Nothing minor about this victory for the U-18 girls
It was a cold Friday evening down in Sean Moore Park where the U-18 girls took on Cuala in the Championship Final.
Though twice victorious over the same opposition already this season, Clanns took some time to settle into their rhythm. But they eventually started to produce some fine passages of play to lead by three goals at half time. It could have been much closer but for some great saves from Claire in goal and tremendous blocks from the defence. At one stage even the half forward line were back defending, showing how much the game meant to the girls.
Helen Barron, Stacey Flood, Ruth Shaw, Daire Power and Eimear Lenihan, the spine of the minor team, have all been playing ladies senior football for a couple of years now and their experience really shone through and it has benefited other players. A special mention must be made of Ella and Claire, both of whom play for the U-13s, but have turned out for the minors in every game – both league and championship – and never looked out of place.
Some solid defending in the second half from Sophie Byrne, Deborah Barry and Amy Rintoul continued to keep the opposition’s scoring to a minimum – apart from a penalty. Both Niamh Flood and Niamh Barnes where in flying form getting a couple of goals apiece. With Shannon Fulham and Chelsea Spain in the forwards, the scores were coming from everywhere. And let’s not forget the subs used on the night – Rebecca Byrne, Niamh Shaw, Amy O’Hora and Kelly Donegan – who all did really well when they came on; also our newest players – Alison and Anna – who are determined to fight for their place next season.
The future for ladies football in the club looks bright, given this team’s displays this year as well as the performances from all the other underage teams. Team mentor, Lynn Flood, is particularly appreciative of the huge effort put in by the players this season, but especially over the last couple of months, and also the great support provided by families and friends.
Clanna Gael Fontenoy 8-6 Cuala 1-5
U-16 footballers push things to the limit
U-16 footballers push things to the limit
The scene was set on a sunny autumn day last Saturday in Donabate for our U-16 footballers’ league final decider against St Patricks – the very same team that Clanns had beaten by three points in the championship final in May in Parnell Park. The home side came into this encounter on the back of an impressive run of games; and, while our lads had prepared well, training during the summer break was a bit hit and miss.
With fantastic travelling support Clanns started like a train, scoring two goals and two points to just one score. Ross was in the groove and Dean and Sean were driving midfield. Everyone was doing the simple things well and getting rewards. Then St Patricks made a few positional changes which began to deliver some success for them and they finished the first half just one point behind and on top in general play. To make matters worse, Clanns were forced into an early substitution – Tom got an early yellow card (harsh) which was followed soon by a caution.
Colly Reynolds did his usual inspirational chat at half time and nobody was left in any doubt but that the game was there for the winning.
The second half saw a lot of stoppages and, while the referee sought to play advantage as much as possible, this led to confusion for the players and frustration for the mentors. After 10 minutes the home team had taken the lead by four points and were looking stronger by the minute, while our players were increasingly unable to hold the ball and our defence was keeping us in the game. There was only one thing to do: empty the bench and go for it. The turnaround was remarkable with Clanns working their way back into the game, drawing level in the dying minutes and then withstanding a final opposition onslaught to hold out for extra time – Dylan (our full forward) was amazing in goal. Notably,normal time had already produced two standout scorers – our own Ross M (2-4) and the home side’s Matthew M (3-5).
Having worked so hard to get back into the game in the second half, the big concern was about the Clanns energy level to push on to victory. Also the first score of extra time would be psychologically very important. As it happens, neither was to go our way, with the opposition recording the crucial first score and tired legs getting the better of our lads. In the end, a good St Patrick’s team earned their win.
The 2013 season was a colourful journey of highs and lows, with the earlier Parnell Park championship victory balanced by the league final defeat. Great credit goes to Colly, Jonney and Ray, but most of all to the lads themselves. They’re a really special bunch of footballers and they’re hard work at the same time! But they have delivered for themselves and for the club with a Championship title and the runner up position in the league.
St Patrick’s Donabate 4-10 Clanna Gael Fontenoy 3-5 (after extra time)
Time for friendly fixtures
With most of the under-age competitive activity already over for this season, a number of our teams are taking the opportunity to play friendly fixtures and keep the interest going. Sean Moore Park played host last weekend to some fine football from the U-12s who took on Whitehall Colmcilles and the U-11s who took on Round Towers from Clondalkin.