It was like a curse struck on our U16s who apart from the first 20mins and the last 5mins never really got motoring as they suffered a 2-1 defeat at the hands of neighbours Athenry in the U16 Championship Cup Final in Eamon Deacy Park on Sunday.
Second half goals from Athenry set them up for victory and although Luke Williams pulled one back late on, Athenry saw out the win in the end. The game began in a hectic pace for Jason Finn’s team who on the day was flanked by his brother Alan & Gary Broderick as his usual sidekick Gareth Lally was gone gallivanting. Colemanstown will rue their chances created in the first 20mins as Harry Mitchell and Ciaran Keating had half chances in the first few minutes and Harry saw his free kick hit straight at the keeper. Ciaran Mulhern had an effort which the keeper fumbled but redeemed himself well on the 2nd ask. Harry Mitchell had another chance after he connected to Tommy Mellody’s cross but fired wide and Jason Rabbitte’s header was off target from a Mellody corner. Athenry’s first attack on 17mins looked like it was going wide but Fionn Flattery was taking no chances as he pushed it out for a corner which resulted in another Athenry attempt at goal but Fionn saved well.
By the 24th minute mark, Athenry were in the ascendancy. A free conceded by Jonah Donnellan was fired over and Fionn Flattery had to be alert to any dangerous balls. With three chasing Jason Rabbitte down the left wing, Rabbitte was fouled, Mellody delivered the free which found Jonah Donnellan who fired well wide. Stalemate at the break with all the inklings of a close game.
Athenry were intent from the restart. A good run down the wing within a minute produced a good diving save from Fionn Flattery. A good Colemanstown move 6mins after the restart involving Tommy Mellody & Luke Williams culminated in a Mitchell effort which was blasted over. Harry had another chance which originated from a Cian Ruane free after Jason Rabbitte was floored but also bulleted over. Ciaran Keating had another half chance which went across the face of goal. The breakthrough came on the quarter hour mark when a free kick from near the sideline was headed to the net and may have taken the slightest deflection off Luke Williams on its way.
On the resumption of the water break, Fionn made another super save to keep Colemanstown in the game. With 10mins to go, a good run by Rabbitte through the centre of Deacy Park resulted in a foul but Mellody’s free deflected off the wall out to Harry who took a pop, then fell to Mulhern whose effort was low and hard and saved by the keeper. With 8mins to play a Donnellan free from the half way line found the safe clutches of the keeper. A minute later Athenry put another nail in the coffin following a run through the middle from Athenry’s midfielder who found himself one-on-one with the keeper and dispatched past Fionn for a well taken goal.
This seemed to re-energise the Colemanstown lads who failed to relent and played with great intensity to the end. With 1min to play, Donnellan’s pass to Luke Williams saw him beat the offside trap and finish with his boot to claw back a late goal. Straight from tip off in added time and Mulhern on the wing found Williams who fired wide at the butt of the post. As Colemanstown threw everything into additional time a Mellody free was defended by Athenry, fell to Harry who fired wide. As a last chance saloon Williams got a head on long free from Cian Ruane but hit straight at the keeper. In the end time ran out as Colemanstown were unable to find the elusive equaliser to bring the game to extra time. A bit of a setback for the lads but far from terminal with still the league to play for. They play Merlin Woods tonight at home in a must win game to remain on as title challengers.
Squad: Fionn Flattery, Ciaran Keating, Jonah Donnellan, Cian Ruane, Dean Connaire, Ciaran Mulhern, Luke Williams, Jack Jordan, Tommy Mellody, Harry Mitchell, Jason Rabbitte, Eanna Burke, Dara Scarry, Jack Dillon, Johnny Keane, Larry Murrajvos.