The U11 Athgarvan team have enjoyed an amazing run of success and can now look forward to a County Final to be played in the County Grounds (St Conleths Park) in Newbridge on Saturday 19th June against the winners of the Ballymore vs Castledermot semi final.
After a slow start in 2009, this team won its last five matches that year, securing promotion from Div 4 to Div 3 in the process. And, despite facing tougher opposition, they have now completed an 11 match unbeaten streak in competitive competion with six wins out of six in Div 3 this year.
After receiving a forfeit from Ballyteague, the U11′s opening match saw a very hard fought victory over Castledermot in which Jordan Nolan scored both goals in a 2-2 to 1-3 victory. The best players on the night were full back Matthew Barker, who made two vital goal saving blocks and had the bruises to show for it, corner back Oliver Clinton who hoovered up loose ball, centre back Eimhin Conroy who drove the team forward from the middle of the park and Harry Arkwright who worked tirelessly at half forward.
Next up was Allenwood and this was another tight encounter ending up with a 4-3 to 4-2 win in a match in which both James (Galvin and Manning) excelled in their respective positions of half forward and corner back.
Ballymore away started brightly with three quick goals from Kayleigh Humphries, Ferghal O’Mahoney and Jenny Kelly, but Athgarvan were under the cosh for the remainder of the half and trailed 2-7 to 3-0 after five minutes of the second half. Some tactical changes saw the new attacking half back line of Cian Butler, Ross Fallon and JJ Acton dominating possession, with the result that Athgarvan were on top for the remainder of the half scoring 4-3 to no reply, with an excellent finish from Brogan Lyons for one of the goals. The final score was an 11 point win by 7-3 to 2-7, with nine different scorers for Athgarvan.
Milltown away was next up and are always tough, but with Cian Gobbitt and JB Murphy as usual winning everything in midfield and Calum Sourke and Conor Maguire performing well in the back line in front of the excellent keeper Ryan Leahy, Athgravan ran out comfortable winners 3-5 to 0-3.
Athgarvan saved their best performance til last with a convincing 5-7 to 1-0 victory over Monasterevin. Fionn Moran, Jack Ryan and Rob Croft all came on and did great work as forwards, while Katie Farrell starred as a half back in another excellent all round team performance.
Whatever happens in the County Final, everyone on the panel should be very proud of their achievements, and they deserve to enjoy the experience of playing in the County Grounds. Collectively and individually there has been tremendous improvement in the skill levels this season, and the team has grown in confidence and ability from game by game. They have worked hard in training and just occasionally listened!! Most importantly, they are a great bunch of kids who enjoy the sport and play the game in the right spirit. They have been a pleasure to coach, and the three mentors – Dave Clinton, Tom Moran and Jason Morris – are very grateful to all the parents for the great support that the team has received – we hope that it has been fun for everyone involved.