Tuesday evening last saw one of the most memorable and exciting games of football played not just at underage level but overall this year when a rivalry was taken between two teams to another level in the meeting of Crosserlough and Laragh in the u14 division 1 championship final. A huge crowd attended despite the pouring rain on the 3G pitch in Breffini to witness what they hoped would be as an exciting a contest as the league final between these two great young teams but they were treated to an even greater display of skill, heart and passion by both teams. From the throw in the
contest was on with Crosserlough midfielder James Smith winning the throw in and laying of to half forward Brandon Boylan who kicked accurately to the amazingly speedy Cian Boylan who kicked straight over the bar for a great opening play. The Laragh kick out was won again by Crosserloughs James Smith who kicked into Boylan who made great space for himself and kicked over another fantastic score. Laragh under no illusion that this would be a battle for the sixty minutes took control
on the next kick out from Laraghs ace goalie Dominic Gillick who was hitting the midfield line all night, with Paul Smith breaking the ball which was picked up by star attacker Pauric O Reilly who went on a run headed straight for goal and kicked a knock out ball into the back of the net. Crosserloughs kick out was again broke down by Paul Smith and the breaking ball won by the hard working Lee Reilly who found Laraghs danger man Nial Fitzpatrick, Fitzpatrick laid off to Pauraic O Reilly who carried the ball forward and passed back to Nial (Fitzy) Fitzpatrick who had got behind the full back line and buried it into the back of the net. At this stage there was only four minutes gone and the crowd could hardly believe what they were witnessing. On the field however it was a different story this game would not be over until the final whistle was blown. In the sixth minute Crosserlough had the ball in the Laragh half and half forward Sean Briody hit an accurate ball into the arms of Cian Boylan who had broke free of his marker, in an instant the crafty forward hit a powerful shot and had the ball in the back of the Laragh net, giving no second chances. The tenth and eleventh minutes saw both sides exchange frees both of which were scored with Crosserloughs Cian Boylan taking theirs of the ground and making it a two pointer. The twelfth minute saw a great personal display from Crosserloughs corner forward Nathan Galligan who won a short kickout carried forward and punished the Laragh side landing it in the back of the net. Laragh however showed their spirit in the next couple of plays. Gillick hit a powerful kickout directly over the head of Paul Smith who made a fantastic high catch laying off to Pauric O Reilly who took the ball in on the run fighting past three Crosserloughs defenders and hitting a great point at tremendous speed. The next play saw Laraghs centre half forward Mark Brady show all his strength winning the Crosserlough kickout and kicking accurately in front of Barry Davis despite being tackled by two Crosserlough men, Davis winning the ball in front in laying of quickly to Pauraic O Reilly running through who hit the back of the net again at tremendous speed. O Reilly was really on fire the 16th
saw him hit another point and again in 17th Smith, Lee Reilly, Mark Brady, Eoghan Walsh and Max O Dea to keep the ball in the Crosserlough half, it was finally laid off to O Reilly who shot from an impossible angle with his left boot to raise the white flag, as everyone in the crowd from both sides looked on in awe. The nineteenth minute saw Crosserloughs Brandon Boylan hit over another good score after hard work by Brian Mollocca and Donnacha Comiskey to get the ball into scoring range. The game at this stage was going from end to end with the defence on both sides working really hard to get the ball out of the danger areas, he scored a fantastic point after great work by Paul Laraghs back line of Gavin Brady, Hayden Smith and Ciaran O Grady really showed their worth at this stage in the game breaking down Crosserlough attacks never panicking and working the ball out of the Laragh half. It was the 27th favour a well taken 45metre kick was rebounded and picked up by Brandon Boylan and slotted over the bar. The Laragh kickout was won by Crosserloughs James Smith who hit a high ball into Cian Boylan who hit it straight over the bar for a fantastic finish. The first half finished with a free for the Laragh side this time Laraghs star midfielder Paul Smith took it off the ground for a two pointer and hit it straight over the black spot. The half time score read Laragh 3-06 Crosserlough 2-07. The half time chat was all about the great display of football by both sides and the excitement at watching such great forwards at work. The second half started as the first ended except this time it was a Crosserlough free and Cian
Boylan converted it into a two pointer taken of the ground. Crosserlough were on target again in the fourth and fifth and seventh minutes with points from centre forward Patrick Lynch and centre half forward Peter Smith and with Cian Boylan again slotting one over for good measure. Laragh were feeling the pressure and Crosserlough were beginning to look slightly dominant, Laragh began to miss on attacks, scores which given the first half performance should have easily been kicked
over the bar, Laraghs centre half back line of Jamie Cooney, Jake Mc Govern and Adrian Lackey kept spirits up, overturning the Crosserlough and carrying the ball forward showing fantastic leadership when the pressure on. The fifteenth and seventeenth minute saw Pauric O Reilly and Lee Reilly hit two fantastic scores both of which came from balls being won and played out of Laraghs half back line. However Crosserlough put the pressure on the Laragh side again when half forward Peter Smith won a high ball played into him from corner back John Cooke carrying forward and hit the back of the Laragh net. The next play saw Smith win the kick out and lay of to Brandon Boylan who kicked a fantastic point over the bar. The score now read Crosserlough 3-12 to Laragh 3-08 with four minutes to go. The next two minutes saw both sides exchange frees both taken off the ground and kicked over the bar. Then in the 29th Fitzpatrick won the ball behind the corner back and with one thing on his mind hit the back of the net. Extra time of two minutes had been announced and the ball was kicked out and won by Pauraic O Reilly now playing at midfield, he carried the ball forward and played it to Mark Brady and on to Lee Reilly who making no mistakes showing tremendous leadership and confidence went for goal placing it low and to the left of the keeper, Crosserlough were stunned as the ball hit the back of the net there was no time left the final whistle was blown and the Laragh crowd erupted with delight. Crosserlough may have felt hard done by but the feeling was both teams gave it their all and left the field with no ‘what ifs’ or ‘buts’. There are players on both these teams I’m sure will be household names of the future and both teams should be extremely proud to give such performances already so early in their football careers.
Laragh Utd: Dominic Gillick, Gavin Brady, Hayden Smith, Cieran O’Grady, Jaime Cooney, Jake Mc Govern, Adrian Lackey, Paul Smith, Lee Reilly, Eoghan Walsh, Mark Brady, Max O Dea, Barry Davis, Pauraic O Reilly, Niall Fitzpatrick,
Subs: Morgan Mc Govern, Sean Mc Guire,Shane Smith, David Smith, Nial Brady,Matt Brady, Ryan Carroll, Oisin Callaghan, Shane Tully, Seamus O Rourke.
Crosserlough: Patrick Keaney ,Phelim Maguire, Conor Byrd, John Cooke, Brian Mallocca, Donnacha Comiskey, Michael Smith, James Smith, Ben Kelly Smith, Brandon Boylan, Peter Smith, Sean Briody, Cian Boylan, Patrick Lynch, Nathan Galligan.
Subs: Edward Deveraux Gilseann, Sean Harten, Sean Mc Gaheran, Evan Charters, Adam Charters, Dappo Olarewgu, Patrick Keaney, Emmett Boylan, Ben Galligan, Connor Mc Givney, Aaron Cooke, Garrett Boylan, Cormac Boylan, Leighton Lyons.
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