Our U18s took on Corrib Rangers in their first league outing at home on Saturday. Starting with a large number of debutants, having a fairly decent first game is a huge goal and Im sure they all wanted to make a good impression on Gary Broderick, Dec Greaney & Philip Dee. In fairness, they set the bar high for what’s to follow and created a good personal memory for them to cherish with superb displays.
Colemanstown were on the back foot on 3 mins when they conceded an early goal. A long ball from midfield for Corrib Rangers pacey striker to run on to was dispatched past the advancing debutant keeper Kyle Greaney into the far right corner. On 14mins Colemanstown received a let-off as the same striker was in on goal but shot across the face of goal. The resultant long punt down-field from Greaney found Ryan Noone whose mesmerising footwork trickery carried him past a number of defenders before his cross to Conor Byron was drilled over the bar. Thady Moran was off target with a free kick on 16mins but the equaliser deservedly arrived on 19mins when Dara Hansberry’s through ball found Ryan Noone who somehow forced the ball over the line. Noone put Colemanstown in front 5 mins later following a great passage of play. Declan O’Brien’s throw ball to Robert Cosgrove, who has returned to the fold after a few years absence, and back to Dobby whose long delivery over the top was finished exquisitely by Ryan Noone. Corrib Rangers almost levelled matters on 35mins when their striker got his stretched leg to a free kick but fortunately his effort hit the butt of the post and scrambled clear through a combined effort of Dobby & the no nonsense Fionn O’Connor.
Not long before half time, Corrib Rangers looked dangerous and again their pacey striker latched onto a long delivery but shot stopper Kyle Greaney was alert, quickly out to the edge of his box to avert the danger, but received a nasty facial injury and a yellow card for his brave efforts. With his job done, Kyle Greaney was forced to the sideline nursing his injury and another debutant Adrian Feeley assumed the goalkeeper’s position. Feeley had no sooner donned his gloves when he produced a top class double save to keep the score 2-1 at half time.
It was tit for tat for the first 15 of the 2nd half. Sean Keogh was introduced early in the half and showed a deft touch on his first touch of the ball with a lovely back heel pass. 16mins in Thady Moran volleyed home a 3rd goal after a pinpoint cross from Luke Mitchell. It’s good to see these two all-rounders return to the club following a little sojourn. The visitors created their first chance of the half when their No. 4 headed marginally wide from a corner. 2 mins later Corrib Rangers were awarded a penalty and although the penalty was struck well, just inside the right post, Alan Feeley made such a super save that the whole place took a deep breath.
A nice timely interception from Dobby moments later prevented a certain goal as Colemanstown were well on top. With 17mins to go a long clearance from Fionn O’Connor found Noone in space and although he had the beating of his opponent, he chose to shoot from distance when he could have worked the ball in. Corrib Rangers were back in the game with quarter hour to play. A long delivery from the back found their striker and for once Dobby was beaten and Feeley who advanced to make the angle difficult was rounded and the striker tapped into an empty net. Luke Mitchell had a chance with 10mins remaining after great hassling in midfield from Rob Cosgrove found Mitchell but the shot failed to dip on time for him. Ryan Noone had another pop at goal after great work from Thady Moran & the pacey Connor Booth in the middle of the field. Feeley again was out to the edge of his box to gather a dangerous ball while Dara Hansberry’s timely interception was vital in the ensuing passage of play. Feeley made another point blank save when it looked easier for No. 17 to score but Feeley appeared out of nowhere to make a close range save. Twin Alan Feeley was then introduced in the middle of the park for the tiring Rob Cosgrove who was worn to the ground after a tremendous shift. Thady had another free when was clutched by the keeper. Ryan Noone had another chance after good work from Alan Feeley and Conor Byron but drilled his effort over. It looked like Colemanstown would see out the last couple of minutes of the game in command but it was Corrib Rangers who snatched a last gasp equaliser with a long ball over the top which beat the defence and the keeper and their striker finished well to cruelly inflict a share of the spoils on the gallant Colemanstown lads when 3 points in the bag was probably more worthy of their display.
That said it was a good opener to blow off the cobwebs. It was great to see a good number of debuts and old players return to the mix. They are already proving to be a good investment for the club! Credit also goes to Philip Dee who attended to a Corrib Rangers player after the game. Great to hear the player has made a full recovery. We wish a speedy recovery also to Kyle Greaney who has a bit of a shiner to nurse for a few days.
Squad: Kyle Greaney, Declan O’Brien, Dara Hansberry, Fionn O’Connor, Conor Byron, Luke Mitchell, Robert Cosgrove, Thady Moran, Conor Booth, Mark Donnellan, Ryan Noone, Adrian Feeley, Sean Keogh, Alan Feeley, Michael Flattery, Luke Lally, Conor Moran, Josh McGuire-Greaney, Anthony Keane, Thomas Crowe, Aidan Ford, Cathal Ford, Michael Concannon.