U16s hold onto to pole position with 2-0 win

Colemanstown U16s 2 – 0 Knocknacarra ‘B’
Colemanstown U16s earned a hard-fought 2-0 away victory over a strong, physical Knocknacarra ‘B’ outfit in the league yesterday afternoon. Both sides knew each other fairly well, having met on a few occasions last season and with both teams gaining promotion to the Championship this season. The result made it four successive league wins to date for Gary Broderick’s young men. This game was enthralling and, for the 80mins, it produced a game as pulsating and captivating as any other. From Fionn Flattery’s heroics in goal, Josh Buckley’s solid display at right back; Roggie, Tiarnan Lohan & Shane Duffy left every ounce they had on the pitch, Kyle Madden’s sublime penalty & Dylan Murphy’s immediate impact, Colemanstown tested Knocknacarra’s limits and resolve.
The game started with 50/50 possession and damn all between the sides. On 10mins Ross Lally’s timely interception won the ball back for Colemanstown, he set Cathal Kennedy on a run down the left wing and as Kennedy cut in across the box, he was taken down. Up stepped Cillian Roche to take the resultant free, and with only 2 steps backwards he fired an unmerciful effort which thundered off the crossbar and Shane Duffy reacted quickest but headed the rebound over. Knocknacarra then had their moments, winning a few consecutive corners but the back four: Donnacha Walsh, Cillian Roche, Diarmuid Ryan & Josh Buckley were steady in front of a reassuring custodian in Fionn Flattery who fetched numerous high & dangerous efforts into the area and one notable save with his feet. The game was tit for tat for most of the 1st half with Josh Buckley doing a super job on Knocknacarra’s left winger as he intercepted many passes and thwarted numerous probing runs. Stalemate as the teams parted at the break.
The first 10mins of the second half saw the hosts well on top as Colemanstown were slow to get into the rhythm of the game. In those 10mins Knocknacarra had a worthy chance but fortunately their striker failed to connect properly in front of goal and drove wide. Joshua McDonnell was then introduced early in the 2nd half for the injured Ross Lally. Suddenly Colemanstown upped the ante as Duffy ran on to a through ball from Tiarnan Lohan and he slotted a pinpoint finish past the advancing keeper but the ref blew for offside as the ball hit the net. Buoyed up by Duffy’s effort, Colemanstown began to assert themselves and dominated proceedings thereafter with Lohan & Duffy lording things in the engine room and Tomas Rogerson’s attacking runs on the left wing.
Midway through the second half Colemanstown put themselves on track for 3 points. Roggie’s low through ball to Duffy on the edge of the box saw Knocknacarra commit the foul on Duffy and the ref pointed to the spot. As calm as a breeze Kyle Madden fired the spot kick to the keeper’s right. Knocknacarra responded though but Fionn Flattery was vigilant in goal and on top of his game. Colemanstown regained their rhythm in an intense game. Dylan Murphy was introduced and made an immediate impact as he played a crucial role in winning ball around midfield. The game changer arrived with quarter hour to play when Roggie again sent a pinpoint delivery between 2 defenders for Murphy to run on to & with 2 defenders left in his wake and the advancing keeper to beat, he finished superbly with a low hard finish to the side of the keeper. The introduction of Jamie Nutley & Matthew Keane helped Gary Broderick’s side complete their victory in style as the players gave everything they had.
With the momentum with them, Colemanstown created some further chances as Cathal Kennedy with all the will in the world on the ball, just couldn’t keep his long range effort from flying over; Tiarnan Lohan’s half volley just skimmed the post and Dylan Murphy’s final effort was saved by the keeper. 2-0 it finished in another energy-sapping match and a valuable 3 points.
Squad: Fionn Flattery, Donnacha Walsh, Cillian Roche, Diarmuid Ryan, Josh Buckley, Tomas Rogerson, Tiarnan Lohan, Ross Lally, Shane Duffy, Cathal Kennedy, Kyle Madden, Joshua McDonnell, Dylan Murphy, Jamie Nutley, Matthew Keane.