Shamrocks 1-10, Lee Gaels 1-7
Great scenes of joy were witnessed in Shanbally on Sunday afternoon! After a rousing contest which was in the balance right up to the final whistle, Shamrocks emerged as deserved victors. The inclement weather did not in any way take from the performances of both teams. Lee Gaels had travelled to us earlier in the year and were soundly beaten. We had heard on the grapevine that a number of their players were unavailable for that fixture and knew that they would be vastly improved on this occasion. They did not disappoint!
They took the game to us from the start and picked off two very well worked points early on. Our lads took a while to get going but for some strong defending, we would have been in serious trouble. We gradually came into the game and got the scoreboard moving.
We were not a clinical in front of goal as we were in the semi-final; as a result we were never able to open a sizable lead. We had a 1 point lead at the break – 0-5 to 0-4.
The management took the half time break to try and compose the lads, who were strangely subdued. These are normally a noisy, busy bunch but we felt that the occasion was overpowering them. The second half started like the first. Our opponents took the game to us and scored a goal straight away. Things did not look good but at least we had time to rectify the situation.
We again crawled our way back into the game and a stunning goal from Dara McCormick gave us a lead we never surrendered. The last quarter was end to end, with many chances being created and missed by both teams. The excitement on the bank was to behold and I’m completely convinced that our supporters pushed us over the line!
A major plus for us was the performances of our younger players. Cian Lynch contributed 2 points, Cathal O’Donovan with 1 point. I don’t think anyone ran more than Ewan Clarke! Barry O’Mahony took over seamlessly from him late on. Zach Coughlan lasted the full game as did Kieran May and their contributions were huge – well done lads. Sam Foy took over midfield duties from his brother towards the end and played wonderfully well as he has all season. It must be said that our experienced campaigners all stepped up be it in the backs, midfield or forwards – they know who they are and a big well done!
Aaron Clarke suffered a nasty ankle injury during the game and is in a boot for the next couple of weeks – speedy recovery Aaron and congratulations on a fine season. To our loyal supporters, thank you most sincerely for your efforts all year and we were delighted to finish the season with a trophy for ye all!
I have to mention our manager/ coach – Stephen Keane assisted by Seamus O’Flynn. There is no doubting those two mens dedication and drive without which this season would have ended a long time ago.
Our captain, Eoin O’Flynn, accepted the winning shield on behalf of the team from Patrick Andrews, stepping in for the Rebel Og East Chairman, Liam Shanahan, otherwise engaged. This was our last U12 fixture of the year and what a year it has been!
Panel:Josh Bartlett, Kieran May, Robert Barrett, Zach Coughlan, Aiden Brady, Ewan Clarke, Michael Foy, Dara McCormick, Ferdia Hayes, Aaron Clarke, Sam Foy, Eoin O’Flynn, Cian Lynch, Cathal O’Donovan, Barry O’ Mahony, Conor Coleman, Nigel O’Sullivan-Kearney, Shane O’Mahony, Evan Twomey, Harry O’Leary.
The victorious u12 Football Panel after beating Lee Gaels in the final in Shanbally, 15/10/17.