Monsoon-styled rain finally receded to a trickle allowing Park B Under 11, the new kids on the block, make their seasonal debut. The team coached under the watchful eye of Paul Kelliher and Anthony Garvey had been due to play their first competitive game a fortnight earlier in Castleisland, however a deluge not seen since Noah’s ark rendered their pitch unplayable.
Almost fifty parents were in attendance to watch ten brave Park B warriors take to the pitch in what turned out to be an unusually timed 45 minute match (20 minutes first half, 25 minutes for the second at the request of the officials). LB Rovers astutely turned up with 15 players for the 10-a-side game anticipating that fresh legs could be a factor and they were indeed proven correct.
Frantic arm waving from Kelliher and Garvey to indicate that LB Rovers had 11 players on the pitch for the first 5 minutes of the game would also prove crucial as during this period LB Rovers six man midfield combined neatly for their side’s first two goals.
Once parity in numbers was restored however, the game became a much more even affair and a brilliant touch from Rory Kelliher with moments to go in the first half with Rovers’ goalkeeper well beaten ended up drifting millimetres wide.
Against the run of play in the second half LB Rovers had a brilliantly struck free rattle the crossbar and the resulting clearance was volleyed to the net by the free taker for the goal of the game. Rovers took the opportunity to bring on fresh legs.
Kelliher and Garvey responded with further frantic arm waving, urging their troops forward in search of Park B’s elusive first goal and with 5 minutes to go, it arrived. It may not have been pretty – a goal mouth scramble – and we may not be sure who scored it – all ten players including the goalkeeper claimed it – but the coaches celebrated as if it were a Champion’s League winner.
Further arm waving ensued as Park B poured forward looking for a second but were cruelly caught out by a sucker punch breakaway goal with seconds remaining on the clock.
A hugely enjoyable game, much more even than the score suggests and the team will come on in leaps and bounds as a result.
For the notebook: Jake O’ Connor gave a stirring performance at left back and made team of the week, while brothers Emmanuel and Naoude and floating midfielder Sidiptu were everywhere. Congratulations to all 10 warriors!
Report by Anthony Garvey .