U14’s March on in Connacht Shield thanks to Davy Walsh’s ET winner

U14 Team manager Jason Finn reports on Friday evening’s late KO in the Connacht Shield Quarter Final. Credit to Jayo who managed this team on Friday night, hit off to the Leeds match for a day trip, returned in the early hours of Sunday morning to manage the U13 team and play in the A team match on Sunday – only to have both games deferred due to an unplayable home pitch. If Carlsberg could do managers, he probably would be the best in the world!!

Our U14s travelled to Ballisodare on Friday evening to play Ballymote Celtic in the Connacht Shield Quarter Final.  The bus left Colemanstown shortly after half 4 to make the near 2-hour bus drive to Sligo in what was a fascinating game between two very good footballing sides. The game was played on Ballisodare United’s Astro as Ballymore’s pitch remained unplayable and the club would like to thank the Ballymote’s management for their help in getting the game played.

The game kicked off and was evenly balanced for the opening 10 mins as both teams took time to get used to the surface. Ballymote broke the deadlock shortly after when one of their players took a shot from 20 yards which hit the roof of the net despite the great efforts of Cian Ruane. Colemanstown began to settle and began to get some joy especially down the left-hand side. Harry Mitchell, who put a huge shift in all night, was beginning to work excellently with David Walsh in getting crosses into the box. Killian Hughes, who no surprise to anyone within the squad, put in a tireless shift up front and went close to scoring after 20 mins. Colemanstown were unlucky on numerous occasions thereafter but got their deserved equalizer from a shot from outside the box from Walsh. Just before the half time whistle, Ballymote regained the lead through a tremendous free kick from one of their players. Despite been a goal down, Colemanstown had been playing some great football and felt were well in the game

HT: Ballymote Celtic 2-1 Colemanstown

A half time change resulting in bringing Cillian Fahey on seemed to give Colemanstown an extra gear and play at a higher intensity. In a slight tactical change, Thomas Melody dropped a little deeper which allowed Fahey to play higher up beside Killian Hughes and allowed Colemanstown to play further up the pitch. Ballymote were struggling to get out of the halve at this stage and on the rare occasion they did, the back 3 of Luke Williams, Diarmuid Ryan and Ciaran Keating remain composed in regaining possession and building from the back again. Ross Lally and Rabbitte were now beginning to control midfield and were looking to get forward at every occasion There was some heroic defending from Ballymote’s defenders on numerous occasions as cross after cross was cleared. Cathal Kennedy was introduced and made an instant impact playing a sublime pass to Fahey who shot just wide. The management were beginning to think it was going to be one of those days. With 6 minutes remaining, Colemanstown got their deserved equaliser when Melody found space inside the box, cut back on his left and slotted home magnificently despite the pressure from the Ballymote defender. The remaining minutes of normal time were played out with little chances created as both sides cancelled each other out.

FT: Ballymote Celtic 2-2 Colemanstown

Two halves of 10 minutes prevailed and again Colemanstown remained the brighter of the two sides. Jason Rabbitte and Luke Williams were close on a couple of occasions when their headers went marginally wide. Two minutes from HT in ET, Fahey was fouled about 5 yards outside the box. Walsh stepped up and hit a screamer into the top corner that any professional footballer would be proud of. The second half of ET saw Ballymote force the issue further in search for an equalizer and the dreaded lottery of penalty shootout. Some resolute defending from all the team ensured Colemanstown won by the smallest of margins. Special mention to Jason Rabbitte who put in an unbelievable performance from start to finish with his tireless running, tackling and supporting the forward players.

AET: Ballymote Celtic 2-3 Colemanstown

The result really emphasizes what this squad is about as despite been behind on two occasions, fought back to get a deserved win. Special thanks to all the parents who travelled down to the game to give the lads the great support they got. The journey back to Colemanstown was a memorable one with many a song sang after quick stop in Supermacs. We now await the semi-final draw in which one of Moyne Villa, Galway Hibernians or Loughrea await. A date to look forward to.

Photo shows the squad & mentors (Gareth Lally front left & Jason Finn, front right) who beat Ballymote Celtic after extra time.