Joint team manger Orla McCaffrey reports on the U12B’s Connacht Shield game against Sligo/ Leitrim side Merville on Saturday.
Colemanstown U12B team travelled to Merville Utd, Sligo on Saturday for the first round of the Connacht Shield. The winners of this match are drawn against the Colemanstown U12A team in the next round. The players set off on the bus from Colemanstown in fine determined spirit, which they evidenced all through the game. While Colemanstown lost the game they certainly did not make it an easy win for this Sligo-Leitrim Group A Team.
Both teams started strong, with Merville pushing onto the visitor’s defence of Kyle McDonagh, Padraic Kelly, Alex Kelly and Dylan King, all of whom showed they were well up to the fine footwork of the Merville team, with crunching tackles and excellent clearances. In the opening minutes one of these clearances was pushed on by Francis Weldon with a perfect pass into the Merville half for Aaron Lyndsay Bane to run on to, but his excellent run was crowded out by the Merville defence before he got his shot in. Niamh Kennedy was on her toes in the opening minutes, and throughout the game, with a string of fantastic saves that even the opponents supporters applauded at times!
Colemanstown midfielders of Ronan Screene, Ella Carroll, Francis Weldon, Oisin O’Raghallaigh and Evan Walsh supported the defence, while placing a number of super balls up towards the Merville defence and maintaining a constant attack. Ella Carroll covered front post perfectly for a Merville corner 10 minutes into the first half, heading the high ball out of the danger area, for Ronan Screene to make a lovely run at the opponents. The home team scored 20 minutes in, with fine passing play and a shot that left Niamh in goals with no chance. Padraic Kelly and Kyle McDonagh were relentless in their pursuit of the Merville strikers, and Padraic’s long kick outs finding the Colemanstown midfielders at each turn. The second goal for Merville came shortly before the break in a similar format to the first, despite the superb work of the defence. 2-0 half time
A re-grouping at half time and Colemanstown were on the attack in the second half, with Padraic Kelly joining the efforts to go for goal, and racing back to help maintain defence. Alex Kelly put in more crunching tackles, with Oisin O’Raghallaigh making darting runs to meet the ball coming out of defence and pushing the ball up. Evan Walsh stood firm in midfield, thwarting some strong, physical Merville play. The Colemanstown players played the offside rule excellently, frustrating the Merville attackers on several occasions. Niamh Kennedy came out of goal to join the attack, getting stuck in from her first touch, swapping with Dylan King, who was no sooner in the goal when a cracking long range shot came in, he dived superbly to keep it out. Merville managed to score another two in the second half, despite the calls for offside for the fourth goal from the Colemanstown Coaches! Although a loss for the team, they can be proud of their display, their never say die attitude and the solid performance all throughout the pitch from start to finish. They enjoyed a well-earned Supermacs on the way back, and though you would think they would be wrecked after such an energetic performance, they managed to provide plenty of entertainment and amusement by singing the whole journey home! It would remind you a bit of the Liverpool anthem ‘You’ll never walk alone’ or something similar. Colemanstown’s young guns have a new anthem adopted after Saturday ……. That’s really what it’s all about… win, lose or draw, ….once the kids enjoy themselves.
Squad: Niamh Kennedy, Kyle McDonagh, Paraic Kelly, Alex Kelly, Dylan King, Ella Carroll, Francis Weldon, Oisin O’Raghallaigh, Ronan Screene, Evan Walsh, Aaron Lyndsay-Bane
Coaches: Fidelma Walsh, Orla McCaffrey