A slightly weakened U10 team met in Cornelscourt on Saturday for its first competitive game in nearly 6 weeks to play against a big, strong and athletic team from Samildanach. The sun was shining but the wind was blowing hard so the team under Robbie’s captaincy opted to play against the wind and the hill in the first half, hoping to still be in contention at the start of the second half.

The first half went as expected: Ben in goal did a mighty job getting his kick-outs to his team mates, while Dylan, Alex and Eoin Byrne faced on a constant onslaught from the opposition – acquitted themselves marvellously. The lads hung in and made Samildanach work hard for their scores but the score board was starting to look ugly. Around the middle, Omar (who was immense), Charlie (in his second match of the day), Robbie (leading by example) and Cian (who later scored one of the goals of the season) did everything they could to relieve the pressure, but found the going hard against boys who were significantly bigger than they were. The half finished with the Gers ‘just’ in touch, but with the elements in their favour in the second half.

Almost exactly on the throw-in, the wind decided it had done its work for the day and died away, leaving the team without its share of the advantage. Nonetheless, they started to play as we know they can, stringing some lovely passes together and bringing Liam, Padraig and Sam – all of whom battled hard for the possession that came their way – into the game for almost the first time. The score board ticked over, but not having the disadvantage of the wind allowed Samildanach to score number of points to keep their noses in front.

As the game headed for full time, our lads found those last few points a bridge too far and the game ended with a three score gap between the teams. On reflection, given the conditions and the lack of game practice, the team did remarkably well (more than can be said for the hoarse coach). With only one or two matches left before the summer, we are hoping for one more big performance from this set of fantastic players. Well done to the boys and to Donal, for refereeing superbly.