Our Junior Footballers (U16) recorded an impressive victory over a gallant Scoil Aireagail Ballyhale side in the Kilkenny-Carlow section of the South Leinster Football Championship. Having already accounted for Carlow Vocational School, the Coláiste Mhuire lads were looking to keep their 100% record heading into the Christmas holidays.
Captain Karl Campion (Gornahoe-Glengoole) wisely elected to play against the breeze in the first half. This aided Ballyhale initially and they registered the first score of the day, a point by their full forward. However, once Coláiste Mhuire got settled they brought the game to Ballyhale and were rewarded with a goal from Emerald’s Liam Grant. Vice-captain Eoghan Doheny (Harps) finished off a well worked move to score a neat point to open up a 1.01 : 0.01 lead after 10 minutes.
With Coláiste Mhuire gaining a stronghold in midfield through the hard work of Conor Madden (Rathdowney-Erril) and David Nolan (Gortnahoe-Glengoole), they had a solid platform to launch their attacks from. This provided plenty of ball to full forward Podge Delaney (Harps) who finished the half with 3 points from play. Delaney also assisted in a second major for the Johnstown lads when his effort for a point came back off the post and corner forward Dominik Frazcek (Fenians) reacted quickest to slot the ball home. Ballyhale responded with another point and were unlucky not to register again, due in no small part to the solid defending and pressure from the Coláiste Mhuire backs. The score of the half came from attacking wing-back Padraic Dunne (Harps) whose tireless support runs were rewarded when he slotted over a point after some great inter-changes of passing and over-lapping runs involving his midfield and half-forward teammates. Coláiste Mhuire now had a deserving 2.05:0.02 lead at half-time.
The second half would prove difficult for Ballyhale as they played into a strong breeze but they stuck manfully to their task. Indeed, they were unlucky not to raise a green flag on a number of occasions in both halves. Credit here must go to the Coláiste Mhuire goalkeeper Calvin Ryan (Emeralds) for both his shot stopping and high fielding, when a number of efforts for points dropped short in the wind. The Johnstown defense were conceding little space and their tackling was firm but fair, avoiding the concession of scorable frees. Ballyhale managed just two more points through no shortage of endeavor but both the Johnstown lads and the elements weren’t kind.
At the other end, the pick of the scores were two long range points by midfielder David Nolan that came at important stages of the half. His first after Ballyhale had enjoyed an extended period of possession, and his second mid-way through the half really deflated the opposition. From here there was only one winner and the Johnstown forwards closed out the game. Liam Grant & Dominik Frazcek doubled their tallies with a second goal each. Podge Delaney concluded the scoring when he raised a green flag to add to his first half points. Full Time Score: Coláiste Mhuire Johnstown 5.07:0.04 Scoil Aireagail Ballyhale
Overall, it was a solid performance from Coláiste Mhuire considering the time of the year and conditions. Both the team the started and all the subs that were introduced were a credit to the cause. However, improvement will be needed to progress in this competition. Our next game is a South Leinster Quarter Final against our Laois neighbours St Fergal’s (Rathdowney). This game is fixed for Monday, 18th January in Johnstown. Training will recommence on Thursday, 7th January at Lunch time and on appointed days. All panel members are expected to attend to be considered for selection by Mr J Dunne (manager), Mr J O’Grady (selector) & Mr J Lowry (coach).
Team & Scorers: Calvin Ryan, Eamon Fogarty, Ryan Murphy, Padraig Donnelly, Ben Tallis, Karl Campion (captain), Padraic Dunne (0.01), Conor Madden, David Nolan (0.02), Eoghan Doheny (vice-captain, 0.01), Liam Grant (2.00), Gary O’Sullivan, Dominic Frazcek (2.00), Podge Delaney (1.03), Nathan Ryan. Subs used: Tony Lee Donoghue, Cathal O’Leary, Ricky Burke, Aaron Okoroh, Rory Kenny, Eoin Delaney, Michael O’Mahony & Jordan Burke.