The weather was perfect; the pitch was perfect; the mentors had been early to bed (well most of them); but were the boys ready? Ger’s U11s lined out against our strongest rivals, St Marks’, who have had the advantage over us in the past.

Immediately from the throw-in we knew our lads were up for the game.

Eoin B in the half backs provided the initial platform, allowing Cian, Padraig and Hugo to get into their stride early, get some nice scores and set up a small lead going into half time. The lads came in at half time out of breath and needing water.

But the story of this game was about the second half where we played against the hill and the possibility of running out of steam. Was that to happen?

No chance: not today. In one of the team’s finest ever performances, the boys dug deep and powered on.  Omar was outstanding and was a deserved man of the match, but he was not alone: Charlie, who played a more advanced role, was simply unplayable, scoring at will; JD was pulling the strings in the middle; Robbie was like a man possessed getting to everything first and playing it out defence with great surety.  Liam was there to break down the opposition’s momentum before it started, and Zeb in goal both saved with confidence and distributed with pace.

However, it is fair to say that the mentors and the parents on the side-line collectively kept their highest praise for a number of boys who produced their own best ever performances, making this a true team achievement and guaranteeing the win, no matter who the opposition would have been. Ben, Sam, Alex, and Dylan produced performances that were nothing short of a joy to watch.  They were relentless in the tackle, pin-point in their passing, quick on the break, and always first to the ball.  Well done to them.  Fantastic.

However, while we may have won this day, we know St Mark’s will be back bigger and stronger next time. Thanks to them for a great game; to Ted for presenting well-earned medals; Donal for ref’ing a free-flowing game and the parents who cheered on the boys.  A great day for the U11s.