Team 1: David Healy, Luka Kelly, James Kearns, Finn Bicknell, Christian Kenny, Sean McKiernan, James Duffy, Darragh O’Gorman
This was a close game with plenty of good play from Geraldine’s, who had plenty of the possession. There were strong performances across the board with good passing, strong shooting and intelligent play.
James Kearns with two goals and Luka Kelly were to the fore, with some very good shooting and good inter-passing through Sean McKiernan meant we were unlucky with some close misses. Defensively Geraldine’s were strong with Finn Bicknell making some fine saves and strong defensive efforts & blocking from Christian Kenny and Darragh O’Gorman. Geraldine’s were unfortunate to lose to a late score from Olaf’s but overall this was a strong team performance.
Improving on the performance in Game 1, the team was significantly more focused in this game. The teamwork was more evident and players were making much better use of the ball and looking out for passes.
Geraldine’s were very strong in the first half and took a lead into half time thanks to great scores from James Kearns and a wonderful point from Luka Kelly. James Duffy put in some fine tackles and his very impressive left foot made some great passes and kept the ball in Olafs half of the pitch for most of the game.
Whilst Olafs came back strongly in the second half, a game saving intervention from Finn Bicknell in goal made sure Geraldine’s came away with a share of the points – a draw.
Team 2: Luke Hempenstall, Eoin Daly, Patrick O’Farrell, Keelin O’Farrell, Owen Twomey, Adam Lyons, Johnny Donohue
A hotly contested throw in lay down the marker for what would become a tight and tense game throughout. Olafs hit the ground running with a goal inside the first 5 minutes, quickly followed by a point shot from distance that pushed them into a commanding early lead. However, the indomitable spirit of the Geraldine’s U8s shone through. Heads refused to drop and they stuck to the task at hand, progressively rising to the pace of the game with the defensive formation of Adam Lyons and Luke Hempenstall increasingly getting on top of the Olaf attackers with some great chasing and tackling. This growing resilience shortly paid dividends, as Patrick O’Farrell struck back with a well-taken goal to close the gap.
Then just before half time Owen Twomey shot Geraldine’s level with a sweet point, in spite of the crowding attention of the Olaf’s defence close to goal. Geraldine’s emerged after half time with renewed resolve and a stronger defensive pattern, epitomised by Keelin O’Farrell who challenged strongly throughout, winning some key possession in midfield. Johnny Donohue showed his strong running with the ball on a number of occasions, carrying into the danger zone only to be denied by the tight Olaf’s defence. Eoin Daly’s positive shooting narrowly missed as Geraldine’s looked to squeeze out the win. Great tackling and tireless defending featured throughout a scoreless second half. The final whistle delivered a well-earned draw for this Geraldine’s team that had come from behind to bravely and deservedly wrestle back the initiative against a strong Olaf’s side.
Team 3: Shane Coyne, Aodhan Kennedy, Mark Gil, Mark Fitzgerald, Conor Foley, Kevin Kavanagh, Patrick Burke, Eoin Gibbons
A bright start from Olaf’s saw them score an early point before Shane Coyne got a goal for Geraldine’s. Then a period of constant pressure from Geraldine’s went unrewarded as Olaf’s scored a point on the break. Patrick Burke scored a great goal and we kept the ball in the Olaf’s half but just before half time Olaf’s got a goal.
A well-taken point by Olaf’s at the start of the 2nd half extended their lead but Patrick’s second goal of the game kept Geraldine’s in touch. We were unlucky not to score any more as we controlled most of the possession for the remainder of the game and showed some great teamwork, with slick hand passing and great tackling to stop Olaf’s advancing from their half.
Geraldine’s carried on where they left off in the first game, putting the pressure on the Olaf’s defence and Mark Fitzgerald popped over a great point. Olaf’s answered with two quick goals but some great defending, especially from Marc Gil, helped maintain our slender lead. Olaf’s pressure paid off near the end of the half when they got another goal, but straight from the throw in Shane found Patrick with a great kick pass and Patrick kicked it over the bar.
Olaf’s start the 2nd half strong but Aodhan and Kevin kept them at bay by giving them no time to settle, but they eventually score a great point. We started to attack more, with Conor Foley showing great tenacity dispossessing their defenders with some great slap tackling. The pressure paid off when an Eoin Gibbons free kick straight into the danger zone gets put into the goal by Patrick.
Overall the team displayed great skill with their hand passes, hunted and defended well in groups