U10 Premier: Rock Celtic 5-0 Shamrocks
Rock Celtic maintained their lead of the U10 Premier league at the weekend with another convincing win against a spirited Shamrocks team. The Rock lads went one up very early in the game after Mark Gallagher’s shot on goal took a wicked deflection off a Shamrock’s defender. Rock’s other in form striker Mark Leavy then grabbed his team’s second goal after a great individual run into the penalty box and a little “dink” past the keeper. A nice one two between Josh Hanna and Fiachra O’Hanlon opened up the Shamrock’s defence for Rock’s third goal, a ferocious right footed strike from Fiachra low and into the bottom corner. Early in the second half Shamrock’s went close with their tall centre forward getting on the end of two well struck corners. Apart from that the Rock lads totally dominated the game with midfielder Josh Hanna in particular winning absolutely everything in the centre of the park and terrorising the Shamrock’s defence at times with some wonderful skill and a bombardment of shots on target, hitting the woodwork twice and forcing a string of saves from Shamrock’s keeper. Mark Gallagher got onto the score sheet for Rock’s fourth goal when he was quickest to react to a loose ball in the danger area and blasted his shot home. Rock’s final goal of the day came after some great work involving Steve Kamtchou, a perfect through ball played to Mark Leavy who showed great composure in front of goal before slotting the ball past the Shamrock’s keeper.
A day full of goals, it would easy to overlook the strong performance yet again by the Rock’s defence led by the impressive Jack Donohoe in goals and with Adam Hoban, Cillian Duffy, Jamie Callan, Gavin Lynch and Eoin Byrne all comfortable at slotting into different defensive positions. This impressive bunch have conceded only 2 goals in their last 6 league games and will have been happy with another clean sheet.
Team: Jack Donohoe, Adam Hoban, Jamie Callan, Eoin Byrne, Gavin Lynch, Cillian Duffy, Josh Hanna, Fiachra O’Hanlon, Mark Leavy, Steve Kamtchou, Mark Gallagher, Sennan Carroll
This mid-table clash gave great entertainment on a damp cold morning on the shores of the Navey Bank. Quay started off very strong with driving attacks into the heart of the rock defence. James Reilly got caught out of position and ended up giving away a penalty with a late challenge on the Quay number eight resulting in 1-0 Quay. This woke Rock up and they responded really well with some excellent surging attacks. Conor Smith played a ball into Sebastian McGeough who bet one player then crossed the ball into Evan Durnin who then buried the ball into the back of the net with a sweetly struck right foot shot. 1-1.
Rock now took control of the game with good work in midfield from Dara O’Hare who headed the ball into Alex Gough. Alex ran onto the ball beating two players and then barging his shot into the Quay net. 2-1. Rock went full flow attack and ended up getting caught on the break with Quay making it 2-2.
The second half started with Rock determined to win the game with some excellent defending from James Reilly & Frank McGrory who were combining very well in defence. Rock got control of the midfield with Kalem Rogers putting an excellent pass through to Evan Durnin who was taken down in the box. Frank McGrory stepped up to put the penalty away, 3-2 to Rock. Quay were not to be undone and scored a fabulous goal leaving the steady Jack Mulvihill with no chance. The game looked like it could stay at 3-3 but Quay undone themselves. Their best player for no reason took Frank McGrory out of it. Frank played the fee-kick into Brian “Caffo”, with an excellent pass into Gough who found Durnin & with a beautiful shot found the back of the net. Rock win 4-3.
