They say hurling is a summer game, but beautiful sunny March mornings on freshly cut dry grass do just fine too. Such were the conditions facing the Ger’s U8s last weekend.
We had 24 players togging out, split into 3 teams.
For Team 1 there was Donncha, Oscar, Luke Johnston, Charlie Coyne, Paddy, Findlay, Alex Kavanagh, Ethan and Jamie Gilsenan. The players took a little time to settle in (wake up?) and in the first match gave Faughs players too much time on the ball. Down but not out, coaches and players discussed tactics for the second match: “Get in tight, pull hard”. The plan worked perfectly! The boys came out for match 2 with great energy and skill to score a couple of goals and dominate the match. The players grew in confidence and it was especially nice to see the skills we have practiced in training. Notable performances were from Jamie, Ethan and Paddy, who showed great determination and grit, getting suck in and, like the others, not shying out of tackles. Findlay also put in some great tackles in midfield, despite having a sore thumb! Also straight from the sick bed was Donncha, bravely fighting a head cold, who along with Alex Kavanagh and Charlie moved the ball well up the pitch to set up our attacks. A special mention for Luke and Oscar who played part of the games for Faughs, who were short players. Unfortunately our defence couldn’t contain Oscar, who scored a goal against us! All round a super team effort and smiles all round at the end.
For Team 2 there was Alex Sheehy, Callum, Jonathan, Finn, Dylan Brown, Dylan Murray, Matthew and Beoan. There was no sleepiness about this lot and they put in an excellent performance to score 3 goals in their first match. Matthew was extremely busy around the pitch and is surely in contention for most improved player of the month. Dylan Murray was striking the ball well and scored 2 goals, including a beauty from distance. Alex and Beoan, friends off the pitch, formed a great midfield partnership. The second game was a close affair and no less exciting. Jonathan went in goals for a while and was amazing, making many great saves. He was helped by terrific defending from Dyland Brown and Callum, who made sure the Fuaghs’ attackers had nothing easy. Finn was a very effective defensive midfielder and helped set up the attacks. Goals were again in good supply, which is always nice. At the end coach Stephen Kenny — normally a man of modest sentimentsa — had this to say: “The performances from the team I had were nothing short of stunning”.
On team 3 was William, Joe, Luke Murphy, Alex Gilsenan, Vadim, Ben, Niall Ramirez. There was again plenty of free-flowing hurling on display and tough tackling when needed. William showed great close control of the sliotar to dribble past opposition players numerous times. There was a typically tigerish performance from Niall in midfield and it was good to see Ben and Alex showing determination and getting much more involved. Meanwhile Vadim and Joe were solid partners in defence. The boys scored a couple of super goals. In the first game, some good attacking play culminated in a fine goal from Luke. In the second game, William scored fab goal, following lovely teamwork from Joe and Luke. Ultimately, we gave the Faughs’ lads a bit too much space and paid for that through goals conceded. Overall, encouraging to watch and see all players contribute in a big way.