U12 City League Final
Claregalway 0–12 Salthill/Knocknacarra 1–7
at the Prairie, 9th of May 2002
In a game that grabbed the interest of the large support from both clubs from start to finish, Claregalway won the City League final against Salthill/Knocknacarra by the narrow margin of two points. Indeed, for the last 7–8 minutes only the minimum margin of one point separated the sides as Claregalway’s twelfth point was scored on the stroke of full time. Two talented and well organised teams gave a great display of fast and skilful football that would do credit to any under age competition at county level. These two young teams played out an incredibly exciting final that was the culmination of one of the many city leagues organised by Coiste Peil na nÓg Cathair na Gaillimhe. That the Coiste can mount such quality games is a tribute to the hard working committee including Seamus O’Grady and Tony Stephens. The sportsmanship in this game was outstanding and great teamwork, individual brilliance, goalmouth saves and misses were there in abundance.
On a perfect evening for football Salthill/Knocknacarra were first to score but Robert Moran soon equalised. After Salthill/Knocknacarra went ahead again with their second point, they won a lot of possession and put pressure on the Claregalway backs for long spells. But they found scores hard to come by due to the excellent saves of Paul Creavin in goal and the defensive display of the full back line, Justin Brennan, David Morris and Paul Curley, who was outstanding. At the other end Danny Cummins was unlucky when his goalbound shot rebounded into play and was cleared. It was end-to-end football with Kieran Hennessy, Colm Brennan, Stephen Nally and Liam Foy covering acres of ground to contest possession with Salthill/Knocknacarra around mid field. Eventually, Robert Moran again, Nathan Crehan and Danny Cummins all succeeded in taking their chances to score a point each. Salthill/Knocknacarra replied with a point to leave the half-time score four points to two in Claregalway’s favour.
Claregalway got off to a flying start to the second half. In a sweeping move upfield Danny Cummins collected a pass but was fouled 35 yards out; the resulting free was expertly converted by Colm Brennan. Points followed quickly from Danny Cummins and Joseph Walsh with one in reply from Salthill/Knocknacarra to leave Claregalway ahead by 0–7 to 0–3 within five minutes of the restart. When it appeared that Claregalway were gaining the upper hand, Salthill/Knocknacarra rose to the demands of the occasion with spirit and teamwork, led by their captain and star player David Elwood. They scored 1–1 in a two-minute spell to draw level 0–7 to 1–4 after 10 minutes. It was now all to play for. Both teams exchanged points; one from Danny Cummins, a great long range free by Colm Brennan and two replies from Salthill/Knocknacarra left the sides level again at 0–9 to 1–6 with 10 minutes remaining. As the excitement continued, Robert Walsh scored a point to which Salthill/Knocknacarra responded with a pointed free. Robert scored again to regain the lead and Claregalway held firm as their opponents battled bravely for the equaliser only to see their efforts go wide. The game finished up with a darting run up the middle by Danny Cummins and he pointed from 20 yards.
The Club conveys tributes to the team management of Jarlath Brennan, Mark Brennan, Joe Hennessy and to the parents for the way the youngsters were turned out for all the fixtures. Through the generosity of Pat Crehan of Cahergowan, the panel of players together with their friends were treated to food and refreshments in Supermacs following which the cavalcade of cars returned to the village in celebratory form with the Fig Leaf Fabric cup.
Team: Paul Creavin, Justin Brennan, David Morris, Paul Curley, Alan Jacobson, Kieran Hennessy, Stephen Nally, Colm Brennan, Liam Foy, Nathan Crehan, Danny Cummins, Donal Conroy, Robert Moran, Robert Dooley, Joseph Walsh. Subs: James Brennan for Donal Conroy; Michael Evans for Stephen Nally, Michael Brennan for Justin Brennan, Martin Duggan for Alan Jacobsen.
U12s played a friendly match in Breaffy on the way to the Connacht semi-final Galway v Mayo at Castlebar on Sunday June 2nd. Training continues on Sunday mornings for the Co.League later on in the summer.
U11s have qualified for the City league semi-final in Claregalway on Sunday June 9th.
U10s Community Games will be held on Sunday June 16th. This year the games will be run off in a Blitz Tournament on a knock-out basis commencing at 10am with the final at 6pm. Claregalway/Lackagh play Lettermore in the first round, venue to be confirmed.
U10s City League will be commenced in mid June, games played most likely on Wednesdays and Fridays; details to be announced.
Ladies Football continues on Sunday mornings at 10.30am.
U8s football on Sunday mornings supervised by Michael Coyle, John Brennan and Gerry Bartley. Any newcomers to the Claregalway area are welcome to join in.
Sean Flanagan P.R.O.