Good dry conditions for the 13 aside game Saturday. There was a touch of spring warmth in the air at St Vincent’s Marino for this our 2nd of 5 pre league grading games at U13. With only 10 players available for selection from the squad four U12’s stepped up to the plate.
Our back line on the day was anchored by Zach in at full back Zenon (U12) and Shane O’Sullivan in front of Shane McDonald in Goals. Shane confidently caught 2 prospective lobbing shots from the St Vincent’s half forward line early on saving two certain goals and his subsequent accurate kickouts finding our half back and midfield players Jamie Maguire and Alex “Hoppo” Hopkins. From early on the Gers squad took control with a wide from Robert (Full Forward) at 4 minutes. Omar at left forward opened the scoring with a fine point from 30 meters. In the 7th minute Vincent’s cut through for a goal against the run of play with a shot that gave Shane no chance. Robbie Duffy was injured in the build-up but bravely recovered and played on. Then Cian at half forward got free in the 8 minute kicking for a point with the ball sailing to the tight of the upright for a wide.
Gers kept pressing and by now were on top in midfield with Jamie scoring a point from distance in the 9th minute and Robert a point in the 10th. From the Vincent’s kickout play broke down with some fierce tackling from Mark Maguire pressing and Alex Mason picking up dirty ball soloing 30 meters through the entire St Vincent’s defence to score a goal from point blank range. With everything going the way the black and amber the team were caught pressing too far forward and with half backs Shane O’ Sullivan and Alex Mason out of position and only Zach and Robbie back near goal the fast St Vincent’s No.7 cut through for a goal on the 20th minute. Gers came back immediately with a great piece of play from Hoppo placing the ball in right forward Hugo Redmond’s hands (U12’s) to cut through for a goal in the 23rd minute. Hugo shot for a wide after Cian fielded a ball through from the St Vincent’s kickout and Jamie scored a point through a great piece of overhead catching from the next kickout. Gers were in full control at this point but were unable to convert this to scores with wides from Robert and Omar facing a Vincent’s scramble defence. Hugo finally cut through for a goal just before the half time whistle.
Score at half time St Vincent’s 2:0 Gers 3:4
With an expectation of a fight back from St Vincent’s the half time team talk concentrated keeping focused. Alex Hopkins not feeling 100% bravely took up goal keeping duties in the second half with Shane moving to shore up midfield and Ronan Kennedy subbing in for Robbie Duffy who subbed for Zenon for the last 15 mins.
The second half was a constant battle for possession with both sides demonstrating some real skill and hunger. Hard tackling and broken play in parts led to some frustration and a number of frees. Jamie got free of his marker and with some excellent interplay with Mark, Alex and Cian opened the second half scoreboard with a goal in the 3rd minute. Vincent’s came back with a great point form far out in the 5th minute. A free was awarded 30 meters out straight in front of the Vincent’s nets and Jamie’s high lob beat the goalkeeper for his second goal of the half. Our backs and half backs now had a job to do with St Vincent’s attacking play challenging them. Shane O Sullivan showed his class gaining and keeping position. Zack saved 2 certain goal scoring opportunities blocking down and playing out of defence with Ronan’s fresh legs ensuring he was able to tackle, gain possession and keep the Vincent’s forwards at bay. Jamie now with the upper hand on the St Vincent’s No.7 scored a point on the 18th minute and Vincent’s replied in kind on the 25th minute. From the kickout Shane Mc Donald showed strength and skill fielding the ball through several tackles and then half forwards Cian and Mark played a quick one, two with the ball ending up on the deck in the box, Cian ran through to beat the goalkeeper to shoot a goal into the back of the net soccer style. A penalty was awarded with minuets to go but Jamie’s foot caught on the soft ground and the ball scooted wide. Vincent’s scored a point and a goal from kickouts in the 30th minute with Jamie closing out the score with a hand pass over the bar in the 32nd minute.
Full time score: St Vincent’s 3:3 Gers 6:6
Team : Shane McDonald, Goals (Mid): Back Line Shane O Sullivan, Zach Kenny Ward, Ronan Kennedy (Sub) Zenon Chambers (U12), Alex Mason, Mark Maguire; Midfield, Alex Hopkins (Goals), Jamie Maguire; Forwards, Omar Chorbachi (U12) Cian Lowry, Robbie Duffy, Robert Walsh, Hugo Redmond (U12)
Unavailable; Joseph Corr (Injured), Peter Falvey, Donal Harcourt, Thomas O’Sullivan, Shane Power, Morgan Tyrrell.