Today was a busy day for the club with 4 games down for decision; first up were our U13’s who played St. Francis in Athlone in the SFAI Cup; U15’s were away to Barna/ Furbo in the league; ‘A’ team were home to West United ‘B’ while our Reserve team were home to Corrib Celtic. It was a day of mixed results as our Reserves & U13’s were beaten but our ‘A’ team and U15s grafted out good wins by a solitary goal.
First to our U13’s who were in Athlone for an early 10.30am KO against a side who have 2 players in the Irish U13 Development squad and together with one or two more were simply a cut above the rest. Both teams started the game in full flow, playing enterprising football as half chances fell to both sides. St. Francis broke the deadlock on 10mins to slot to the right of Fionn Flattery in the Colemanstown goals. Almost straight from the kick off, the hard working Cillian Fahy was fouled, the free was swept in by Tommy Mellody and as the ball bobbled around in the box Harry Mitchell’s determined outstretched boot poked it home. 13mins in and the hosts regained the advantage with a good passage of play as they beat Colemanstown’s defence and although Fionn Flattery did parry the ball away, their striker was quickest to react on the 2nd attempt to put them 2-1 up at the doorstep. Then Fionn Flattery made a smashing save pushing the ball against the post away from danger while the commanding Luke Williams whipped the ball off the goal line on 22 mins. Not long before the break, one of St. Francis’ big named players latched on to a high lobbing ball and as he closed in on the keeper, he finished a smashing drive to the net to leave Fionn with absolutely no chance. Colemanstown searched to draw back the lead before the break as Jason Rabbitte had a good effort but whipped it wide of the target. Half time: Colemanstown 1; St. Francis 3.
Early in the 2nd half, Jonah Donnellan and Cilly Fahy were involved in a move which Jayo Rabbitte got on the end of but again he drove his effort wide. Straight up the other end as one of Colemanstown’s defenders fouled in the box, the ref immediately pointed to the penalty spot and made no mistake. Colemanstown now had an uphill battle and really never looked like clawing the deficit back once they went 3 goals adrift just 6mins after the restart. Cilly Fahy had a great flash of inspiration which the keeper could only deflect off the post after a great run down the flank by Jayo Rabbitte. Midway through the 2nd half, the hosts turned the screw with a goal which originated from a corner and while Colemanstown’s defence were hesitant in clearing, St. Francis nipped in to hammer home their 5th. Cilly Fahy had a snap shot which wasn’t too far off target but in fairness it was a tough day and difficult to penetrate a dogged St. Francis defence. Fionn Flattery at 11 years old could not be faulted for any of the goals conceded while Jonah Donnellan, Luke Williams, David Walsh & Eanna Burke had their hands full contending with a threatening St. Francis strike force. Tommy Mellody, Cilly Fahy, Ciárán Keating & Jayo Rabbitte showed flashes of great footwork, running, passing and tackling. Up front Johnny Keane & Harry Mitchell had to contend with a big physical strike force. Cian Burke, Killian Hughes, Dara Scarry, Nathan McGuire-Greaney & Eoin Keague also tried hard to change the course of the game on their introduction but it was a bridge too far for Jason Finn and Edo Flannery’s young guns who post-match had to scoot away early for the ‘A’ Teams match against West United.
U15’s: Colemnastown 5; Barna/ Furbo 4
This was champagne football with a feast of 9 goals with 3 goalscorers getting on the scorecard for the boys in green. Michael Flattery had a good early chance but scuffed his shot while down the other end the advancing Jayo Connolly who had returned to Colemanstown between the posts was called into action. As the game progressed Ryan Noone & Mike Kelly bossed proceedings in the engine room. On 14mins Sean Hansberry’s long range effort from the half way line flew over the stranded back pedalling Barna/ Furbo keeper as the ball travelled at the rate of knots. In truth he probably never struck a football better in his life, such was the clean connection he got on it. The smile on his face afterwards told its own story. About 3 mins later the hosts equalised as the bouncing ball evaded Connolly in the Colemanstown goal. 20mins in, Sean Hansberry’s long delivery from a free taken in his own half and with danger in the box, one of the hosts defenders found his own net to give Colemanstown a 1goal advantage. The hosts took another snap shot at goal but again Jayo Connolly was equal to the task. Not long before half time, Ryan Noone’s crossfield pass found Michael Flattery who sneaked in behind the defence to finish to the net. Just before the interval the hosts threatened again as their No. 5 burst through the centre and as Jayo Connolly advanced off his line, the hosts striker maintained his composure to finish smartly and leave the score at half time: Colemanstown 3; Barna/ Furbo 2.
The 2nd half was only 4mins old when Ryan Noone scored as good a goal one would see anywhere. He chested down a clearance from Conor Byron in defence, controlled the ball brilliantly, cut in across the box and finished an unmerciful drive from the edge of the 18’ box which rifled into the top right corner for a top class exquisite goal as he danced back to the half way line for tip-off. Yet again, Barna/ Furbo never allowed Colemanstown settle on their 2 goal cushion as they finished from close range and the nerves were now apparent around Furbo. 4-3 and the game was back on. Ryan Noone’s thwarting run down the flank finished with a low hard drive which Barna/ Furbo’s custodian pushed around the post. The resultant corner was whipped in by Noone and volleyed home exquisitely by Michael Flattery. The hosts then blazed a free kick over the bar while in the resultant play they were awarded a penalty when a player was felled in the box but the returned emigrant Connolly made a superb one handed save. Noone & Flattery linked up again but the keeper was quick off his line to drown out any attempted effort at goal. With about 5 mins left Barna had a gifted chance but blasted agonisingly over the bar with our keeper off his line. With mins left on the clock the hosts pulled another back as Jayo Connolly did his best to stretch for it but it sailed to his right to set up a nervy closing stage. However, the boys in green held on to come out on top in a tense tight encounter. The team managed on the day by Philip Dee, Johnny Mullins & Sean Moran presently finds itself: 3 games- 9 points!.
Squad: Jason Connolly, Micháel Ryan, Dara Hansberry, Sean Hansberry, Conor Byron, Mike Kelly, Mark Donnellan, Conor Moran, Darragh Diskin, Ryan Noone, Michael Flattery, Artur Nilkulins, Josh McGuire- Greaney who was back in action after a few weeks absence.