What a day! With many of the team first playing a crucial soccer game at 10 am, coaches were dubious we would last the pace, particularly missing stars like Conor K (through injury), Conor R (through sickness), as well as Hubie, Cian D and Byron also unable to attend. But we had strength in depth and came through our group with some excellent performances.
We started against the hosts, Kilmacud in what was a tight tense enounter, with Gers coming out on top 4 points to 3 – both Cian M and Mark O’L proving they had their eye in with 2 points each, and some good interchanges. Our hero in this match was Eoin H, who had a fantastic tournament overall. Eoin marked Kilmacud’s biggest player and kept him scoreless through strong play from start to finish.
Our next game was straight away after Bray Emmetts, where again Mark O’L showed excellent marksmanship with 4 points, Harry H with one and Adam with an excellent catch out in front of his man, turn and shoot for the net to get our first goal of the tournament! Mark’s last point was right on the final whistle, resulting in the Gers winning by 1, 1 5 to 2 1. Conor B was outstanding in goals in this game.
We were now in the final, with a game in hand, giving us the opportunity to rotate the team again and rest a couple of players, while keeping momentum for the final. We coasted through the next game against Olafs, with Olafs getting a couple of goals in the end to pull away. However, the final was next, and Kilmacud was our opponent again.
The game started with 2 great points for the Gers – one from Harry H and one from Mark – who had another scoring fest in the final.
Eoin H was again a hero, marking Kilmacud’s biggest man keeping him scoreless. Gers came through very well in the end with a score of 2 5 to 1 1, much to the delight of the huge following on the sideline. Having to beat the host team twice to win the trophy was some feat!
Mentioning some of the other players now… Cian C played some super football all through, showing fierce determination and won a lot of ball under pressure. Naoise S also had an excellent tournament, showing great pace and strength under the ball as well as mopping up numerous opposition attacks.
Paul did very well wing back and midfield, with his usual pace, strong hands and distribution up the field. Brian H had a blinder of a day! He really showed how much he has developed as a footballer with outstanding bravery all day, covering back again and again as well as fearlessly tearing into the opposition to win possession and clear his lines. Seamus lined out corner back as well as corner forward, showing his usual solid hands as well and strength going into the tackle. Mathew F played most games midfield, so needed to have great stamina as well as hands and battling ability. A couple of outstanding catches in the final summed up his day for the writer. Outstanding!
Daniel C Had one of his best displays today, winning ball after ball in midfield and on the wing. His ability to win ball in tight spaces as well as his speed and battling qualities set him apart today – a huge display. Harry H joined us again for the first time this year and really got into the game, with some great catches and runs through the middle. Adam had a great day, with strong fielding and a great goal that made the difference for us. Luke L gave a number of performances corner forward and battled well, including some great chases back down the field covering his man. Max battled very well in all the matches, showing lovely balance on the ball and linking up well with the boys around him.
Conor R, who was sick today, still stepped into goals for 2 matches for us and did very well, as well as coming on for the crucial last 5 minutes in the final. Strong ball winning was the order of the day. Ruari was another star for the team today, with his usual tremendous endeavour and strength in the tackle as well as his famous surges forward time and time again. He took a couple of very heavy knocks during the games, limping off on more than one occasion – but he still battled again for the team in the last 5 minutes of the final.
Today was a real story of the strength of the panel, with some outstanding performances in every game, but most importantly, with everyone working hard getting first to the ball or being strong in the tackle. Even though the pitch was narrow, we did some good movement up the field and worked hard to support each other. Some of the scores were as a result of excellent teamwork, which was great to see.
Well done to all the boys in winning their first of many trophies. Thanks to all the parents who came out in great numbers to support their team.
Lets keep the momentum going now!
Bryan, Dave, Ed and Shay