U12 MSL Plate Cup QF 1st leg
Saturday 15 April
Mountmellick Ath vs Raharney Utd
A glorious Spring morning at Conor Davis Park for the 1st leg of the Plate Quarter Final, and after a great contest last Saturday between these two teams we knew we were in for a tense occasion.
Raharney took the initiative from the kick off to put pressure on the home team’s box, with Michael leading the charge from the midfield earning corners and having a shot rebound off the crossbar. Later in the half it was Ryan on the offensive, having a couple of shots saved. Attack after attack were dealt with by the home defence and even with a whopping 10 corners Raharney could not convert territory into goals. 0-0 at half time.
Into the 2nd half and more Raharney pressure resulting in corners, but still the Mountmellick team stood firm. Two moments lifted the Raharney energy - a lovely floating switch pass from Tadhg H to Ryan in space on the right, the ball just running away from him on this occasion. And then a save from James in the Raharney goal, an awkward bobbling ball that popped up to chest height - James reacted and held it. Ever quick thinking, James launched a fast counter-attacking move, with the ball reaching Oisín who raced through the defence and slotted the ball under the Mountmellick goalie for the opening goal. More Raharney attacks followed but the excellent home goalie kept his team in the match, and with 2mins to go Mountmellick nearly pulled level - a fine shot through the crowded Raharney box saved brilliantly by James diving low and fast to his right. The Raharney team finished the game as they started it, with Michael picking up the ball on the left in his own half driving at the opposition box, finished his attack with a shot placed cleverly across the goal face through the defence only to see the ball hit the post and halt itself on the sticky ground - first to react was Michael still moving forwards, and he managed to poke the ball over the line to make the final score 0-2 to Raharney, and all to play for in the upcoming 2nd leg.
Player of the Match for Raharney goes to Cayden. Captaining the team today, Cayden once again caught the attention of the Coaches with his calm defensive play, and particularly his confident use of his goalkeeper to pass the ball neatly out of danger a couple of times - brave play at any level - done as if second nature by Cayden today.
Cayden (Captain, defence); James (goals); Calum (defence); Tadgh M (defence); Bartek (defence); Rachel (midfield, defence); Michael (midfield, defence); Ryan (midfield); Oisín (midfield); Dylan (midfield); Conal (midfield); Tadhg H (midfield); Guillem (striker); OJ (striker)