some lovely shots on target at the Kinvara goal, excellently saved by the Kinvara keeper. Great team spirit, flexibility in positions and lovely skills display were evident from the Colemanstown lads.
The second half team for Colemanstown was Cathal Keane, Donagh Keogh, Dylan King, Darren Moran, Joshua McDonnell, Tiernan Malone and Joe Carroll. Dylan King took command of the goal for the initial part, with Tiernan Malone and Joshua McDonnell also minding the nets at different stages. Kinvara scored one early in this half. However, the emphasis from the Colemanstown side was solid, calm play. Defensive efforts from Tiernan Malone and Cathal Keane were immense, with superb tackles and chasing. Darren Moran and Donagh Keogh got stuck in with excellent tackles in midfield and provided lovely passes down the Kinvara end, with Joshua McDonnell, Joe Carroll and Dylan King (when out of goals) taking shots and running at their defence. The pressure from Colemanstown paid off when Darren Moran found the back of the net, bringing it to 6-1.
Kinvara Management suggested to continue on and play another 2 x 10 minute matches. So on Pitch 2 the initial Colemanstown players returned for the first 10 minutes, Conor, Nathan, Eoghan, Ronan, Ryan, James and Aaron. The lads relished the opportunity to play again and the focus was on passing and playing as a team. Again they all displayed their skills against a tiring Kinvara side, with fine passing, tackling and footwork. The hard work played off with Conor scoring 2 superb goals in a row and Ronan finding the net shortly afterwards with an excellent effort, all goals following lovely team work to get the ball up the pitch. 6-4 was the score when the second Colemanstown team came on for the last 10 minutes, Cathal, Joe, Donagh, Dylan, Darren, Joshua and Tiernan. With huge support and cheering from their teammates on the sideline, the lads came out full of intensity and played together excellently, with Joe adding a goal and Darren scoring shortly after, bringing the sides level. All the lads worked together and kept the pressure up until Donagh scored with the last kick of the game to bring Colemanstown ahead 7-6 of a very tired Kinvara side. The pitch invasion and cheering afterward went on for some time! Well done to both Kinvara and Colemanstown for all their hard work and great play on a very eventful morning! And big thanks to the mentors Laura Parker, Jason Finn & Orla McCaffrey who suffered the cold to maximum limit and required thawing out after the game.