The U16 boys ventured south to face off against Tourmakeady in their own backyard in the West Mayo U16 C Final on a bright Thursday evening. After heavy losses both home and away to these opponents in recent previous outings, the lads were highly motivated to reverse the trend and come out on top. With the success of the U16 girls squad in their own final the previous evening, a small bit of extra pressure may have been added!
Kilmeena struck first upon winning the throw-in when Adam Moran scored from distance. Cormac Slattery added to the early lead, slotting over off his left. Tourmakeady latched on a point of their own, but after Cormac O’Malley showed some brilliant footwork to wriggle through the Tourmakeady backline and place one firmly into the back of the net, the game looked set to open up. Tourmakeady threatened at the other end however, racking up some scores of their own from range. Kilmeena ended the half on a positive note through Brendon Witzl, whose strike at goal rebounded back to him off the keeper and he was awake to volley it in to give us some breathing room at the break.
Half time score: Tourmakeady 0-4 Kilmeena 2-2
Kilmeena ignited the half’s scoring once again when Aaron Murray put the ball over the black spot straight from the restart, and when Kevin Hastings added a third goal for us, we looked set to pull away. A score from Cormac Slattery and a couple of frees from Cormac O’Malley widened the margin even further. To their credit however, Tourmakeady were determined not to go down without a fight. They kept the scoreboard ticking over with points throughout the final quarter and were vigorous in their efforts for an all-important goal to put the game within their reach. But our lads continued to defend tirelessly even when we were reduced to fourteen players near the end. Louie Corcoran again had a great game in goal and pulled off a number of important saves in the latter stages of the game. A late point from distance by Dean Staunton was the cherry on top, as the referee blew the final whistle and we emerged victorious!
There was great joy and celebrations on the pitch afterwards as captain Louie Corcoran was presented with the cup by John Gibbons from the West Mayo GAA board. A lot of credit is due to the team spirit and self belief of this group of lads, and the coaches would encourage all of the players to keep up these high standards in training as they now split up into the U15 and U17 groups.
Full time score at Páirc Naomh Muire: Tourmakeady 0-9 Kilmeena 3-7
Thanks to Ollie Mulchrone for taking Photos on the evening!
Many more photos can be accessed by clicking the following link