Herbertstown v Croom United
Herbertstown winners of U13 Shield
Under 13 Division One
Herbertstown 3 - 1 Croom United

U13's Shield Champions 2015/2016

This Saturday our under 13's took to the field in their final game of the season against Croom .This was a winner takes all match as both teams had a chance of taking home the shield. The game started spritely and the instruction which was dished to the team before kick-off was very evident in the early stages, possession was bossed and several attacking sequences were executed one after another. Within the first 15 minutes all the play seemed to be heading one direction in search of the first goal and the Croom defence and keeper were not given a seconds rest, it seemed the ball which was being used must have been like a rock, as shot after shot deemed un-effective. After surviving the early onslaught Croom worked the ball down field and created a 1v1 inside our 18 yard box, our defender must have missed the pressing sessions we did during the season and lunged in toward the ball catching the opposing player and conceding a penalty.

It was Andrew vs the rock, the Croom player placed the ball and set himself for the strike, a decent connection was executed by the player but it seemed to lack enough power and Andrew saved well to keep us at 0-0. The next attack we put together was a very good move from back to front, the ball began with our fullback Dylan Hartnett who passed into our deep lying playmaker Harry Fox, Harry turned on his first touch expertly and spread the ball left to Ruairi Cahill. Ruairi attacked the inside shoulder of the Croom right full and passed into our attacking midfield centre Jake McNamara who nutmegged the centre half and on his second touch slid the ball between the other centre half and left back to the on rushing Patrick Bermingham. Patrick laid the ball to our number 9 David Curtin, who crashed a shot toward goal which just missed the crossbar and flew narrowly over. It belonged to the cow in the field behind the goal now, this provided the opportunity to change the football. Almost immediately the luck of the ball must have been shining on us, another sequence attack was strung together and it resulted in Jake McNamara cutting inside the fullback and entering the Croom 18 yard box, as Jake accelerated toward the end-line and was just about to square the ball across the goal to the underlapping run of Ruairi Cahill, Jake was clipped from behind by the Croom right full . A penalty was awarded and after achieving the penalty there was no other team-mate going to pry the ball from Jakes grasp.

Jake placed the ball on the spot and there was a distinct silence in Anthony Baggott park, the connection and power generated was exquisite and the ball nestled nicely to the top of the net. Finally the breakthrough had been made and a further two goals soon followed. Yet another unit attack was put together, Cole Maguire picked up the ball toward the final stages of this passage of play and delivered a fantastic cross seeking Patrick Bermingham who had drifted into the box between both Croom centre backs. What followed was sublime, a goal worthy of the Balon d'or. Patrick crashed the ball on the volley using the outside of his right foot into the top left hand corner of the net. Every onlooker was in awe, a few minutes later came our third goal where Joshua Creegan went on a dribble from right full ghosting past 3 Croom players and sliding the ball through to Patrick who squared the ball to David Curtin and he unleashed an unstoppable strike that hit the roof of the net. All three goals came within a 5-8 minute period. The halftime whistle was blown and it was time to address all the pro's and con's of the first half and get some water in.

A full circle of changes were made and we took to the pitch for the second half battle, Croom grew into the game much more and it seemed almost like roles were completely reversed. Croom laid siege on our goal and our defence and keeper had to be on full alert. Attack after attack brought out the resilient defensive work of our back 4 and goalkeeper who also worked very well as a unit out of possession. A number of very well timed interventions by Colin Kelly, Josh, Michael Franklin and Dylan Hartnett prevented constant shots on our goal. Colin showed a lot of leadership at the heart of our defence and put in a very solid performance for his team-mates. Never strayed from his zonal area and was tuned in to the workload he needed to contribute for his team. Croom pieced together a decent move, their man mountain midfielder troubled us at times with his direct running and Andrew had to be on his toes. Cian Shinners poked the ball toward goal around the 42'nd minute mark, only for a very sharp covering clearance by Michael Franklin off the line to keep the score as was. The next Croom attack resulted in this ball finding daisies in the field behind the goal and it was back to the rock we went. Croom were still ruthlessly on the attack, the ball was worked once again into our 18 yard box and we gave away a second penalty for a handball incident.

Once again it was Andrew vs the rock and once again a decent connection was made by the Croom player, which seemed to lack power and Andrew saved to his right. The pendulum swung for the next period and some of the players introduced started to shine, similar to the first half unit attacks were pieced together. Jake O Sullivan picked up the ball near the centre circle and passed to Mack Rayson Ward, who threaded the ball into the feet of Daniel Hennessey. Daniel performed a very confident 360, leaving two Croom defenders mesmerised and spreading the ball to Timmy Merrick. Timmy produced a double step over and executed a rebonna, whirling the ball into the path of our Jamie Vardy like striker. The heat map was off the scales in the sky sports studio and Jamie Keogh's movement was exquisite, anticipating the ball from Timmy, Jamie set off toward goal in a 1v1 with the Croom Keeper. As he reached the edge of the 18 yard box he let one go and it was a fantastic strike that almost stripped the paint off the far post but unfortunately was just wide. Following this attack we were approaching the closing stages of the game, Adam Boyle was causing huge problems for Croom down the wing with his direct running with the ball and passing to unlock the Croom defence. Croom then struck to bring the score to 3-1, a very good goal by the Croom team who never gave up right the way through and produced an excellent performance especially throughout the second half.

The fulltime whistle was blown and some just could not hold in their delight, a pitch invasion followed Peter, Paul, Dermot and William rushed at top speed toward Mike Hurley who was making his way down pitch with the shield and medals. Missing on the day was Jamie Kiely and Mark Ryan who were an integral part of the team all season. A big thank you to every player who has been involved right from the very first game to the last especially those from the u12 panel that played at various stages during the season. You have been an absolute credit to your parents and the work and dedication which has been shown by all is very much appreciated. This brings the curtain down on our under 13 2015/2016 season and collectively we will be in close support towards our other underage teams as they reach the final stretch of their seasons. H'on the town!!!!

31/03/2016 13:21