An early start for our U15 A’s this Saturday morning away to Kingdom Boys. Playing last years Premier and Cup champions was always going to be a daunting task.
Daunting it may have been but our boys did themselves, the club and their coaches proud. What a magnificent performance of courage, belief and confidence as we controlled large parts of the first half playing a fabulous brand of 1 or 2 touch football.
Against the run of play, Kingdom Boys scored from the penalty spot after 22 minutes. It was the first time they had breached our defence who was being led superbly by Sean Collins, ably assisted by the high flying Cian Holden with Alan McElligott and Eoin Lynch doing brilliant jobs on the two wingers. It was from the back four that we played out from the back so well. Their combinations with Kiwi Killeen, Owen Moynihan and Gearoid Dillane led to us playing into space time and again. This was a treat for Conor Lowe and Jacob Lukco who beat the full backs time and again to supply Dylan O’ Sullivan up top of the 3 attackers.
Indeed some 10 minutes after conceding we were level and what a great goal it was. Sean won the ball in defence and his combination play with Gearoid and Dylan saw the ball moved to Conor Lowe. Conor’s perfectly timed pass to Gearoid who had made a quite brilliant run that saw him beat the offside trap. Gearoid first touch was perfect, his second opened up the chance, and his third was coolness personified as he calmly slotted the ball into the bottom right corner. It was exactly what we deserved and to score such a great goal was the icing on the cake.
We continued to press forward, with precision and no little skill. Owen Moynihan had a half volley on the stroke of half time, after a fantastic delivery from Conor Lowe, that crept inches the wrong side of the top left corner.
The second half was a much tighter affair. Kingdom Boys had made some changes at half time and they were much more organised. Still, it was about 50-50 in terms of possession and chances. Their’s mostly came from corners where our keeper David Fitzmaurice was outstanding. He claimed crosses and dominated his area like never before. An outstanding performance on the day.
Players were tiring on both sides going into the last 10 minutes, but only one substitution was made by the Park. Lee Brown came on for the Dylan O’ Sullivan with Conor Lowe moving up front. Lee set up Owen Moynihan shortly afterwards with Moyner’s first time strike from just inside the box going just inches wide. This left many of the squad disappointed today to not get a game. Keep working in training and in games both league and challenge and you will get your chance.
It was in these last 10 minutes that hero’s are made and today, it was Sean Collins and Cian Holden that stood out. Their commitment, desire and courage was breathtaking as time and again they not only won the ball when they had no right to, or won the headers against the odds, but they used the ball really well which helped create the last chance of the game.
Deep into injury time and with the ball worked out from the back once more, Lee played the ball to Jacob in midfield. Beating the first challenge, Jacob slotted a lovely ball through to Kiwi who had made a lung bursting run from his defensive midfielder position.
Kiwi hit a beauty towards the bottom right corner. We all thought it was in, but the keeper produced a fine stop. From the rebound, Kiwi showed a striker’s instinct as he pounced and again struck what looked for all the world to be the winning shot. Somehow, the keeper got a hand to it to deny us a win.
So it finished 1-1 and to be honest, it was a fair result. Well done to our lads for their courage, belief and confidence they showed in themselves today. You did yourself proud.
Training Monday at 7.30pm.