U21 Footballers throught to Championship Final

Boden 2-09 Crokes 1-07

The season kicked off in earnest over the weekend with a fine win by our under 21 footballers in the semi-final of the county championship against Kilmacud in Pairc Ui Mhurchu. Whatever was said to the lads at half-time ( and the full story has yet to be revealed) needs to be bottled and may need to be used for the final. It is heartening to see a performance where the team struggled to find their form early on and yet managed to dig out a performance against a strong Kilmacud side (especially going into the second half 3 points down against the wind). They out scored their opponents in the second half 2-3 to 0-1, holding Crokes scoreless for the last 25 minutes.

In the first half Kilmacud raced into a 4 point lead and were up 5 point to 1 after 15 minutes. The lads found it difficult to overcome the Kilmacud sweeper defense system early on. However this team knows how to dig deep and points from Dan Buckingham (2), Conor Dooley, Sam Molony, Barra McGarry and Colm Basquel saw the team claw themselves back into the game. Just as we thought we were gaining the upper hand, Kilmacud breached our defense for the first goal of the game. It couldn’t have come at a worse time – just before the half time whistle. However this is where all good management teams earn their crust and our lads surely did!!.

Second half saw us start poorly again, conceding the first point and nearly letting Crokes in for a second goal. A great save by Dara Gogan (one on one) and the comeback began. This was followed by a Boden penalty – the Crokes full back fouling Conor Dooley. Conor had the confidence to take the penalty himself and score he did (the definition of all good penalties!!). This was followed by a Barra McGarry point. And then the key score of the game. Barra was on the end of a wonderful move up the pitch and finished the move with a well placed shot to the net. Points by Conor Dooley and Sam Molony rounded off a fine win.

A special thanks to all of our supporters who turned up on the day. It really meant a lot to the players. Another great day awaits and will be in store on Saturday, February 7th. See website for further details.

To football news in general. All our teams are back in pre-season training. The Adult 1&2 panel structure is up and running. However we are not quite there yet. We are still looking for at least one additional resource. The panel is busy integrating gym with outdoor training sessions in preparation for the season ahead. In addition, the success of the 21’s while placing its own demands has facilitated valuable internal training matches between all concerned thanks to the cooperation of both Management teams. The Adult 3 panel is also up and running. And while we didn’t lose John Mulligan to the Donegal county team (despite the strong rumour), the panel is looking for a trainer. Again anyone interested, let us know and we can discuss further. The Adult 4 panel are busy with their pre season gym and outdoor training. They have a full management team in place now and will no doubt be challenging for honours once again this year.

Our minor management teams are coming together slowly. We anticipate 4 minor teams this year which is a credit to the Minor and Under16 management teams from last year. Minor 1, 2 and 4 management positions are filled. However we are still looking to complete the Minor 3 management team. The season is a long season ahead with a lot of competing demands for the lads. The management of the season’s time-table will be vital to ensure the lads reach their potential.

Best of luck to all our players and management teams in the year ahead – whatever it takes.

Well done to Michael Darragh and the Dublin Seniors this weekend on their O’Byrne Cup success. We hope this is a good omen for things to come this year.

Can I remind everyone about membership and the new online system in place. You must pay your membership before the end of March to be eligible to play. Please make this a less onerous task for your management teams by paying on time.

Gum-shields are mandatory while playing or training. Please ensure you have one and, that you use it while participating in games and contact training

On the fundraising front, I would like to thank Shane Gallagher, Alan McGrath and Paul Doherty for volunteering for the Strictly Come Dancing. Please support the lads and indeed all the participants in the weeks ahead and on the Final Night – 27th February.