LAST weekend was a busy one for the Rock Celtic U-9 and 10 players, who travelled to Portadown and Kells respectively to take part in two pre-season tournaments.
The U-10s gave a great account of themselves at the Kells Blackwater Tournament and got off to a flying start in their first group match beating Navan Club Parkvilla 4-1.
Conor Monaghan opened the scoring with a fine glancing header before Mark Leavy slotted home Rock’s second with a well placed strike.
The Parkvilla goalkeeper could do nothing about the third goal from impressive midfielder Josh Hanna – a wonderful left footed free kick into the top corner.
After a consolation goal for Parkvilla, Rock’s Steve Kamtchou cut inside from the left wing to fire in an unstoppable right footed shot. Conor Monaghan was first onto the scoresheet again in the second match against Mullingar Athletic, with Mark Leavy scoring Rock’s second after a good exchange with Fiachra O’Hanlon to win the match 2-0.
Rock’s defenders Mark Gallagher, Jamie Callan and Eoin Byrne played very well in both games as did keeper Jack Donohoe adding another clean sheet to his collection. Rock’s final group match was against one of the tournament favourites St Kevin’s Boy’s A. The Rock lads played exceptionally well in the first half and should have been two goals ahead at the break with Cillian Duffy doing well up front. The Dublin side ended the game stronger however scoring twice to win the match 2-0 and top the group.
Rock were drawn against another top Dublin schoolboys team, Crumlin United in their quarter final match. The day’s exertions were starting to take their toll on a tired looking Rock team, however, as they conceded two early goals and were always chasing the game after that. The Dublin side added a third goal in the second half before Josh Hanna pulled one back with a great right footed strike. The match ended 3-1 with the Rock lads wishing Crumlin all the best in the semi-final.
With the U-10s pre-occupied in Kells, the Rock U-9 team stepped up an age group to play in the U10 ‘Playing for the Future Tournament’ in Portadown.
Again the standard of teams competing was very strong, but after losing their opening group game 3-0 to eventual winners Glentoran, Rock narrowly lost out to Antrim based club Northend United.
A comfortable win against Castellwelan United allowed them to proceed to the quarterfinal of the Plate section where they beat Moira FC before losing out to a strong Warrenpoint team in the final.
Rock’s goalscorers on the day were Evan Durnan, Evan McEntaggart, Nathan Todd and Ryan Clake with strong performances from the rest of the team, Rio McEvoy, Cian Sheridan, Cillian Halpenny, Bara Duffy, Ben Wogan and Paul OJo. A great achievement for the 8-year olds who must be hot favorites to bring back the silverware next year when playing in their own age group!
[ Source: The Argus Digital Edition 22-08-2012, Article77. Link : http://argus.newspaperdirect.com]