Cork Schoolboys Blackwater Motors U12 Division 7.
Passage A 1 Kinsale A 3.
On a day that was more associated with the poor weather at the start of the year, these two teams overcame the conditions and provided an exciting game of football that had goals, copiously amounts of skill and oodles of determination. Kinsale to their credit were, at the end of 60 minutes, worthy winners as they had a little greater desire to win every ball and managed the elements more efficiently than the home side.
Referee Pat Cronin’s whistle gave Kinsale the signal to attack and they did relentlessly for the opening 10 minutes. But, this Passage team is built on a rock solid defence led by the commanding Andrew O’Mahony, proficiently assisted by Dennis O’Brien and Ryan Snow. Stand in goal keeper Emmet Stapleton was quick off his line to mop up any loose ball that got in behind the back 3. Unfortunately a well delivered corner a feature of the visitors play resulted in a scramble in the penalty box and Kinsale’s number 8 Euan Tobin, reacting quicker than everyone else fired home from close range.
This didn’t distress the home side and in fact prompted a spell of positive play from the U12’s. Constructive play and ambition from the trio of Jack Kelleher, Mark Lester and Adam Kavanagh saw the visitor’s rear guard sternly tested but they held firm to keep Passage scoreless. Kinsale had a very strong core to their team and they punished Passage before the half time whistle utilising the space after a Passage attack to get clear of the midfield and set up their number 8 once more to double their advantage.
Justified leaders at the break were Kinsale, as their hunger for the breaking ball was stronger than their hosts.
The second half hadn’t started long when, after a full length dive to push away a Kinsale pile driver, captain and stand in keeper Emmet Stapleton was forced reluctantly to leave the field. Reorganizing saw Tadhg Killen take over the gloves and gave a performance that suggested he was the natural net minder. Ryan Snow moved into the defensive midfield role and Luke Prout took over at left full. Both players insured that the balance of the team was preserved albeit they were playing in unconventional positions for them. Kinsale put a little further daylight between themselves and the home side when Euan Tobin completed his hat trick putting them 3 nil up.
Cheered on by a vocal home support Passage heads didn’t drop. Kinsale began to tire and the unselfish running of Cian James and Vuc Babic created several openings that cried out for a positive touch for a home player to convert to give Passage a sporting chance to get something out of the game. Dillon Patterson’s trade mark play on the wing ultimately unlocked the Kinsale defence and Jack Kelleher reaped the reward the home side richly deserved. Pushing forward for the remaining minutes Passage couldn’t reduce the deficit and when Pat Cronin blew his full time whistle, the 3 points where heading out of Rockenham Park and helping Kinsale in their pursuit of the league title.
On reflection, this was a great effort against one of the top three teams in this division. Kinsale have a very strong spine to their team with players like George Webb ,Cian O’Callaghan and Tom Foley but the lads displayed at times an ability to match the best in this division. They need to show a greater desire to win the ball when not in possession and a belief in their own ability. With a frantic few weeks coming up with midweek matches this game will be a good foundation to allow the U12 A team maintain a positive position in the league table.
Special mention should go out to Tadhg Killen and Ryan Snow who were superb in their untraditional positions but they steadied the ship when it was needed. Thank you to referee Pat Cronin who facilitated the game allow it be open and sporting.
Cork Schoolboys Blackwater Motors U12 Division 3.
Kilreen Celtic 3 Passage United 3.
A last minute equaliser denied the Boys a win in a game that was end to end from the kick off.
Passage went in front 3 times and 3 times the hard working and brave Kilreen clawed their way back into the game.
Cillian Hanlon struck a post in the opening minutes and then Tomasso Parisi gave Passage an early lead after some sustained pressure on the Kilreen goal. Kilreen equalised soon after just as it appeared that we were getting a grip on the game.
Conall O Callaghan restored the lead and we really should have put the game to bed but again hesitation in closing down the opposition allowed for a second equaliser.
Alex Linehan scored an absolute screamer to make it 3-2 late on but a lack of concentration cost us again and Kilreen equalised with a great strike of their own.
The lads were the better team on the day and everyone was disappointed going home as we knew we should have killed the game off. There was some great passing and movement going forward from this talented young team and they will learn that they need to be ruthless when they are on top to reap their just rewards.
Man of the Match
Eoghan Farrell. Quick ,Brave and Skilful. Not to mention hard working!
Fionn Roussel, Favour Nidgebus, Sam Onah, Leo Parata, Conall O Callaghan, Alex Linehan, Eoghan Farrell, Tomasso Parisi, Cillian Hanlon, Jerry, Daniel Akinsanya
Cork Schoolboys Joma/Sports Gear Direct U16 League Division 3.
Carrigaline A 0 Passage 4.
Passage won an entertaining match against Carrigaline with 2 goals in each half to win 4-0.
Carrigaline had two great chances in the first half to take the lead but shot wide both times. Once Passage got used to the speed of the ball on the surface they started creating plenty of chances.
Jack Stapleton had the best two early ones but shot narrowly over before James Kenny opened the scoring with a cool finish into the corner. Just before half time Conor Lester made a great run into the box resulting with the keeper saving his shot, but Jack followed the rebound and finished low into the corner to put Passage 2-0 up at half time.
Passage remained on top in the second half and after more solid defending Sam Dent playing a great ball into the penalty area for James Kenny to volley towards goal. The ball fell to Finbar Mansbridge who made a good run into the box from midfield and made no mistake with his shot to go 3-0 up.
Cathal Maloney finished the scoring with a low drive from outside the area to give the keeper no chance. A deserved win as Passage played some good football throughout the match.
Man of the Match went to Sam Dent for his strong performance in the centre of defence that helped keep the clean sheet.