Kennedy Cup Day 5   17/06/2018


            THURSDAY 14TH JUNE 2018

The first day of the 2018 World Cup would be our last day in the 2018 Kennedy Cup.

We started with good intentions. Up for 8.00 for a shower and breakfast, then collect our kit, then into the Team Meeting for 9.30am and all ready to go for our 10.30am kick-off.

Galway would not usually be playing this early on a Thursday and have made a Final and a number of semi-finals in recent years. It is bizarre to think they finished fourth in their Group. I suppose a bit like ourselves only they will truly know the back story as to how they finished fourth. Very few will look beyond the bare results to see what actually went on.

We know they are a very good team and we know we have a very tough game this morning. However it is a Trophy semi-final and we want to be playing in that Final tomorrow. We do not want to be playing again this afternoon.

            ADSL     2     :   GALWAY LEAGUE    4

You could say that this game was ruined by the wind and you might have a point but the truth of it is that they were just too big and too powerful for us.

We played with the very strong wind in the first half and at worst needed to be turning around to face the elements at least on level terms.

In truth there was little between the teams in that first half save and except a crucial Galway goal. That goal arrived after just seven minutes. It was a cross from the right finished at the back post.

We had our chances. Rian almost bounced one over their keeper; a Jason C corner kick almost went in; then from another great Jason C corner there was a bit of a scramble and the ball was hacked off the line. Then in the last minute of the half when a dangerous Jason C free kick caused mayhem with Sam’s stabbed shot deflected for a corner kick.

We needed a good start to the second half and thought we had got it with a penalty for a fairly blatant handball but the Referee was having none of it. We needed a break like that.  

We battled away against the strengthening wind but for no reward and this game was put beyond us when they scored twice in three minutes in the 8th and 11th minute of the second half. They too might have had a penalty.

It was hard to see any way back from 0-3 but these ADSL boys refused to give up. Sam made a surging drive up the middle and played the ball to Shane H who put in a scintillating pass for Danny to race onto and then score with a driving shot into top right corner. It was great to see Danny finally get one for all his hard work. So, 1-3!

For a few fleeting minutes an unlikely come back seemed possible but that faint hope was extinguished with a fourth Galway goal with just five minutes remaining.

Again the ADSL boys kept at it and got a measure of minor compensation when Jason C converted a penalty kick to leave the final score at 4-2.

Again a huge disappointment.

We are now left to battle it out for 27th/28th Position this afternoon on Pitch 7 the Astro-Turf at 4.00pm and against the Roscommon League who lost to Drogheda this morning.

Back for Lunch. Lasagne with potato wedges and mixed salad and some rice. Abdul has really trained Rory well!

Then it time for an hours’ rest before our Team Meeting. Abdul slept it out. Obviously his long hours of toil in the kitchen have finally got up. He was even later than Shane H!

We want to win our last game. We are conscious that this will be our last game together as a Group. We will go different ways – into Athlone Under-15’s, or stay with our Clubs. A few will drift away altogether. Either way it is our last game as a Group and we want to win it.

We had to get the shuttle bus out to the Astro-Turf pitches on the North Campus for this game. We had a bit of fun with the West Cork boys on the way out. When our game started there was nearly more people on the pitch than there was watching it. The joys of a high stake 27th/28th Place Play-Off!

A brilliant warm-up by David L got us going in a serious way.

      ADSL     2    :    ROSCOMMON LEAGUE     0

Well, they missed a great game.

David McH asked us before the game to show all that we had learned in the last number of years. We did that. We played some great football. Phases of passing. Plenty of “Up, Back and Through”. Great movement, on and off the ball. Retaining possession. Winning it back quickly. It was great football.

But we could not score.

We had an early goal ruled out for offside; good play by our captain Brian put Joseph in to race clear of the defence but his shot was well saved. Their keeper made another great save to again deny Joseph but it was scoreless at the break.

We made 8 changes at the break and 2 more during the second half to make sure that everyone played in this last game.

We took the lead 14 minutes in. Biyi played out a super ball to Shane H who exploded down the right flank and then put in a superb low cross for Danny to finish. 1-0.

We almost made it 2 in the next minute. Biyi’s shot was parried but only as far as Jason C       who put it back in with the ball somehow scrambled off the line. Eoghan then had a good shot well saved.

We did make it 2 on 19 minutes. Again Shane H was the creator putting in an excellent low cross for Rian to score at the back post.

It should have been 3 when a great passing move involving Eoghan, Jason C and Rian saw the ball fell to Shane H but he took his point from under the crossbar!!

We were happy with our win. It was good to finish with a win.

Dermot made the mistake of squirting a few with water. Now that it is a schoolboy error! He was soaked with Zak scoring a direct hit!

We then had our huddle and a few significant words. That was emotional.

There was some time with parents. Sam got a hug!

Then it was back on the bus this time with the Wicklow boys.

Back at base we had dinner. Chicken curry and rice. Plates were licked clean.

Then down time.

There was football tennis. The FIFA Tournament is making slow progress. Fortnight carries on endlessly.

Then we said goodbye to David Lynch, our physio. David has been brilliant. He plays with the Clare stick fighting team but he has been brilliant with us. He became an important member of the Team very quickly and his Warm-ups are just legendary. He got on very well with everyone and his skill, professionalism and brilliant rapport with the lads was very evident.

We wish David the very best for his future with Clare and as a physio. He goes on placement with Porto in September and they are very lucky to have him. We are all now supporting Clare and Porto in the Champions League.

Thanks David for everything!

By then it was time for pizza!

Not sure where fellas put it but this was organised by Shane H and was good.

Then more FIFA, more Fortnite, more good fun well into the early hours for some, even later for others!

A good night all round and another reason we will fondly remember this week.


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