The U15’s league campaign has been full of highs and lows. Being in Div. 1 has meant that every game was going to be a challenge and sometimes results went our way and sometimes not. All players that have been available have put more than 100% in and have really developed in terms of skill and reading the game. There always seems to be a bit of a ‘goal fest’ at times which is great for the spectator. Below is a short report on a game that I had the pleasure of watching. No doubt that London has plenty of talented players in this age group and bodes well for the next competition, the Championship and the future.
4.6.2018 U15 League Div. 1 Parnells GFC v Tara GFC
Two teams took to the field on a chilly and dull evening. But what wasn’t dull was the football that ensued. This new age group saw a bunch of developing players exhibit some exciting skill and determination but also stamina with end to end football.
From the throw in Taras took the initiative with a point scored from their half forward within the first minute. Under immediate pressure, Aiden Doran who marshalled the defence (and was always in the mix in three quarters of the field) alleviated the threat and got the ball up to midfield resulting in a free and taken by Ethan Roche making it 1-1. The game looked a promising spectacle and within the next 5 minutes further scores were added by Taras with their hard working midfield creating chances but Parnells continued to respond and Ronan Hutchins was involved in the action making himself available for kick outs and passes and was unlucky not to score with his free hitting the cross bar.
The game started to ebb in favour of Taras who had a lucky break with a goal resulting from a long range kick which just seemed to hop over Conor Griffin and in to the back of the net. Unfazed, Parnells responded with a quick point by 14. Just after this our lads faced a long period under pressure, but the defence worked hard and Matthew Sheridan used his physicality and read the game well breaking down Taras attacks. However, small handling errors and with the kick outs not reaching their target meant that Parnells were not winning the defence or midfield battle for a while and that led to Tara breaking play down and adding a number of a goal and 4 points within the space of 12 minutes. The score at half time was Parnells 1 – 01 Tara 3 – 11.
When the game resumed, Parnells made some positional changes and substitutions. The half time talk had made an impact. The lads were out to prove that this game was not over. A point by Luke Keane (who made some good runs on the wing in the second half) started the comeback and Ethan Roche sprang into action and was a ‘young man with a mission’ which was to SCORE! Within minutes he put the ball in the back of the net and over the bar. Tara were under pressure from a rejuvenated Parnells team and two further points were added by Ronan Hutchins and Ethan Roche.
Both sides made substitutions around the 10 minute mark. Tara steadied their ‘ship’ with a point and a goal but then it was a case of ‘anything you can do’ we’ll match that and the magnificent half forward, Ethan, yet again added to his score tally with another point and a goal. He was a revelation in the second half. However the scoring was temporarily halted with yet another Tara goal; they had woken up and were on the march again.
The last 10 minutes of the game saw scores from both sides with Parnells missing a couple of points but unfortunately with the damage of all the points in the first half from Tara it was difficult to close the gap. The final whistle saw the game finish Parnells 4 – 06 to Tara 7 – 16. What can be said is that if the side had matched their first half performance with how they played in the second half it would have been a closer game. This team certainly has the ability and more games will give them more confidence and belief. They should be happy with their overall performance but work on those parts of the game that will lead to improvements and hopefully wins in their remaining games.
Irene Sheridan (PRO)