English Super Cup Day 2   07/08/2018


            THURSDAY 26TH JULY 2018

It is safe to say that this is the earliest that most of us have been up since school but nobody is complaining.

Rise & Shine! Bright & Early!

We are togged out in our playing gear and walk up to the Maxwell Dining Hall for breakfast for 8.00am. This is where we will take all our meals while here.

We are met by the friendly staff who give us a warm welcome. One of them wants to immediately adopt Keelan. It is gas to see Keelan taking immediate evasive action to stay out of her way. But our boys have made a very favourable first impression.

Breakfast is cereal, juice, toast, croissants and tea/coffee. It is grand.

We are also given our packed lunch for the day. A sandwich, fruit, a bag of crisps (not a tayto in sight), a small packet of 3 biscuits and a bottle of water. Grand but requests to keep the sandwiches plain and simple fell on deaf ears. Too many egg mayonnaise, too many tuna & sweetcorn. Not enough ham, cheese & ham, even ham & chesse, chicken, keep it plain and simple!

Then outside where our Bus is waiting for us. Told you Michael was a gem!

Then we travelled through Manchester on the way to the Pitches which are in the University of Manchester’s Wythenshawe Sports Complex in Wythenshawe. It is a 25/30 minute journey. Isn’t the ADSL something else! Here we are attending our second different University and it is only Day 2!

Manchester is a dirty city. A lot of the grass verges are seriously overgrown and strewn with litter of several vintages and all sorts. In places there are weeds growing up though the footpaths. A lot of rubbish and litter about the place. A general impression of neglect among a host of derelict abandoned red brick buildings that saw better days mixed with a host of shiny new huge buildings with any number of high rise cranes dotting the sky. Pity that somebody could not pick up the litter or cut the grass! Boxer would not let that happen!

Anyway we were soon at the Pitches. Wow! A sprawling area of pitches as far as the eye could see. 90 acres apparently! A large complex of dressing rooms etc (and a pavilion for the Hodson Bay boys) and a huge tented village selling everything you might want and at least 2 ice cream vans! Heaven!

And they would be needed. It is just after 10.00am and it is blazing hot. Factor 50 time folks! And loads of water! This is going to be a scorcher!

Then we put up the Gazebo with the help of Parents who are already here. “So, that is what a Gazebo is!” We then put up the tricolour. This is our base. Our HQ. Our stand. A tiny bit of England that will be forever Irish for the next four days or so!

Each team has two games each today. That is 8 games!  Long day in the sun! The U-12’s are both in 6 Team Groups. The U-13’s are each in 4 Team Groups.

Let the games begin!

    U-12 – ADSL TIGERS 1  :  Jogabolafutsal (Eng)  3

O boy!

Welcome to the English Super Cup!

Even though we have picked two even sides we thought we were putting out 2 strong sides. And we are. This is a strong team but we were totally outplayed here.

Their first touch and their technique are just worlds removed from ours. The only reason we were still scoreless at half-time was because James was simply sensational in goal.

James will be disappointed with the 3 he did concede in the second half but honestly only for him it would easily have been 9 or 10! We never gave up, showed huge heart and character, fought and battled and did get a goal back from Destiny but we were totally outplayed.

A serious reality check!

     U-13 – ADSL SAINTS  2 :   SFC Manchester  8

The theme continues! That does read 8!

We conceded early but were soon on level terms. When Ryan put in a fabulous free kick for Cameron (or Crouchy) to head home at the back post for 1-1 all looked well with the world.

But they were too big, too strong, too powerful, too good.  We had no answers.

More than a few were looking at each other. It was unsaid but all were wondering just what have we let ourselves in for!

It has to get better! Right? Wrong!

     U-12- ADSL LIONS 2  :  Pro Soccer Academy  6

This one was hard to take because we deserved better.

We went 1-0 down but Fola put us back on level terms. 1-1. We then conceded from a free kick that should never have been given and conceded again to turn around 3-1 down at half-time.

We were much better in the second half and played some good stuff rewarded when good work by Tommy and Fola created a chance powerfully finished by Cathal for 3-2. We were now well on top and looked like scoring next but a simply dreadful offside decision gave them a goal for 4-2 which just knocked the stuffing out of us. We fell apart after that. This is hard work in boiling heat.

We need a win from somewhere.

       U-13 – ADSL SAINTS  4 : Pennine Juniors  2

That is more like it!

And full marks to the Saints bouncing back from shipping 8 to get a deserved win. Com’on you Saints!

Cameron got his second of the day for a 1-0 lead. Brandon added a second for 2-0 but they got one back for a 2-1 lead at half-time.

They equalised early in the second half for 2-2 but another Cameron goal put us 3-2 up and a second Brandon goal put the result beyond doubt for a badly needed win. Up and running?

   U-12 – ADSL LIONS   4  :  Athletico Failsworth 0

Now we are sucking diesel!

Full marks again for bouncing back from this morning.

Destiny put us 1-0 up and frankly we should have had 3 penalty kicks in that first half alone. The standard of refereeing has not been very good but thankfully we are well on top and playing well.

Into the second half and Adam K puts us 2-0 up. Adam deserved that good goal as he has played very well in two games today. East Galway can be very proud. We finally got a Peno, put away by Kealan for 3-0 with Kealan adding a second before the end for a good win.

