Upsets often happen in all sports but it’s once in a while we see the underdogs go all the way. It happened this morning when our U13s much lower-ranked in the league than their opponents Kilshanvey Utd defied the norm to become deserved U13 Div2 champions.
In truth, Colemanstown went into unknown territory, with both sides not having met yet in the league. They set about gaining the initiative early on in the blustery conditions but yet searing heat in Mervue. Harry Tierney’s early through ball for Tom Holohan who had to work hard to force a corner. On 7mins great work from the hard working Tadhg Hart won a corner which he whipped in himself, the keeper held it well but with the ball knocked back out to Harry Tierney and he powered a wonderful finish to the net. It was no more than Colemanstown deserved for their early dominance as they looked dangerous on attack. It took 13mins for Kilshanvey’s first chance but Tommy Nutley was quick to advance to the edge of his box to gather safely. 2mins later Colemanstown doubled their advantage when Harry Tierney switched play to the right where Tom Holohan floated in a beauty which Martin Mellody latched on to and he had time to display lovely footwork before he picked his spot to a hugely delightful applause. Minutes later Tommy Nutleys kick out was held up with the breeze but good defensive play by Jamie Lally and Conor Keating helped to chaperone the ball out over the line.
Harry Tierney then saw his speculative shot sail straight at the keeper while Sean Keating had to be alert to a long Kilshanvey kick out assisted by the breeze. Nutley again had to come to the edge of his box with the clearance added to by Noah McDonnell. Kilshanvey’s big No. 5 was wide with a free which was watched all the way by Tommy Nutley. Two consecutive Kilshanvey corners were well defended by Jamie Lally & Joe Carroll as Kilshanvey were beginning to assert more influence. As half time drifted near, a super run from Tadhg Hart on the left flank, switched play to Tom Holohan on the opposite side, his shot deflected off a defender, fell to Harry Tierney who didn’t quite get the power on the shot to test the keeper. 2-0 at the break.
Within 4 mins of the restart, Colemanstown had another pop at goal this time from Martin Mellody but the breeze held up his effort after super combination play from Tadhg Hart & Tom Holohan. Then James Somers put through a lovely ball for Hart to run on to and although he found the net, the ref blew for offside. Just as Kilshanvey bulleted over a free kick from the edge of the D, Terry Lee from the Galway FA was preparing to set the silverware on his stall.
Midway through the second half, Kilshanvey pulled a goal back when Colemanstown were sloppy in their clearance and with the rearguard stretched, the kilshanvey striker saw Nutley make a good save but fumbled the ball and their striker tapped in from close range to set up a nervous final quarter. Colemanstown regained the momentum though and rallied. Harry Tierney’s through ball found Hart in space and he turned on a 2 cent piece to gain more shooting space but saw his effort saved by the keeper.
Fionn Proulx, Darren Quirke and Michael Lally were sprung to help steady the game. With 10mins to play, Kilshanvey had a further effort which they blasted over. Colemanstown made certain with 2 mins to play when a spectacular cross from Fionn Proulx found Tom Holohan who still had a lot of work to do to get the shot in, saved by the advancing keeper and the defender who rushed the clearance found the back of his own net as the Colemanstown spectators breathed a sigh of relief. Right at the end Darren Quirke’s cross found Proulx but the keeper stole a yard or two to get to the ball ahead of him. That saw the game come to a close as Terry Lee of the Galway FA presented the cup to a happy Tommy Nutley and his teammates. In his captains speech Tommy thanked the coaches and the parents for their efforts all year.
This was a full squad effort as the lads showed great imagination and ingenuity. They possessed the key ingredients to do the business. Tommy Nutley rarely put a foot wrong, Conor Keating & Jamie Lally were solid centre backs with great quality play from Sean Keating & Joe Carroll at right and left back. James Somers & Noah McDonnell went on probing runs down the line with Harry Tierney anchoring the centre mid berth. The 3 up front – Martin Mellody, Tadhg Hart & Tom Holohan worked ferociously with Fionn Proulx, Darren Quirke and Michael Lally also impressing while Aidan Ruane who always keeps the banter going amongst the lads was thrown into the thick of the action late in the game.
So who doesn’t like a nice underdog story and upset the odds. If you want to win it, you’ll win it when you work hard enough and play together as a team and these boys stuck to that equation. Well done lads on a super enjoyable display and to their mentors Simon Tierney and Marty Hart with Drew Bardell unavailable on the day. A word of mention also to James Somers, Sean Keating & Tadhg Hart on their commitment when they played for the U14B team later in the afternoon.
Squad: Tommy Nutley, Sean Keating, Conor Keating, Jamie Lally, Joe Carroll, James Somers, Harry Tierney, Noah McDonnell, Tom Holohan, Tadhg Hart, Martin Mellody, Fionn Proulx, Darren Quirke, Michael Lally,
Aidan Ruane. Missing on the day: Tadhg Bardell, Stephen Murphy