Under 12's win league

November 8, 2018

U12 Football -v- Ballinteer St Johns
This was Naomh Olafs final match and if won, meant that Naomh Olaf would win the league.  The game started off slow, and both sides testing each other defences in the opening minutes.  However, nerves seem to get the better of the Naomh Olaf forward line and several attempts at scores ended up being kicked wayward and wide.  Ballinteer settled first and scored a well worked point moving the ball quickly from defence and pop the ball over for the first score of the game.  This gave Ballinteer hope, however Conor Watters and Aaron Walsh in defence threw in some magnificent tackles to prevent any further scores.  It was another couple of minutes before Olafs got off the mark and it was after a mix up between the Ballinteer goalkeeper and his defence that allowed Con O’Sullivan to sneak between them and tap the ball into the back of the net.  This score seemed to give Olafs a lift and they began to settle, however, the Ballinteer defense held tight snuffing out our forwards whenever they threatened to score.  The first half was coming to a close, when Nh Olaf midfielder, Keith Noonan broke free of two Ballinteer players, and slotted over the bar, to bring the score 1-1 to 0-1 in Naomh Olaf’s favour.

The second half, however, was a different game, and perhaps with their manager’s advise ringing in their ears, Naomh Olaf stormed out of the blocks and after 10 minutes of the restart, the game was all over.  At the break Nh Olaf made a few changes with Colm McKay being replaced with Dylan Daly and Aaron Walsh injured, Dara O’Connor came on and it was Dylan with his first touch of the ball, caught the keepers poor kick out and proceeded to lob the ball over his head for Olafs’ second goal.  From the subsequent kickout, the Olaf’s midfield returned the ball back into the Ballinteer full back line and Dylan had another chance of a score and this time he popped the ball over the bar.  The Olaf players smelt blood, and piled on the pressure, and when you wanted your forwards to step up a gear they did – with hassling and blocking the Ballinteer defence – not allowing them to clear their line, and still looking for the ball and getting out in front – well the full forward line of Jamie O’Malley, Craig Ronayne and Dylan Daly did just this – a pointed free from Jamie O’Malley extended the lead and another point from Conn O’Sullivan had the score 2-4 to 0-1 after just ten minutes.  However, Ballinteer were not done just yet but for great defending by Naomh Olafs back line lead by their captain Mark Doyle, Andrew Kyne Delaney and Dara O’Connor ensured that Ballinteer did not get that much needed life line.  Conor Watters and Chris Pollard stood shoulder to shoulder with their full back Oisin McDermott and nothing was going to get past them.  However, even when it did and our goalkeeper, Dillon Raffery, was beaten for the first time, Chris Pollard was on the line to make a magnificent catch just under the crossbar to prevent a certain goal.  From the resulting clearance however, Ballinteer succeeded in getting their second point of the day.  However this just annoyed the Olaf players and over the next few minutes further points were added by Jamie O’Malley, James O’Connor and Dylan Daly.  Score of the day game, came midway through second half, when Mark Doyle powered up the field from half back and broke through several tackles before blasting over the bar with the left foot.  Further scores for Olafs came from Sean Flynn who had replaced Craig Ronayne who had made the corner backs life a misery with his constant running and the last point for Olafs came from Conn O’Sullivan who pointed with a long range effort.  However Ballinteer had a late rally, and there was still defending to be done and James Kelly who had replaced Andrew Kyne Delaney halfway through second half, made an important tackle that prevented a certain Ballinteer goal.  Ballinteer did however get on the scoreboard again and ended the game with the last two scores of the game.  The final score was Naomh Olaf 2-12 Ballinteer St Johns 0-4.  There were several players who deserved to get the Man of the Match accolade, with Conor Watters and Mark Doyle in defence and Craig Ronayne and Dylan Daly causing mayhem up front, but for his overall work right through the game, and for his dominance in the middle of the park, Man of the Match was Keith Noonan.This team started back training last January, and trained almost 40 times in all kinds of weather.  Of a panel of 17 players, attendance at training was almost always 100% and credit to all the players for their commitment and effort – this commitment and effort paid off as they went unbeaten in the league for the whole year.  I would also like to thank Des Noonan, Shane Pollard, Donie McDermott and Joe Jackson for all their help during year.  This was a team effort both on the field and off and also a big thanks to all the parents that attended all our games this season – your support is so important.

Naomh Olaf team was Dillon Rafferty, Conor Watters, Oisin McDermott, Chris Pollard, Aaron Walsh, Mark Doyle, Andrew Kyne Delaney, Keith Noonan, Conn O’Sullivan, James O’Connor, Colm McKay, Craig Ronayne, Jamie O’Malley, Dara O’Connor, James Kelly, Dylan Daly and Sean Flynn.