U16 National Cup:
Our 16s had a tough encounter at home on Saturday in the National Cup against a very good Nenagh side with a last thirty two place at stake & also a Munster semifinal up for grabs.
Conditions were terrible with wind & rain throughout the eighty minutes but both teams tried to play passing football nevertheless.
We started the brighter dominating most of the first thirty minutes but really should have had two or three goals for our efforts.
We did however get one on eleven minutes after a beauty of a through ball from Darragh Moriarty sent John Carmody on his way & John made no mistake with a cool finish. It was no more than we deserved after John had skinned the cross bar, Mervyn had seen his shot saved & Darragh Moriarty had seen his goal ward shot sail just over with the Nenagh keeper beaten.
Some days you just can’t buy a goal & when Luke Dennehy’s cross clipped the cross bar, again with the Nenagh keeper beaten, it looked like faith was against us. Darragh again shot just over from outside the box & Nenagh couldn’t get up the field but when the did they found Cian Purcell, Greg Scanlon, Nick Izehi, Andrew Murphy & Luke Dennehy a wall of red & black.
The final ten minutes of the half saw the Tipp lads have their first real shot before a punt upfield wasn’t dealt with by our defence & the final touch coming off one of our heads for a killer equaliser right on halftime. All our good work cancelled out.
Nenagh came out fighting in the second half & should have taken the lead inside the first ten minutes but we managed to clear our lines. Then came the match changer after another attack on the right wing & a cross was met first time on the volley with our Captain Devon Burns making a double ‘Darren Randolph’ like save on the line which could have changed the course of the game.
Terence Carmody moved from the wing into left back with TJ McMahon going out wide & Robert Kerins coming on for Darragh Moriarty who had covered every blade of grass on both wings. Nathan Holden was taking the fight to Nenagh in the middle of the Park & eventually had to be replaced after seventy five minutes with Tide bringing a fresh pair of legs into the centre.
The changes gave us a foothold again & TJ was starting to show how dangerous he can be with a shot across the goal followed by a volley which agonisingly hit the side netting.
With three minutes of normal time time left & extra time looming large TJ cut in from the left turning inside the Nenagh defender before coolly slotting the ball into the net to spark wild celebrations on & off the pitch. After two very long minutes of injury time the final whistle came at last & we can now look forward to at least another two games against some of the best teams in the country.
FT 2 – 1
MotM John Carmody