The boys gathered on a beautiful (and very warm) Saturday morning in Meadowvale for the second last game before the summer break, and it was clear their focus was still on mini World Cups, BBQs, and the upcoming holidays: the mood was ‘relaxed’ – to say the least. We were down to play Skerries and the majority of their players towered over ours (as we were reminded by the opposition when the teams first caught sight of each other). We had Morgan and Shane with us again, and were delighted to have them.
Playing against the wind (and into the ‘big’ goal) the first half, Evan squeezed in an early goal but overall in the first quarter we were slow to start – a little nervous of our opposition and the difference in height. Shane was helping us hugely in goal, saving some cracking shots and finding our midfield with his kick-outs, and only for the other team’s inaccuracy, we would have slipped behind.
Our forwards (Eoin, Sam, Matthew, Padraig, Evan and Dylan) were the first to kick into gear, relentlessly tracking back and keeping their opposite number off their game – and while they started to find their range with their passing, the scores weren’t going over just yet. At least we were playing the majority of the football outside our half.
After (another) stern talking to at half time, we again saw a much improved display in the second half. We used the ball wisely, taking advantage of the wind, and Zenon (at the top of his game again), Omar and Matthew around the middle started to get on top.
The real story thought played out in the final quarter when a disgruntled Skerries team upped the ante and were not about to go out with a whimper. They started to pile on the pressure and we were pushed further and further back into our own half. That’s when our heroes emerged. Jack P, Liam, Dylan, Ben and particularly Morgan, were unbelievable,… repeatedly throwing themselves into tackles as if their lives depended on it. It was amazing to watch – they had just decided that nothing was getting past them,.. nothing,.. no matter what. Skerries, who had scored over 50 points in their previous three game were granted a mere two points against our team.
Once again we built from a very slow start to a fever-pitch finish, and while it makes for a lot of excitement for coaches and parents, against better opposition we won’t keep getting away with it. We also need to start taking our points as a return of four points (granted we got two foals also) will not be enough.
So, one more game left before the summer break against a team we have never beaten. I’m hoping it is ‘not’ a game of two halves, as a strong performance from start to finish would be great. Thanks to John for keeping the scores and all the parents for their support.