Malta Diary Update 2013-04-01 21:56:00

The planned day-trip to Gozo did not happen. There was difficulty in rounding up a team to play us out there. That is understandable. If we had got a request to put out a team on Easter Sunday morning to play a visiting team in a friendly we would struggle.

The Go Karting was arranged as an alternative and just about everyone was happy with that decision. It was great fun even if it started badly.

Brian Derwin gave us all more than a bit of a fright. He obviously wanted to take his Kart home with him and got as far as the car park until his progress was rather abruptly interrupted by our parked bus! Happily, and a few bumps and bruises and a cut lip apart, he was thankfully fine. Brian may not get the keys to the auld Hiace for a while yet!

The lads and some of the coaches raced off in four heats before four graded finals based on those times giving everybody loads of track time. It was mighty craic.

Ben Troy, Kieran Colclough, Joe Carmody and Oisin O'Meara were the winners of the graded finals with Joe Carmody the fastest overall piping Oisin by all of 0.05 of a second! Joe's Dad had earlier shouted at him " he drove like his mother!" (I'm sure that could be interpreted as an insult but was probably intended as a compliment!) The winners were all presented with trophies in true Grand Prix style. It was a fantastic way to spend a glorious afternoon and was hugely enjoyed by everyone.

After that it was back to the hotel for more Pool time followed by dinner and in the evening we had a Table Quiz. The players were divided into five teams of six with the coaches making up a team. Sher did the questions thus ensuring plenty of good fun and as much controversy and contention.

There were a few bizarre questions and a few quality answers. Answer of the night went to Callum's team who had his team answer the question - " What demands an answer but never asks a question" with the answer "Aoife" - his sister! We are sorry Aoife but we don't think he meant it and you can get him back when he gets home with a few questions of your own!

The Quiz was won on a tiebreaker by the Coaches. They were probably cheating but we will also probably never hear the end of this!

Then it was off to bed at the end of another truly fantastic day in Malta.

DAY 6 - MONDAY 1ST APRIL 2013 (APRIL FOOL'S DAY)

It was back to business today but given the day that was in it there was plenty of pranks, good and bad, doing the rounds. Who would have thought that Suarez was joining Utd at the end of the season with Nani and Valencia going the other way?

Today was another beautiful day but very windy to start. We were down early for breakfast with each team playing once today. The Scholars are first in action at 11.00am followed by the Saints at 2.00pm. A big day!

ADSL SCHOLARS 2 : MOSTA 1

The Scholars made it three wins from three with a hard fought victory over last year's beaten finalists.

The Scholars are flying and playing very well and produced some great football in this game. They started well and were almost in front after 11 minutes. Harry played a great ball into Ben Cox who spun his marker but his shot came back off the bottom of the post. Minutes later Ben turned provider playing out a super pass to Conor Farrell but his shot was well saved.

The Scholars hit the front on 18 minutes. It was a slick passing move ending with Conor Farrell down the left driving in a super low cross finished bravely at the back post by Conor Layng for 1-0. (It is easy to see why WBA pay him all that money!). It was a great finish and a great goal.

The Scholars were going well. Daniel and Niall are like rocks at the back; Kieran Colclough was sensational at right back while Cormac Gavin was having another stormer in midfield alongside Harry.

The game however was thrown back into the melting pot (and it was now melting heat) when Mosta scored direct from a free-kick just two minutes after half-time to make it 1-1. They are a good side and their No. 6 is sensational and is reputed to have been already over at Liverpool.

The Scholars however went for the win. Cormac set up Conor Farrell for a chance that was saved at the near post with big Niall Murray coming close with a header from the resulting corner.

Fifteen minutes in we were ahead again. Harry had a good shot blocked but Conor Layng was quickest to collect the pieces and then played a super pass for Ben Cox to score a great goal for a 2-1 lead.

We comfortably saw out the game. Cialan came in and did well again this time at left back; Luke K was a constant menace down the right and Callum did well in another good performance and with a win that should see then qualify for the semi-finals.

The Scholars then went off for lunch while the Saints prepared for their game having taken their pre-match during the Scholars match.

ADSL SAINTS 0 : PIETA HOTSPURS 3

Nothing seems to be running right for the Saints.

They slumped to their third defeat but actually played very well and had the better and more chances in the game. In truth they might have been possibly three goals up before going behind.

They started very positively. Matthew Nally slid in a great ball for Brian Derwin (happily no worse for his timpiste yesterday) but his shot was well blocked in the early minutes. Conor Costello then released Brian on a great run only to be hauled down on the edge of the box for a free that came to nothing. Matthew Nally then had a good shot saved. Then in a great passing move Jonathon Moloney picked out Luke McClean who turned the ball inside for Joe Carmody who slided in a super pass for Brian Derwin only for his shot across goal to go narrowly wide.

The Saints had all the play and all the early pressure but then from their first meaningful attack they scored. We could have defended better but their big massive centre forward was more than a handful and he seized on the opportunity to score.

The Saints responded bravely. Brian was again out of luck with a great shot on the run. Our luck was really out and another defensive howler let the big striker in for a second goal in the 20th minute of the half. The Saints kept playing and might have got one back before the break with another good move with Luke McClean helping the ball out to Adam Neary to cross for Joe Carmody charging into the box only to see his shot saved off the upright.

It was all very tough and rough on the Saints. They scored from their two attacks while we played all the football.

It did not get any better in the second half. Conor Lynam's shot almost caught out their keeper but that was as good as it ever got. Heads were falling in the wilting heat and was not helped when midway through the half the big striker completed his hat-trick for a 3-0 lead.

The Saints did keep trying but nothing it seemed would fall for them. They are due a break.

After the games we headed straight to St.Julians and to do a bit of shopping. It was more a bit of looking as not much was bought. A few of the lads did meet an Umpa Loom Pa! (You know the little lads from Willy Wonka!).

Then it was back to the Hotel for dinner and then some rest time about the hotel. A few watched the QPR -V- Fulham game while Seamus was also very busy and much in demand as the six days so far take their toll.

It is another big day tomorrow with the last Group games. The Scholars will be looking for top spot and a place in the semi-finals while everyone is hoping that the Saints can cut a break and get some reward for all their effort and endeavour.

Otherwise all are well and happy. Good night from Malta.

 





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