Weekend round-up for the U13, U15 & U16 boys

U13s  Fairy-tale in National Cup
Everyone loves an underdog story that can last for months and even years —and inspire a team’s confidence to soaring levels. Well here’s one…… The U13 SFAI Cup match against Barna / Furbo on Saturday was probably one of the best underdog stories in the club for a long time. Every now and again, a plucky underdog defies the odds with an unlikely win and that was certainly the case at the weekend when Colemanstown competing in Div2 of the league beat Premier league juggernauts Barna/ Furbo with a late Tadhg Hart special.

There was certainly very few expecting this home win and that’s what makes upsets and underdog stories so magical. The visitors had most of the first half possession but failed to create chances but then again they had to try to get past Tommy Nutley in goal – not an easy task. The best chances of the half fell to Tadhg Hart whose attempted lob of the keeper scraped the post while Tommy Nutley had to dive towards the post to keep out a free kick which was drilled under the ‘jumping wall’. Barna /Furbo also missed a penalty in the first half which they pumped over the bar while Jamie Muldowney was perfectly positioned to whip a certain goal off the Colemanstown goal line. 0-0 at half time and the Colemanstown lads were relieved at that.

The 2nd half saw a more evenly matched dogfight in a good physical contest. Colemanstown made the breakthrough 10mins after the restart when Noah McDonnell pumped the ball over the top & found Tadhg Hart running at pace, he did well to spot the keeper off his line & chipped him from 30yards. 5mins later the visitors restored parity as a cross from the right was volleyed home to make it 1-1 apiece. The game ebbed & flowed for the remainder of the game & extra time looked on the cards. With 5 mins to go a beautiful ball from Harry Tierney picked out Tadhg Hart, but with plenty of time to look up and in an exact replica of his first he lobbed the keeper from 35yards. The delight from the Colemanstown youngsters was super and worth an admission fee.

Barna/ Furbo pushed on but with Jamie Muldowney, Sean Keating, Jamie Lally, Joe Carroll & Tadhg Bardell commanding the defence, there was simply no way through. Noah McDonnell & Harry Tierney anchored the centre of the park for the game’s duration with wingers Martin Mellody on the right & Michael Lally on the left, there were plenty of meaningful deliveries to the strike force of Tadhg Hart, Tom Holohan & Conor Keating in the 2nd half.  James Somers & Stephen Murphy also withstood the pressure when the visitors upped the ante in the game. The win meant as much to Aidan Ruane as it did to the whole squad & to the management team of Simon Tierney, Marty Hart & Noah McDonnell who had profound delight. Well done lads on a super display earning their way to Round 4 of the U13 National Cup. Confidence will surely be soaring after this one.  

U15s advance in National Cup
Our U15s advanced in Round 3 of the SFAI Cup at home on Saturday with a super 2nd half performance over Castlerea Celtic. The first half saw good competitive action from both sides with the visitors putting together somewhat better passing moves. Colemanstown’s defence line were solid right through with some heroic defending on show from Sean Connolly, Cillian Roche, Josh Buckley & Diarmuid Ryan as young left back Matthew Keane had to retire after 7mins through injury. We wish Matthew a speedy recovery & Kyle Madden who also had to retire in the first half.  There were no clear cut chances to either side in the first half as neither side came close to making the breakthrough.

The management duo had some stern words at the break to bring the wingers and strikers more into the game. Colemanstown upped the ante at the outset of the 2nd half. David Walsh made some great runs down the left wing with obvious pace, great footwork & dribbling. The breakthrough was made 6mins after the restart when Jonah Donnellan sprayed the ball to David Walsh on the left wing whose inswinging cross resulted in a goalmouth scramble. Cathal Kennedy got a boot to it as the ball deflected off a defender and over the keepers head. It was a fortuitous goal but one any team would take nonetheless. Fionn Flattery had to make a good save to keep the visitors at bay while he dealt well with a few corners.