We still needed a few usual miracle saves from James but we expect that now.

   U-12 – ADSL LIONS v Manchester United Girls

The Lions are very disappointed that the Manchester United Girls withdrew from the competition this morning.

Apparently their manager is a bit of a petulant whinger and refused to start the season as he was not given sufficient funds to add to the Squad. No new signings and he was whinging from a height! And he was expected to play the ADSL Lions who had brought in Eoin from Canada and Junior from Ballinasloe and Jeffrey for an outrageous fee from St. Francis. The manager threw a hissy fit and withdrew his Squad! That could never happen in Man U!!

The Lions were disappointed. It was an opportunity to play Manchester United even if they were girls. That was a source of disappointment by itself. A few had gone to a lot of trouble this morning to be ready. A shower, a spray of deodorant, a splash of aftershave. One fella even had the temerity, the audacity to ask Kyle G to borrow some gel! There are some things you just do not mess with! But it showed courage and intent!

Still it goes down as a win for the Lions!

Hey! The ADSL Lions beat Manchester United!

Meanwhile the U-13 ADSL Scholars had to wait until the afternoon to play their 2 games. By now the sun was blazing out of a clear blue cloudless sky with temperatures edging above 30 degrees.

But the Scholars were worth waiting for.  

   U-13 – ADSL SCHOLARS  4 :  Winsford United  2

It was a 2.15pm kick off for the Scholars first game against the local Winsford United Colts.

The Scholars dominated the early stages, playing well to dominate the game but a poor back pass gifted the local side a 1-0 lead. Shortly after another defensive howler gifted a second chance which to be fair was brilliantly finished for 2-0 and a lead that stood to half-time.

The Scholars showed huge pride and character in the second half. Kyle and Tadhg were immense at the back. Mark was just sensational. Adam K was magnificent. But all over the pitch the Scholars just rose to the challenge.

A great ball from Kyle picked out Adam K who surged into the box and scored from an acute angle. 1-2. Another powerful Adam run was ended only by a foul and a penalty. Eoin did the needy scoring to make it 2-2. There would be only one winner now. They left it late for added effect but two goals from Daniel secured a simply fantastic win.

What a performance in difficult conditions.

This game was also remarkable for a once in a lifetime experience. Like one of those rare comets. Or hen’s teeth. Something you expect to see once only in a lifetime. But it happened here. Yes, Aodhan gave the ball way! Shocking I know but as well to get it out of his system but it shocked those of us who have watched Aodhan play down the years! I know he was sick this morning but we never thought we would ever witness this unique event!

However the Scholars had little time to dwell on it as they were soon back in action.

U-13  ADSL SCHOLARS  3 :  Shawclough Rangers 2

Another epic performance by the Scholars as the day seemed to get just hotter and hotter.

Eoin scored from the spot to put the Scholars 1-0 up but a sloppy equaliser left it 1-1 at half-time.

We were playing all the football and creating loads of chances but just could not put them away. Finally we took one. Keelan was superb in the build up and put in a fantastic low cross finished to the net by Eoin for a goal made in Ballinasloe. 2-1. And it looked like enough.

But we almost immediately let them back with a sloopy goal bourne of fatigue in the searing heat.

Somehow these boys found it within themselves to dig deep and go win the game for a third time. We were rewarded with a penalty for a clear handball and Eoin held his nerve to score for a hat-trick and also his third penalty goal of the day.

That’s two wins from two for the Scholars. Again Mark was superb. Cian was amaing. Where does he get the energy? Keelan was only  fantastic and Eoin was well... Eoin. Excellent.

A great way to finish the day. There was still copious amounts of ice cream, slushies and even some water to be consumed. Somebody also discovered the donut stall. And have you tried the Burger? The one with the onions that just dribble down your chin!

Eventually it was back aboard the bus for a singing competition. The U-13’s hold a 3-1 lead but the U-12’s responded with a mighty offering of “Kyle Greene– How much Gel do you want?” In desperation the U-13’s replied with a ditty about Josh’s lovely hair only to be outdone by the 12’s enquiring of the 13’s as to how much silverware they have won! We even got a bar or two of “Aodhan Curran – He pukes when he wants!”

It was great fun and soon we were back in Salford University and went straight to the Dining Hall for dinner. We were starving and little was left behind.

Then to stagger back to the Rooms still in the blistering evening sun for a shower and then some free time which most spent in the Games Room. Good fun.

Meanwhile it emerges that Adam K has left his Runners behind him. This first occurred to him some time after he had been walking around in his bare feet! Now there’s a surprise! Never would have put Adam down for that!

Both age groups then had Team Meetings. There was also a vote as to whether we would go to Old Trafford or Man City. The players voted. Man City won. Jose is raging!

Gear was given out for the following day.

Each team has one match apiece tomorrow. The Scholars play at 11.15am but everyone else plays in the afternoon so it was decided that the Scholars would travel in on their own with the other 3 Teams following later rather than hanging about in the searing heat. That is only possible because of our driver – Michael. A gentleman. Thanks Michael.

A few had to go to Physio. David worked his magic even if a few notably Keelan did not appear to immediately appreciate it all. He squirmed and cried out like a girl shattering his hard man Ballinasloe image!

Then it was off to bed. After a long hard day sleep should come easily tonight. Would not bet a whole lot on that tough!

Still have the full compliment of 45!


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