Cúchulainn Gaels V Robertstown, Under 16 Division 4 Final

Cúchulainn Gaels Under 16 team snatched victory from the jaws of defeat with two dramatic last minute goals against Robertstown in the Division 4 final.
The team struggled from from the start against a physically imposing Robertstown side, however a never say die attitude saw them run out eventual winners on a scoreline of 5:07 to 2:10.
Earlier in the campaign, Robertstown had it all their own way against Gaels and on Monday last, things pretty much went their way for fifty five minutes. But as the old adage says; goals win games and boy, did that prove to be the case here.
The Gaels tagged over the first score through Conor Hyland and thereafter scores were exchanged evenly. Then it was centre forward Danny Scully who was put through by star man Kenneth Ennis to goal for Robertstown and up until half time, it was they who took the game to Gaels. Conor O’Loughlin tagged on two frees late on before full forward Richard Price scored a great ’45 for Robertstown, especially with the cross wind that threatened to ruin this game at times.Half time;Robertstown 1-6 Gaels 0-6.
The second half saw Robertstown extend their lead to six points, with two from Scully and another from Price. A free from O’Loughlin reduced the deficit to five.

A penalty for Robertstown, converted by Price put Robertstown almost out of reach. However Gaels responded instantly with a quick move up the middle before Hyland drilled the ball home to remind Robertstown that the game was very much alive and still up for grabs.

Moments later O’Loughlin worked hard out on the end line before unleashing the ball to the net. Robertstown responded with a point to keep them three in front. Shane Smith kicked a fine point for Gaels soon after.

As the game headed into the final five minutes, substitute Jay Corraway popped up to ram home a third goal for Cuchulainn Gaels. A minute later Dean Frehill rattled in another one to put Gaels in front for the first time since the twelfth minute. As full time loomed, another Gaels attack found Stuart Duffy on the end of a deflected Corraway shot, and Duffy deftly stroked the ball past the helpless Danny Walsh in the Robertstown goals. Dream time for Cuchulainn Gaels Gaels while Robertstown suddenly found their day turning into a nightmare. Enthralling, if you were a neutral.

Cúchulainn Gaels: D Leahy, M Howard, S Maughan, D Whelehan, S Duffy, D Dunne, C Doolin, C O’Loughlin, S Smyth, D Hickey, C Hyland, C Mulholland, D Frehill, J MacDonagh, D Gilbert. Subs; J Corraway, H Shiels, J Behan, A Maguire, R Lyons, K Fitzgerald.

Robertstown: D Walsh, O Hogarty, S McNamee, R Percival, C Lyons, C Moran, DJ Hogan, C O’Sullivan, K Ennis, A Goulsbury, D Scully, D O’Brien, D Jessop, R Price, P Ward. Subs; N Moran, Z Murphy, A Hannafey, M Hannafey.U16

Cúchulainn Gaels suffered out first defeat of 2012 when taking on last years Féile B winners in St Conleths Park on Sunday 22nd April. . It was the first time that most of our players lined out on Kildare GAA’s most sacred sod, based on today’s performance many of them will be back there in the not too distant future.

An early Balyna point was cancelled out by Ryan Moran before Cormac O’Mahoney finished a strong run through the middle with a powerfully struck goal to put the Gaels 1:01 to 0:01 ahead. The physically stronger Balyna side then took control of the game and piled pressure on the Gaels defence with some forceful running. Jordan Kaye, Luke Barry and Enda McSweeney defended valiantly; but could not prevent Balyna from scoring six unanswered points.

The Gaels were then denied a penalty when Robert McGrath was dragged down inside the large square; the referee inexplicably awarded a free from the 13m line. Cormac O’Mahoney pointed the free, shortly afterwards the Gaels were in unlucky when a shot from Robert McGrath came back off the crossbar.

As the rain poured down, Balyna stepped it up a gear, scoring three more points before Ross Fallon broke through for a fantastic individual goal for the Gaels as the break approached. The Balyna full forward then broke through the Gaels defence but his goal bound shot was saved brilliantly by Daniel Cawley in the Gaels goal to keep it 0:10 to 2:02 in favour of Balyna as the half time whistle sounded.

The second half turned out to be a cracker as the game ebbed and flowed, the balance of power changing as often as the weather did during an enthralling thirty minutes. Ryan Moran reduced the margin to a single point before a high ball into the square from Robert McGrath was fumbled by the Balyna goalkeeper, Fergal O’Mahoney was on hand to toe poke it to the net putting the Gaels ahead by two points. The next ten minutes was end to end stuff, both teams gave it everything, but both defences held out to prevent scores. Stephen Keogh, Josh Clinton and Callum Sourke were outstanding during this period and gave everything they had.

A very harsh call against Cormac O’Mahoney resulted in a Balyna ‘free’ which was taken quickly resulting in a goal. Balyna won the game in the next five minutes scoring four consecutive points to go five clear. Cúchulainn Gaels showed their spirit and continued to battle on. Cormac O’Mahoney scoring a superb goal to leave just two between the sides again with just three minutes to go. As the Gaels pushed forward in search of a winning goal, Balyna broke out of defence and swept down the field, a blistering shot at goal was deflected over the bar by Daniel Cawley.
The Gaels continued to battle on in search of a goal, however the final whistle sounded with a 1:15 to 4:03 win for Balyna.

One highlight of the game was the tackling of the Gaels defence, on numerous occasions they executed a perfect tackle to dispossess the Balyna forwards, without fouling. Both teams deserve great credit for an outstanding game of football in what was, at times, awful conditions.

Well done to all players who took part throughout the Féile competition and to the team mentors Tom Moran and Tomas O’Mahoney. We look forward to the under 14 league with confidence.

Pictures from the final on the Balyna facebook page

CuChulainn Gaels will play Balyna GAA (Johnstownbridge) in the 2012 Feile Final next Sunday at 1.30pm in St. Conleth’s Park, Newbridge.

April 15th: Semi-final: Milltown 1-7 v CuChulainn Gaels 4-6

March 21st: CuChulainn Gaels 5-10 Confey 3-3;

Sunday March 11th: w/o v Suncroft

Sun March 4th: Cuchulainn Gaels 3-9 V Leixlip 1-1

Sun 26 Feb: Round Towers 2-8 V Cuchulainn Gaels 4-8 (Athgarvan & Kildangan)

Athgarvan’s U13 boys have reached the final of the Division 2 South Board. Playing as CuChulainn Gaels, alongside Kildangan GAA, they face Milltown in the FINAL next Weds Oct 5th in BALLYKELLY Gaa (Monsaterevin). Their results to date are below.

18 Sept 2011: CuChulainn Gaels 2:05 Ellistown 1:04

31 August 2011: Round Towers 2:04 Cúchulainn Gaels 0:12

24 August 2011 Suncroft 1:04 Cúchulainn Gaels 1:10

17 August 2011 Cúchulainn Gaels 5:13 Monasterevan 5:03