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Match Report-Under 14 Division 4 Final

posted 25 Jun 2017, 15:59 by rúnaí Cill Daingin
Under 14 Division 4 Championship Final Abbey Rangers v Milltown    at Hawkfield 25th June 2017

To describe the last few minutes of this game would probably sum it up best - a late Cian Murtagh free that hit the post and went over to put us a point ahead; a Milltown goal bound shot that hit the crossbar and came back out; 2 stoppages with players going down injured; two yellow cards – crazy stuff, but we won!

Joey Walsh hit the opening point of the game before Milltown rocked us with two goals in the space of two minutes. The teams then swapped points before Oisin Irvine hit a cracker of a goal to bring us back into the game, however Milltown regained the upper hand with four points in succession to establish a 2.05 to 1.02 lead as we reached the mid-point of the half.

Our half back line of Cormac Finnegan, Ciaran Byrne and John Kelly came storming into the game and provided the springboard for an Abbey Rangers onslaught that saw us out-score the opposition 1.04 to 0.01 over the remainder of the half. 

The goal came from Mark O’Donovan and we had some well taken points from Thomas Browne, Cian Murtagh and Dara Byrne. This was a critical period of the game as we were in danger of slipping out of contention, however going in level at 2.06 each at the break was a great position to be in.

Milltown came out breathing fire in the opening minutes of the second half and went a point ahead before Dara Byrne levelled again. A goalmouth scramble then ended with Jack Curran rattling the net at the third attempt after the Milltown defence had twice foiled his efforts. 

Cian Murtagh showed keen dead ball skills when he thumped a free off the ground and over the bar and Dara Byrne hit another fine point to increase our lead to 3.09 to 2.07. As the game headed into the final ten minutes Rangers began to run out of steam and Milltown saw their chance and duly took it. Relentless pressure ended with Milltown being awarded a penalty which was well converted. Another Milltown attack was blocked by a combination of Thomas Browne and Ciaran Byrne; in the resulting scramble a Milltown boot put the ball past goalkeeper Sean Fitzgerald to them a point up. 

With Milltown now totally dominant we feared the worst and Sean Fitzgerald made a fantastic save to prevent another Milltown goal and almost certain defeat. John Kelly broke out of defence and played a superb pass to Thomas Browne who was hauled down for a free which was converted by Cian Murtagh. Level again! 

As we headed into the final minute of normal time John Kelly broke forward again. This time it was Mark O’Donovan who felt the weight of the Milltown defence as he was hauled down for a free. Murtagh considered putting it on the ground again but figured it was too far out. He tried to steal a couple of metres as the referee dealt a yellow card to the Milltown defender but the man in black was having none of it and moved him back. Cian launched it high and, with the umpire raising his arms to signal wide, the ball hit the inside of the post and dropped onto the roof of the net to put us one ahead again. 

Milltown came at us once more from the kick out and a scorching shot came thundering back off the crossbar, allowing full back Bobby Wall to clear the danger. The referee ignored Abbey Rangers calls for the whistle as we entered the fifth minute of injury time. And on we played. Possession was vital and Rangers managed to hold it as the clock continued to tick. And finally, the whistle sounded with Abbey Rangers victorious on a scoreline of 3.11 to 4.07.

It was a magnificent game of football and great credit is due to both teams for the level of determination and skill they displayed. It’s very promising for both the Kildangan and Ballykelly clubs to see the depth of talent that’s on the way up with this bunch of Abbey Rangers players. Well done to the entire playing panel and management team on a great win.

Abbey Rangers:Sean Fitzgerald, Cole Grattan, Robert Wall, Joe Broughall, John Kelly, Ciaran Byrne, Cormac Finnegan, Thomas Browne, Mark O’Donovan, Cian Murtagh, Dara Byrne, Josh Wallace, Oisin Irvine, Jack Curran, Joey Walsh, Cian O’Dowd, Tommy Whyte, Rory McGrath, Colm Coughlan, Stephen Whyte, Russell Grattan & Alex Conlon. Mentors Liam O'Donovan and Trevor Holligan

Match Report Declan McGrath