U11 Premier: Rock Celtic 7- 0 Bellurgan United
It was a relaxed U11 Rock side that took to the pitch on Saturday 16th Feb to face Bellurgan. Before the match started the players lined up for some team photos. The first pose was the tried and tested formal shot – the second was a more free-form shot that tested the coaches ability to out jump their players.
Last time out, Rock got the better of this Bellurgan team by 3 goals to 0 in Bellurgan. Today Rock were determined to build on this and take advantage of the home venue. The teams took to the pitch and straight from the whistle Rock showed their intent. After a few early chances Rock registered their first goal, scored by Josh Hanna – a thundering shot from outside the box. Rock continued to attack and chance after chance somehow found the wrong sides of the uprights and crossbar. The spectators began to worry that Rock wouldn’t convert again and would leave themselves open to a late equaliser or worse. However, that wasn’t to be the case and late in the first half Rock got their second when Hanna was on target again to add to his tally for the day. Two minutes from halftime, Declan Curtain did some great work down the left wing and found the back of the net, leaving the seasiders with a 3-0 lead at the break.
The second half opened with Rock continuing to press Bellurgan over every inch of the turf. The coaches rang the changes and Alex Kierans slotting into the left full position with Conal McCaul pushing into Midfield. Declan Curtin kept popping up on both wings causing havoc for the stretched Bellurgan defence. It wasn’t long before he scored his second and third. On the right wing, Patrick Mullen caused all sorts of problems for the Bellurgan defence. Shane Mullen chased everything upfront and was unlucky not to score – Shane made way for Charlie Murdock who had a few early chances and was finally to get his rewards when he toe poked home a poor Bellurgan clearance. Sharpshooter Murdock was on target again to grab his second and Rock’s seventh goal of the match.
Final score Rock Celtic 7 Bellurgan Utd 0. This was a solid performance by Rock team who should be very proud of themselves. Best for Rock were – Conal McCaul, Patrick Mullen, Josh Hanna and hatrick hero Declan Curtin. This Wednesday night, Rock will have a keen interest in the outcome from the top of the table mid week clash between Quay and New Generation.
U10 Friendly: Rock Celtic 5- 0 Drogheda Boys
A strong all round performance by the U10’s earlier this morning resulted in a fairly comfortable win over Drogheda Boys U10 team. This was a good game for the local lads to keep their momentum going after some excellant performances in the league. A good individual goal by Mark Gallagher early in the first half put the Rock lads 1-0 up at half time however it really could have been much more with Josh Hanna, Dara Quinn and Sennan Carroll all forcing some great saves from a really impressive Drogheda goalkeeper. The Rock lads linked up extremley well and played great football dominating even more in the second half. In midfield, Fiachra O’Hanlon, Dara and Josh were well on top. Layo Adebanjo and Steve Kamtchou both had several close range shots saved by the Drogeda keeper while a thunderbolt from Josh Hanna cracked off the front of the crossbar. An Og by one of the Drogheda defenders put Rock 2-0 up and within minutes Mark Leavy made it 3-0 with a beaut of a goal – a great right footed strike over the keeper. Further goals from Sennan Carroll and Mark Gallagher finished the game off for the home side.
The Rock defence of Adam Hoban, Jamie Callan, Cillian Duffey and Eoin Byrne had a fairly quiet but effective day at the office. Jack Donohoe in goals had only a few saves to make throughout the game and his distribution to the full backs to keep the game moving was excellant. Team: Jack Donohoe, Eoin Byrne, Jamie Callan, Adam Hoban, Cillian Duffy, Dara Quinn, Josh Hanna, Fiachra O’Hanlon, Steve Kamtchou, Mark Gallagher, Sennan Carroll, Layo Adebanjo, Mark Leavy
U12 Premier: Quay Celtic 0 -0 Rock Celtic
Contrary to the score line this was a truly exciting encounter. Away to the runaway league leaders Rock Celtic were given little chance to avenge the 6 nil reverse they suffered earlier in the season. However as the season has progressed the confidence has grown. From the kick off the seasiders invited Quay on in the hope of catching the opposition on the break, a tactic that worked extremely well and resulted in a number of opportunities being created. Captain for the day James Kearns put in a man of the match display and inspired stellar performances from those around him. Every ball was competed for and every tackle made. If the Quay lads thought it was going to be easy they were in for quite a shock. From the first whistle Quay went on the offensive but crunching tackles from Donal, James & Richie made a statement of intent. This resulted in the Quay lads trying their luck from distance. A couple of efforts on target were easily dealt with by Tayo. When in possession the seasiders strung the passes together making it difficult for the opposition to get into any sort of rhythm. Then on the stroke of half time, from out of the blue the referee awarded an innocuous looking penalty to Quay when the winger went down rather easily. Tayo appeared to totally out psyche the penalty taker with his effort lifting off like a space shuttle. Nil all at half time.
The second half saw the seasiders being more adventurous & their superior footballing ability created 2 clear cut chances. Firstly, there was a flowing 5 man move started by Conor who found Luke in midfield. Luke then picked out Paul with a perfectly weighted pass. Paul played a lovely one two with Aaron & then slipped the ball into Josh. As Josh pulled the trigger a defender got a last gasp block in & prevented what would have been a great team goal. Then 5 minutes later another sweeping move initiated by James and carried on by Kevin & Ciaran culminated in the ball falling to Jack. He coolly went by a defender & as the keeper came out he slotted the ball past him. In what seemed like an eternity the ball cruelly brushed off the outside of the post. This seemed to spur the Quay lads on & for the final 10 minutes it was backs to the wall for the Rock. Quay however only managed to create one really clear-cut chance which saw Tayo dive full length to make a truly amazing one handed save that prevented a well struck effort from going into the bottom corner.
The pace & composure of Conor at the back allied to the combative style of Donal ensured there was never going to be a direct route to the Rock goal. On the flanks Richie & James effectively nullified the wide threats posed. In the centre of the park Kevin put in a shift and a half & together with the ever alert Luke they outmuscled & outfought the opposition while at the same time instigating a number of promising counter attacks. The 2 boys in the centre were ably assisted by the wee lad with the big heart that is Jack Barron and Ciaran. Up front Josh & Oran had the un-envious task of trying to break down the Quay rearguard. Their selfless running ensured an uncomfortable day for the defence. Paul in defence, Edward in midfield & Aaron up front seamlessly slotted in when they were introduced & ensured that the game plan was maintained. And in goals Tayo his game of the season so far easily dealing with the few threats that came his way. In the end it was a hard fought & well earned point & one of the best performances of the season.