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U14s Crowned League Shield Champions

posted 28 Jul 2014, 06:55 by Cortoon Shamrocks   [ updated 28 Jul 2014, 08:48 ]
Congratulations to the under 14 team who were crowned Div 3 League Shield Champions after an exciting final against Menlough in Tuam Stadium on Sunday morning. A large crowd turned out to support them and they were treated to a great game of football. There were fantastic displays all over the pitch and most notably from Oisin O’Rourke, Hugh McDonagh, Daniel Carroll, and James Clarke. O’Rourke, playing at centre-back, covered a lot of ground and read the play brilliantly, breaking up many Menlough attacks. McDonagh put in a captain’s display, leading by example, and was a commanding figure in the centre of the park, using his height and strength to great effect. Clarke, restored to his favoured full-forward position, tormented the Menlough defence, scoring 1-3 in the process while, possibly one of the surprise star performers, was 11 year old, Daniel Carroll. A consistent performer in the full-back line throughout the year, he was deployed in the half-forward line to devastating effect, linking well with others and scoring an impressive 1-3 from play.

It was Carroll who opened the scoring after a patient build-up involving Niall Finnerty and Alex Fitzpatrick. The next eight minutes saw a flurry of goal-line activity at both ends of the pitch which was great to watch for any of the neutrals in the stand, but very nerve-wrecking for those from either side. Menlough reacted to the concession of that opening score by driving straight through the middle of the Cortoon defence but McDonagh got back to throw himself at the feet of the attacker and block what was surely a certain goal. The resulting 45 was cleared and Clarke and Adam Geoghegan powered forward up the right wing before finding Calvin Tierney in the centre. His shot came back off the inside of the upright and rebounded to Carroll who quickly lobbed it back across the square where it was met by the fists of Geoghegan and nestled in the back of the net. Menlough cancelled out the goal with one of their own following a fast break three minutes later but it was only a brief respite for them as Tierney conspired to set up two goals in rapid succession. The first came when he played in Finnerty who used his strength to hold off the defender and poke it across the goal for Clarke to tap in and, from the resulting kick-out, Tierney won possession and played it over the top for Carroll who beat the keeper to the ball and punch it into the net. Not to be outdone though, Menlough went up the other end and found the back of the net again themselves to complete a quite remarkable opening ten minutes with Cortoon leading by 3-1 to 2-0. Carroll added his second point before Finnerty, again showing his strength holding off a challenge, before playing it over the top for Clarke to run onto and his driven effort just cleared the bar. Carroll increased the lead to seven with a huge effort from out on the wing before Menlough pulled two back but a pointed McDonagh free after a foul on Finnerty finished the first half scoring and left Cortoon with 3-5 to 2-2 advantage.

Menlough came out determined in the second half and had cut the lead to three inside ten minutes. Cortoon were struggling to contain them and they almost levelled things when they got in behind the defence but keeper, Donie Halleran, raced off his line to get a hand to the shot but the danger wasn’t cleared yet and, with forwards piling in, James Hogan had to race across to clear it off the line. Menlough cut the lead to two with just eight minutes remaining and it was beginning to look ominous for the Shamrocks, who were yet to score in the second half, until a fine solo point from Clarke helped to settle the nerves and take the sting out of the Menlough attack and they didn’t look back from there. Jack McElroy added a fine point from a tight angle before a fantastic interception by O’Rourke set up McDonagh, who powered through three challenges and found the bottom corner of the net. Clarke added another point before Tierney deservedly got himself on the scoresheet in injury time to round off a nine point victory. Full time score: Cortoon 4-9 Menlough 2-6.

Afterwards, the team were treated to a meal in Supermacs and then did a tour of the area with the trophy and it was amazing to see the amount of people that came out to cheer them on with fires and flags all along the route before they headed back to the Cortoon Inn for refreshments. It was no more than they, or their management team of Gary McEntee, Hubert McDonagh, and Kieran Kelly, deserved for all the effort that they have put in throughout the year and they were a credit to the Club.

Team: Donie Halleran; Darragh Carroll, Peter Fleming; Kevin Kelly, Oisin O’Rourke, James Hogan; Hugh McDonagh (capt.) (1-1,1f), Alex Fitzpatrick; Daniel Carroll (1-3), Calvin Tierney (0-1), Adam Geoghegan (1-0); Niall Finnerty, James Clarke (1-3). Subs: Eoin Fleming for Fitzpatrick (31 mins), Jack McElroy for Finnerty (43), Eoin Fitzpatrick for Fleming (50), Dylan McGough, Sean McDonagh, Thomas Hynes, Diarmuid O’Rourke, Aaron Murtagh, Ethan Walsh.

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