U16 Boys clinch place in Connacht Shield Semi final with dramatic extra time winner 

An extra-time strike from Eibhear Colleran gave our U16s a 2-1 win over Colga deep into the 2nd period of extra time in the Connacht Shield Quarter Final played at home on bank holiday Monday.  An away semi final to Mayo side Snugboro now awaits in the semi final. 

Substitute Colleran, who amongst many others had earlier in the day played minor football, made a bursting run in the Colga half & placed the ball perfectly past the advancing keeper into the bottom right corner to give his side a hard earned win on 96mins.  The first 20mins saw end to end action with neither side gaining the upper hand as both sides created meaningful chances. The back 4 of Joshua McDonnell, Conor Walsh, Nathan Mannion & Tyler Collins played like workhorses, never yielding an inch in a combined powerful defensive display while Cathal Keane had the upper hand on the left flank as he tracked up and down the field; what an engine this lad has!. Colemanstown’s early chances fell to Dylan King whose goal bound effort was saved by the keeper with the rebound again falling to King who saw his 2nd effort whipped off the goal line by an alert Colga defender. Darren Moran also saw his effort tail wide, Tomas Rogerson’s tame shot amounted to little & Conor Walsh saw the wind curl his effort inches wide of the post in a whopping free kick from just inside his own half.  With a super attitude employed by the lads in green, they quickly & stoutly got on with the task in hand. The opener arrived on 25mins when again a Dylan King effort was saved, the resultant clearance landed just outside the 18’ box which Shane Quirke got on the end of, whisked into the box, only to be taken down. The ref quickly pointed to the penalty spot which Quirke himself calmly stood over & fired into the bottom left corner to put Colemanstown 1-0 in charge. With Sean Cooke commanding in goals; Shane Quirke & Jamie Lally commanding order in midfield & Ronan Screene strong on the right side; Colemanstown held the opposition scoreless until half time. 

Soon after the restart saw the introduction of Tommie Muldoon & Matthew Keane, who both immediately got stuck in. Conor Walsh again with a trademark free into a crowded box, again from the half way line, but the keeper got his finger tips to it to save the infliction of further damage. Cookie in goals was called upon numerous times in the 2nd half to make some super saves thereby inspiring great confidence in his team mates. With underfoot conditions rapidly deteriorating, Colga brought themselves back into the game midway through the 2nd half when their left winger latched onto a Colemanstown clearance outside the box and fired straight into top right corner to restore parity. Colemanstown’s backs were to the wall at this point as the hosts were being pushed back by their opponents and one felt the Championship side would push on against a lower ranked Div1 Colemanstown. However, the Colemanstown boys found something extra. Matthew Keane & Shane Quirke saw their efforts saved while Darren Moran who played a blinder all through also saw the keeper equal to his effort while Rogie also did his best to find the net but there was no way through a resolute Colga defence & keeper who was on top of his game. 

Dreaded extra time with some very wearied bodies due to the GAA earlier in the day was not in our script. But the lads plugged away as Eibhear Colleran was introduced up front. Again both sides created meaningful chances although found it difficult to penetrate both solid defense lines & Sean Cooke in goals could not be permeated. At this stage Sean Keating introduced on the right flank had acclimatised to the pace of the game as it looked like neither side could find a winner in extra time and penalties seemed inevitable as legs were tiring. Then with 4mins to play Eibhear Colleran popped up at the right time to clinch it for Orla McCaffrey & Damien Mannions charges. The winner originated through a Colga attack which was snuffed out, found Cathal Keane & involving Quirke who fed Eibhear whose super penetrating run in the Colga half saw the hard working Darren Moran in support, but Eibhear went alone & finished aplomb into bottom right corner to stab in a very late winner.  One just couldn’t take their eyes off the action in the closing minutes as the play ebbed and flowed, with both teams doing their utmost to hold possession as Colga threw everything at bringing the game to penalties. However, Colemanstown held out in a powerful display in a thrilling game that every player should be proud of. It was a nice double 16th birthday celebration for Matthew Keane & Tomas Rogerson. Roll on the Semi Final 

Squad: Sean Cooke, Joshua McDonnell, Conor Wash, Nathan Mannion, Tyler Collins, Cathal Keane, Shane Quirke, Jamie Lally, Ronan Screene, Dylan King, Darren Moran, Matthew Keane, Tommie Muldoon, Tomas Rogerson, Eibhear Colleran, Niall Grady, Sean Keating.