U15s league winners with Cillian Roche the hatrick hero

Colemanstown U15s 5 – 2 St. Bernard’s
In what can only be described as a remarkable journey, Colemanstown U15s were confirmed as Div1 league champions yesterday with a 5-2 home win over neighbours St. Bernards with 2 games still to play. The groundwork was done with the majority of this team under the guidance of Jason Finn and Gareth Lally since they were academy boys.

Winning the league title seemed harder on the opening day of the season after a 3-0 league loss to Corrib Celtic but the new management team for the season, Gary Broderick & Joe Finnerty quietly went about getting results, one step at a time, for the remainder of the league to ensure these lads could contest the race as title challengers towards the end of the season and this they did as their focus was on staying unbeaten. It wasn’t easy trying to juggle all sports, giving the dual players recovery time, clashes with hurling and football from U14 right up to minor. But they rode out the storm especially towards the business end of the league and the happy mood throughout the club has spread its wings.

Colemanstown’s first chance fell on 5mins when a crossfield pass from Jonah Donnellan found Shane Duffy who squared across to Kyle Madden but the ball was just a tad behind him. 3mins later the breakthrough was made after Ross Lally worked hard to win a corner; David Walsh sent in his trademark delivery, up rose the powerful Cillian Roche to power home the opener. 2mins later Colemanstown marked their intent. Kyle Madden was fouled and while the resultant free kick from Jonah Donnellan was parried by the keeper round the post, the resultant corner was whipped in by David Walsh, some hesitant defending saw Cillian Roche again pounce to finish from close range this time with his boot. Duffy then went on one of his trademark runs down the right wing, cross to Tiarnan Lohan but he blasted over. Despite Colemanstown having the lions share of possession, Bernard’s clawed one back on the quarter hour mark. A free from the half way line bounced into the danger area and with some hesitation in the Colemanstown defence, Bernard’s striker got his head on the bounce to finish past the hapless Fionn Flattery.

However, Colemanstown got back on board and when they did have the ball, they made it count. Roche was over with a free kick, Tiarnan Lohan got a head on a long clearance from Diarmuid Ryan at the back but failed to find the target and a quickly taken free from Donnellan to Roche was fired over. Colemanstown made it 3-1 on 24mins when Shane Duffy’s cross into the area was met by a defender whose attempted clearance deflected into his own net for a cruel goal to give away.  Colemanstown created another worthy chance on 29mins when Cillian Roche’s clearance found Duffy on the right wing and although yards behind his man when he started the move, he made woeful strides to get to the ball first, sent in his cross which bounced nicely for Tiarnan Lohan but the keeper made a super save to concede a corner. The corner again sent in by David Walsh and this time, the other powerhouse Diarmuid Ryan rose highest but his header was off target. 3-1 at half time.

The 2nd half continued in much the same vein. Cathal Kennedy squeezed outside the right post after good link up play with Cillian Roche. 6mins after the restart and Bernards had a glorious chance when a long delivery from the back saw their striker beat the offside trap, found himself one-on-one with Fionn Flattery but the ball hit the butt of the post and a tuft of grass on its way and inches wide. 3mins later Fionn was perfectly positioned on the goal line to safely hold a long dangerous clearance from Bernard’s defence which carried with the breeze. Good work down the left wing from Tiarnan Lohan got Cathal Kennedy on the ball and as he cut in across the box, his cross took a deflection on route and in for Goal No. 4. Duffy then had a speculative shot which was saved by the keeper. As Colemanstown continued to press, they emptied the bench. Michael Fallon was introduced at centre back, Donnacha Walsh & Joshua McDonnell to centre mid, and Matthew Keane to right back, Jamie Nutley as striker & Ronan Screene on the left wing.

With about 10mins to go, Bernard’s No. 9 saw his super strike thunder off the crossbar. With 5mins left Cillian Roche was reintroduced to claim the match ball and was just seconds back on the park when he wrapped up his hatrick to great jubilation. Bernards had a couple of late chances but Fionn did well. Right at the death, Bernard’s were awarded a penalty which they dispatched straight down the middle to make it 5-1 as Fionn Flattery guessed wrong.

It was a dominant performance from Colemanstown which saw them run out a handy enough win in the end with plenty to spare to see them win the league with 2 games in hand. This was a full squad effort. Colemanstown were steady at the back with timely defending and inch perfect deliveries from Josh Buckley, Diarmuid Ryan, Cillian Roche & David Walsh while Michael Fallon, Sean Connolly and Matthew Keane sustained the dominance in the 2nd half. Shane Duffy, Tiarnan Lohan, Kyle Madden, Cathal Kennedy & Co did damage with their pace as Ross Lally & Jonah Donnellan anchored centre mid with Donnacha Walsh & Joshua McDonald picking up the reins in the 2nd period. Jamie Nutley as striker & Ronan Screene on the left wing were well composed when introduced. This is the 3rd successive league win for this squad who have worked their way up from Div4 to play Championship football next season.

Well done lads on a great league season with a Cup Final against 2nd placed Corrib Celtic on May 30th still up for grabs and 2 league games still remaining. Let’s hope these lads can make it a double !

Squad: Fionn Flattery, Josh Buckley, Diarmuid  Ryan, Cillian Roche, David Walsh, Shane Duffy, Jonah Donnellan, Ross Lally, Tiarnan Lohan, Kyle Madden, Cathal Kennedy, Michael Fallon, Donnacha Walsh, Jamie Nutley, Matthew Keane, Ronan Screene, Joshua McDonnell, Sean Connolly.