Youth team crowned league champs with a game to spare

It would be remiss of me to let another night go by without acknowledging the trojan efforts of our youth team on Sunday last who clinched the Div2 title with a draw against Ramblers and with a game to spare. Even a loss in their last game of the season will matter little as the league title is now theirs but by no means were they handed a share of the spoils on a platter on Sunday. They worked hard to earn the important point or more so, prevent Ramblers from earning all 3 points which would see the league title going down to the wire in the last game of the season. But everyone knows its not too comfortable if the hard work is left until the last day.

Having beaten Ramblers 4-2 in the first leg, Sunday last saw the top two teams in the division go head to head. The first 25mins minutes was nip and tuck with neither side creating anything meaningful. Alan Naughton had his first chance on the half hour mark but shot wide. Jack Barrett, Shaun Keane, Conor Hibbitt & Conal Docherty put in an impressive shift at the back showing true doggedness while Robert Cosgrove showed stealthy movement up and down the right wing. Geordan Kenny & James Barclay held their own at midfield but their attempts to get the ball to the strikeforce duo of Mike Mulligan and Alan Naughton were hampered by Ramblers success in breaking up Colemanstown’s threats and half chances. Just before half time, Colemanstown started to engineer a few chances. Mulligan was taken down and up stepped green giant Shaun Keane who sailed his effort over the bar. 0-0 at half time.

As the 2nd half progressed, Colemanstown were progressively getting more of a hold on the game. Harry Greaney found Barclay who beat 2 defenders before his inch perfect cross found Geordan Kenny one-on-one with the keeper and he made light work in finding the net. Ramblers had an effort to spoil Colemanstown’s lead but Daniel Glynn was equal to the task. At this stage Jason Keane, Shane Burke & Mika Harun were introduced as fresh legs. Colemanstown pressed hard for a 2 goal advantage and were rewarded when Mulligan found Shane Burke one-on-one with the keeper and BANG …. the back of the net shook. 2-0 up and the game looked done and dusted…. with mission accomplished. Just on the stroke of the 90min mark Ramblers scored a great goal over the head of Daniel Glynn to set up a nervy finish with all eyes on the ref and more so on his watch. Deep into injury time a foul on a Ramblers striker just outside the box saw the ref surprisingly point to the penalty spot but Daniel Glynn made a superb save. As the clock was ticking on and the entire Colemanstown squad were camped in their own back line in a bid to withstand the late pressure; there was yet more drama as a Colemanstown player was adjudged to hand ball and the ref again pointed to the spot. Ramblers made sure this time as their striker drilled home a late late equaliser. But this draw – cruelly inflicted on a Colemanstown team that certainly deserved the win – was not just about Mark Kirby’s green and white army, it was also about the new dawn rising for Colemanstown football.

With 1 game left to play at home against table-proppers Barna-Furbo, the silverware should be nicely polished for presentation to Mark Kirby’s lads. Also a big shout out to Conor Jackson who was involved with this team until his travels took him to more far flung places than Colemanstown. Well done lads….  a good match; controversial by all accounts but job done and mission accomplished for this season.

Squad: Daniel Gynn, Jack Barrett, Conal Docherty, Shaun Keane, Robert Cosgrave, Conor Hibbitt, Geordan Kenny, Harry Greaney, Michael Mulligan, James Barclay, Alan Naughton, Jason Keane, Shane Burke, Mika Harun.