U12 Division 1 : Rock Ville 0-0 Quay Olympic
The omens coming into this fixture could scarcely have been worse for Rock Ville’s U12s. Not only were they hosting a strong Quay Olympic team on the back of two straight defeats but the squad had been significantly weakened by the loss of several players due to a combination of injuries, participation in the Peace proms and a suspension due to a red card picked up in the aftermath of last week’s defeat at home to Redeemer. Fortunately they proved able to field a full eleven but would have no substitutes to call on for the entirety of the game. Somehow adversity seemed to galvanize the home team however as they began the game much as they finished their last game. That fixture, at home to Redeemer, had seen a much improved second half performance. Right from kick off Rock’s midfield triumvirate of Oisin McDermott, Eamon Daly and Isaac McGahon got a hold of the ball, always seeking to find out tricky wingers Declan Curtin on the left and Sean Maguire on the right. Quay had chances of their own and Rock were fortunate to have skipper Conor Casey alongside Liam Cafferty resolute in central defense to win the ball and carry it away time and time again. Niall O’Reilly put in a great shift at left back. Luke Seckerson, tigerish at right back, gave no space or time at all on the left side of Quay’s attack, continually frustrating their attempts to work the ball forward on that wing. Oisin McCooey, back in goal to cover for the injured Bryan Soraghan and suspended James McNamara, seemed determined to keep a clean sheet and had several fine saves to rescue his team. There was a letoff for the home side when on a rare sortie upfield Quay broke through on the counter and though their left winger’s cross was inch perfect, the striker couldn’t keep his shot on target and skied it over the bar. This seemed to fire Rock into action as they continued to attack. Adam Stewart ploughed a lone furrough up front but used his blistering pace and close control to great effect, tracking back and winning the ball and bringing his colleagues into play. Rock pressed and pressed, forcing corner after corner. Declan’s powerful shot was parried by the Quay custodian who almost spilled into Eamon’s path but gathered well to deny Rock their opener. Isaac powered into the box and seemed certain to score but again was denied by the alert Quay keeper. Sean and Declan gave the Quay defenders a torrid time on each wing. As the game went on, the home side seemed the more likely to score but Quay had plenty of opportunities of their own and Rock were forced to defend a series of corners but held firm. In the end, the opening goal eluded either side and the game remained scoreless but Rock can reflect on a tenacious performance under adversity and significant improvement by several players which augurs well for the remainder of the season.
Team: Oisin McCooey, Luke Seckerson, Liam Cafferty, Conor Casey, Niall O’Reilly, Oisin McDemott, Sean Maguire, Eamon Daly, Isaac McGahon, Declan Curtin, Adam Stewart
U11 Premier: Muirhevnamor 1 – Rock Celtic 3
It was a cold bright Saturday morning as the U11 convoy set off from Blackrock to face Muirhevnamor . With recent good weather conditions, the grass pitch was in great condition with no evidence of flooding. A recent run of good results have sent this Rock team into second place in the league table and these lads were very focused on keeping the pressure on the league leaders – New Generation. Last time out, Rock came away with full points at the Blackrock venue.
From the start Rock pressed hard on the Muirhevnamor defence and were unlucky not to be ahead on 5 minutes. This pressure continued with the ball rarely leaving the home teams half yet Rock had nothing on the scoreboard to reflect this dominance. That all changed in the 22nd minute when Donal Leavy picked up a ball in midfield and spread it left and wide, sending Declan Curtin on one of his customary dynamic runs. Declan beat two defenders before lining up his shot which found the back of the net to put the Rock ahead 1 – 0 at half time.
The second half began with Rock trying to increase their lead – Josh Hanna moved out to the right wing and worked well with Adam Gartlan down the right hand side. Hanna tested Muirhevnamor keeper from long range and was unlucky not to double the score in the first minutes of the second half.. Conal McCaul moved into the centre of midfield and worked hard to maintain Rock pressure – he distributed the ball very well presenting plenty of opportunities for Charlie Murdock to chase upfront. Murdock got on the end of two shots from close range only for the keeper to clear the ball to the incoming Hanna who drove the ball hard to the back of the net 2 – 0.. Minutes later, Muirhevnamor pulled one back, they made a break that caught the Rock defence off guard and the big number 6 for Muirhevnamor registered their first goal of the game. This game was still up for grabs and Rock were making hard work of a game that should have been over by half time. Rocks management team made changes and brought on their super sub Alex Kierian for the exhausted Charlie Murdock. Alex worked hard and immediately caused problems for the Muirhevnamor defence forcing a corner from the keeper. Two minutes later, displaying some great skills in the Muirhevnamor six yard box, Alex shot from close range to put Rock 3 -1 up and put the game out of reach for the home team. Rock will walk away from this game knowing that they could have done better but it’s a sign of a good team who play below their best yet take all points. With other top teams having a game in hand over Rock, next weekend is a break for these lads, who will use the time to hold a training session to keep pressure on others.