St Kiernans: 5-08
By Parnells PRO
A decent sized crowd was in attendance on Saturday last at Greenford for the first ever U17 Development League Final.
Weather conditions were favourable and a quality game was expected. St Kiernans and Parnells have over their most recent meetings served up some fantastic football with both teams enjoying success along the way. From Parnells perspective it was evident during the pre-match preparations that the lads were still smarting from the most recent defeat to St Kiernans and the management team certainly identified that motivation would not be a problem on this occasion.
“Hunger is a good sauce” as the saying goes, and the men in blue were certainly of a hungry disposition last Saturday.
From the throw in the expected frantic efforts to own the ball came from both teams, it was Parnells however who made the early running and indeed bossed the first fifteen or so minutes. Josh Obahor and Harry Logan were dominant in midfield creating chances for themselves and other players. Luke Horgan and Kieran Rice claimed goals during this spell through sheer tenacity and Parnells were flying.
Job done? Not so fast, St Kiernans are a fine side and of course once they settled and claimed a first goal everybody in attendance knew it was game on. Their goalie produced some great saves to keep them in the game. Both sets of players continued to contest every ball right up until the interval and with a score line of 2-05 to 2-03 to Parnells it was anybody’s game.
The second half began as the first finished everything a spectator would want skill, edge and super scores from both teams with plenty of intensity.
It was evident at this time that this group of Parnells young men are a stubborn bunch, their work rate never wavered and you felt that every individual was determined to play their part. The five eldest young men of the team really led the way during the crucial second half: Luke Horgan, Kieran Rice, Harry Logan and Daniel Maguire were all brilliant on the day.
Great to see Kieran Rice returning to form after all of his recent injuries. I must make a special mention of Joshua Obahor at midfield though. This young man was superb throughout: his high fielding and general distribution of the ball allied to an overall willingness to graft earned him my man of the match.
The younger brigade were also in no mood to taste defeat on this occasion and Eamon Kane in defence and Lewis Dickinson in the half forward line supplemented their undoubted talents with a ferocious work ethic. Luke McHugh was having a very good game up until his retirement with injury whilst Jack Taylor and Ciaran Griffin both made huge contributions to the cause.
Patrick Peach followed up on his recent fine game against Dulwich with a wonderfully assured performance between the sticks. Patrick’s attacking of the ball was first class. The nature of this tournament dictates that players can be rolled on and off throughout.
This ruling was extremely good news for Parnells as we felt we had great strength in depth on the panel and indeed this was proved by the introduction of all five lads at pivotal times. Conor Doran was miserly in his defensive duties when called upon. Conal White showed well and looked dangerous at corner forward during the second period.
‘The Three Amigos’ from last years under 14s, Jojo Thabu was phenomenal after his introduction in the first half. Niall Twomey making a series of cameo appearances was involved in a number of the Parnells scores and filched a point for himself for good measure.
Eoghan Riley was as always in superb form. His battle with Michael English was great to watch; two fine footballers indeed.
Parnells went from strength to strength in the second period and a series of net busters and singles left a final score of Parnells 8-07 St. Kiernans 5-08. St Kiernans too must be complimented on their performance and with players like Michael Keohane ,Caolin Doyle, Martin Sexton, Jack Hannon and Jack Ryan to name but a few you feel that there will be many more tough encounters ahead for these two teams.
Congratulations to referee James Carry on his performance. Congratulations also to Lloyd Colfer and indeed the Youth Committee on the introduction of this tournament. We all recognise that you can train pre-season continuously but you cannot beat matches.
Well done to Parnells again, the first silverware of the year, now is the time to seize the moment and drive on.
PARNELLS Patrick Peach, Eamon Kane, Daniel Maguire, Luke McHugh, Jack Taylor, Joshua Obahor, Harry Logan, Luke Horgan (captain), Lewis Dickinson, Ciaran Griffin, Kieran Rice, Conor Doran, Conal White, Niall Twomey, Eoghan Riley, Jojo Thabu
MAN OF THE MATCH Joshua Obahor.