Manager Orla McCaffrey reports on Round 1 of the U12 league cup action on Saturday.
Colemanstown U12B League Cup home game v Merlin Woods/Medtronic was postponed early on Saturday morning due to a frozen pitch
Colemanstown ‘A’ took on Athenry B on a chilly Saturday afternoon in the Division 1 and 2 League Cup in Athenry. Colemanstown started strong with the midfield trio of Cathal Keane, Joshua Buckley and Shane Quirke on the attack from the off constantly feeding balls through to Darren Moran to run on to. Colemanstown led the early attacks on goal, with shots coming in from Joshua, Shane and Darren all troubling the Athenry keeper. Athenry mounted attacks of their own, with the Colemanstown defence of Nathion Mannion, Fionn Donohue, Cillian Roche and James Queeney proving up to the Athenry challenge, as well as Conor Walsh on his toes in goal with some lovely saves and excellent kick outs. Daniel Lydon joined the midfield team, with all of the midfielders running every inch of a mucky, dogged pitch. Joshua Buckley put in some lovely tackles to send the ball up front, while Shane Quirke went on some runs up the left, but the Athenry defence remained strong, while playing the offside trap effectively. Fionn and Cillian provided support on the Colemanstown attacks, the first half being end to end play, but it remained 0-0 at the break.
Both teams came out determined in the second half. Colemanstown made some switches in positions with Ryan Concannon introduced to defence and immediately made an impact with some excellent tackles. He joined James Queeney, Cillian Roche and Fionn Donohue in super defensive play while taking turns to support the Colemanstown attacks. Shots continued from the Colemanstown lads with Cillian, Darren and Joshua coming close. Daniel Lydon sustained an injury and Cathal Keane helped to get stuck in up front, chasing down on the Athenry defence. The Colemanstown team played some lovely passing skills, with defence and midfield supporting each other continually. The conditions were extremely difficult, with the muck making it very heavy going, yet these Colemanstown lads continued to dig in and sprint up and down the pitch. Colemanstown had 3 free kicks that went just wide of the mark, while Conor Walsh saved an Athenry free kick, even with the Athenry attackers bearing down on him. There were plenty of “oohs” and “aahs” from the travelling supporters as Colemanstown came close to scoring, and great cheers when the defence kept the home team out. It looked like the game was heading for extra time, when 4 minutes from the end Joshua Buckley kicked a precision corner straight to the head of Cillian Roche whose powerful header found the net, 1-0 to Colemanstown.
Both teams were quick to re-start with Colemanstown looking to keep the advantage and Athenry probing for an equaliser. Two minutes later Colemanstown almost scored an exact replica goal, when again Joshua kicked a corner from the same side straight to the head of Cillian who headed it straight towards the Athenry net, but only for the Athenry player on the line who defended it superbly. This game never let up, despite the very difficult conditions for the players they ran non-stop, both teams showing excellent sportsmanship, in a well contested excellent game of soccer. It finished 1-0, with Colemanstown advancing to Round 2 of this league cup.
Squad: Conor Walsh, James Queeney, Fionn Donohue, Cillian Roche, Cathal Keane, Nathan Mannion, Joshua Buckley, Shane Quirke, Ryan Concannon, Darren Moran, Daniel Lydon
Coaches: Fidelma Walsh, Orla McCaffrey, Damien Mannion