MSL U12 Central
Sat 4 Mar
Raharney Utd vs Grange Utd
Raharney Utd u12 returned to competitive action after 3 weeks having made the most of idle weekends with some extra training sessions. And, as we know, hard work pays off. And so it was to be…
Raharney’s players were delighted to welcome Grange Utd to Higginstown for something of a local derby - cousins and class mates on opposing teams - exactly what this game is all about. And the team were equally proud to run out with two excited debutants - Guillem and Ryan.
Having slipped behind in opening minutes in many previous matches the team were determined to pull together and work their positions and units. From the opening whistle both teams looked to open up early opportunities. Raharney’s defence stood firm, and the team were able to take first honours with an opening goal in the 6th minute - a tidy slide pass by Bartek to Conal who, racing in from the right wing, was able to slot the ball home from the edge of the box. 1-1 up next, as Grange scored a well worked headed goal from a corner. Bartek was instrumental in Raharney’s 2nd goal as well, this time a well taken strike was saved, and fell to the prowling Tadhg H who happily tapped the ball in under the diving keeper. On the stroke of half time a fantastic low driving long range shot from Grange foxed Guillem in the nets, and the whistle blew with scores level. What a half - great soccer from both teams.
Into the second half and midway through the half Raharney’s full bench of eager substitutes began to make the difference in this battle of a game. 2 goals in 3mins for AJ gave a huge confidence boost to the team in what has been a tough season so far. Debutants Guillem and Ryan showed what they can bring to the table, with Guillem showing his Futsal experience feeding neat unselfish passes to Ryan time and time again to open up space and opportunities in and around the Grange box that Ryan was only to happy to pounce on to take 2 goals, and see a 3rd opportunity tipped over the bar in a wonderful save by the Grange keeper. Dylan too got in on the action with his first goal for the team, this time with Ryan turning Assistor for the centre midfielder.
A proud first win for this great bunch of players led out today by Bartek on his birthday weekend. A special mention for Cayden who, new to soccer this season, has worked hard to develop his game and improves every time he pulls the boots on - some absolutely critical defending today, and some “last player back” moments dealt with calmly and competently. But Player of the Match today goes to Guillem, whose long awaited Debut, as he has battled off injuries, saw him step straight into the nets from the opening whistle to cover for absent goalkeeping regulars and make a couple of significant saves, followed by a run out in the second half (while OJ pulled on the gloves) as striker where his unselfish and skilful team work, reminiscent we might say of the many times we’ve seen the legendary Lionel Messi gift goals to team mates, shone through and contributed to the score line and team spirit in volumes.
Bartek (Captain, midfield, defence); Guillem (goalie, striker); OJ (goalie, striker); Dylan (defence, midfield); Calum (defence); Cayden (defence); Tadgh M (defence, midfield); Oisín (midfield); AJ (midfield, striker); Rachel (midfield); Conal (midfield); Ryan (midfield); Michael (midfield); Tadhg H (striker, defence).