3 games were played vrs Castleknock with 20 players from each team turning up to a sunny Cornelscourt.
Team 1 had a cracking game with great skill levels & link up play shown by Harry, Luca, Frankie, James Duffy,David Mannix & Oisin Daly: it was great to have Luca back after his long lay off & he led the forward line brilliantly & tackled tirelessly helping set up 7 points for Harry, Frankie & a great late score from a tight angle by David-the 2nd half proved tougher up the hill with James Duffy & Oisin both kicking great points & Luca scoring 2 cracking full forwards goals-Harry played the 2nd half in goals as he had a knock & we missed his dynamism out the field-huge progress made by all of the lads & the skill levels are improving all the time
Team 2 comprised Max, Eoin Daly, Eoin Gibbons, Tadhg, Shane, John O’Callaghan and James Kearns. It was a real ding dong battle, with lots of good scores for both sides. From a Gers point of view, the key takeaway for the players was that intelligent passing and moving can be so effective. Examples of this were Max’s distributions from goal, setting up multiple scores for us, as was a clever sideline ball from Eoin Daly to Shane in the second half. Good interchange throughout the match between James, Shane, Max and Eoin Daly led to umpteen chances for us. Benefitting from this upfront was John, who stayed full forward for the match and helped himself to 1-2. Also getting on the score sheet were birthday boy Shane, James, Max and Eoin. At the rear of the house, Tadgh and Eoin Gibbons were in defence for the whole game and really impressed with their reading of the game to snuff out danger. And when attackers did get through they made sure to hassle and hurry them into poor shots. Finally, Eoin Daly in particular is worthy of mention, with coaches agreed he played his best ever game in a Gers shirt. Overall this was a really mature display and great to watch from the sideline.
Team 3 was Aodhán in goals, Kevin and Luke C in defence, Morris and Johnnie in midfield, Colin and Tom played up front. A good start was asked for and they delivered as Colin slotted over a nice point, our early pressure was rewarded when Tom didn’t give up on a long ball in and pressured their goalie into making a mistake before rattling the net from close quarters. Our forwards were the first line of defence and with the help of our midfielders constantly tackling their defenders making it hard for castleknock to escape their half. Kevin and Luke kept their forwards in check when they got the ball giving them no easy chances always putting in a last gasp challenge, constantly tackling and chasing them. It made Aodhán’s time in goals easy as he had nothing to do apart from a few kickouts. A switch with between Johnnie and Tom worked well in the last few minutes of the half with more balls going into the forwards which Colin took advantage of getting himself a goal. A late Long range free well taken by Johnnie putting it over the black spot finished the half.
Playing up hill for the 2nd half we told them to expect more defending, A few switches saw Aodhán move into the midfield, Luke go into goals and Tom partner Kevin in defence. Castleknock started the 2nd half like we did the first getting off the mark with a point followed by a goal. Colin got a little knock so went into goals allowing Luke to continue his defensive work with Kevin. Tom went back to midfield and Aodhán moving forward this began a 10 minute spell where we dominated from front to back with Aodhán scoring 4 points in a row to put to bed any chance of a Castleknock comeback. Morris was given a well earned rest in goals after covering every blade of grass and I’d say their players were very happy to see the back of him as he shown great determination and controlled aggression during the game never giving up on any ball. Johnnie got himself another point before Aodhán finished the scoring with a goal.
Every player should be proud of their performance because the coaches were, they all played their part in the victory, one play in particular comes to mind and summed up how well these players are progressing the ball started on the left of midfield and went through 5 handpasses to get to the right side of midfield before it was released forward and even though the shot narrowly went wide it showed how they were keeping their heads up in possession and picking out their passes and also the support play between them.