Colemanstown’s 2nd goal arrived after good work from Cathal Kennedy on the right wing as he skipped by the defender, cut in across the goal line & his cross was well executed by David Walsh to make it 2-0. Colemanstown took the game by the scruff of the neck after that with Jamie Nutley introduced on the left wing to add more panache to the attack. Paddy Flynn sealed the win with a brilliant individual strike, as space opened up for him he started and finished an incisive move when he ran through the middle of the pitch and drilled an unmerciful low shot to the left of the keeper from just outside the box. Special mention also to Dylan Murphy who executed the managements instructions to a tee as he dropped back more to help out the defence – a tactic which helped to reap dividends. Final score: 3-0 as the lads now advance to Round 4 of the U15 National Cup. .

U16s home league game vs Loughrea
On a misty Sunday morning Loughrea, who had only lost 1 game thus far in the league campaign, travelled to Colemanstown in this latest league encounter. Loughrea had the best possible start on 10mins when they scored direct from a corner as the wet ball slipped through Fionn Flattery’s hands and over the line. Jason Rabbitte drew a good save from Loughrea’s custodian as he tipped the ball over the crossbar on 28mins. The visitors were content to keep the scoreboard moving as they made it 2-0 on 36mins when their No. 7 lined up to take a free kick outside the box & he squeezed it past the wall and inside the right post.  Just before the break the hard working Jason Rabbitte was fouled on the edge of the box & Tommy Mellody’s resultant free was struck straight at the keeper. In the ensuing passage of play, a goalmouth scramble saw Tommy Mellody’s effort whipped straight off the goal line by a perfectly positioned defender. Colemanstown 0- 2 Loughrea: half time.

The game restarted with a great passage of pressure from Colemanstown involving Dara Scarry, Cian Ruane, Ciarán Keating & Jason Rabbitte who worked the ball along the right wing winning a corner. After 5 successive Colemanstown corners the ball was cleared. At this stage David Walsh, Eanna Burke & Jack Jordan were introduced to add some extra impetus. Loughrea turned the screw on the hard working Colemanstown lads when they scored a 3rd which was drilled low and hard under the diving body of Fionn Flattery. 14mins into the 2nd half Colemanstown orchestrated another fine move originated by David Walsh involving Jason Rabbitte who switched play with his crossfield pass to Mellody whose powerful effort whizzed outside the right post. 5mins later Jayo Rabbitte was fouled but Tommy cracked the resultant free off the boundary hoarding and into the backside of the net. Helena Mitchell who was nursing a vanilla latte in a bid to keep warm, rose to her feet though applauding play as she proved not alone to herself but to everyone else that a visit to Specsavers is warranted!!. Within minutes, Luke Williams now playing a more roaming centre back role, found Jayo Rabbitte who in turn sought Mellody who pulled the ball back to his right foot but again the ball went agonisingly wide of the dreaded right post. Fionn Flattery had to go on his knees to make a good stop as Loughrea upped their game a bit. A period of sustained pressure from Loughrea resulted in Goal 4 for them 24mins into the half as they scored a super effort from the edge of the box as Fionn Flattery got his hands to it but failed to stop it, such was the force behind it.

Just on the half hour mark, Cilly Fahey was fouled, Harry whacked the free which took a deflection out for a corner. The resultant corner was swung in by David Walsh & a powerful Rabbitte header was only inches off target. After all the pressure from Colemanstown, a goal eventually came through Cilly Fahey. Eanna Burke played Harry on the right flank & with good work, won himself a corner which was whipped in by David Walsh and chested to the net by Fahey to make it 4-1. Jack Dillon & Michael Burke were introduced to the action in an attempt to grab at least another goal in the final 10mins or so as Colemanstown were on the ascendancy but it was not to be as the game concluded.

In summary, Loughrea scored all opportunities that came their way, whereas Colemanstown by comparison missed opportunities for goals as they dominated the game several times but just couldn’t get the ball over the line for the vital goals. The lads played with plenty of ambition & some great passages of play but time and again missed the crucial final execution with the goal in sight. A learning curve I’m sure for Jason Finn & Gareth Lally’s young charges as they’ll dust themselves off for another go next week in Round 3 of the Connacht Cup against Athenry ‘B’.