Under-14 stars see off Realt na Mara
The notorious Under-14 men from Craanford expressed their sheer determination within the opening 15 minutes of the second half in their Division 3 county football final against Realt na Mara last Sunday morning.
Craanford 3-05 Realt na Mara 2-01
Facing the tough elements and the keen black and amber opposition, a hat-trick of goals in the second half sealed the victory which was played at St. Patrick's Park, Enniscorthy.
Realt na Mara seemed the superior team in the opening few minutes with Martin O'Loughlin, Hall and Murphy all putting in great performances.
This observation flipped within the concluding minutes of the game, however, as the blue and white force battled hard to get the essential scores to edge themselves ahead.
Eoin Cavanagh sprarkled in the Realt na Mara forward-line and claimed the first point from play of the game. Brendan Tobin was smart with the dead balls, however, and his youthful talent converted two frees, leaving his side one to the better. Nonetheless, at the other end of the pitch, Martin O'Loughlin cutely dodged some Craanford backs and found the back of the net.
Two points from the two on-form Craanford attackers, Cormac Doyle and Brendan Tobin brought the second half to a close and the teams were level with one half remaining. Words of wisdom from the Craanford management team of Ger Doran, Aidan Whitty and John Byrne must have replicated those of Brian Cody on the All-Ireland hurling day as their young men were extra keen for victory in the second-half. Martin Kavanagh was reliable in the back-line as was Goalie, Dean Wadding and Aodan Whitty.
Quick off the mark, Padraig Tobin and Jack Doyle combined forces to see a goal for Craanford. The influential midfielder, Alex Kelly, devoured a penalty shot and powered his men to a six point lead. Doyle reemerged minutes later to claim the third Craanford goal but Aaron Earle did likewise for Realt na Mara to keep their dream alive.
Joseph Conroy ended matters on a winning note with a very skilful point and the final whistle blew, leaving screeches of delight to be heard from the Craanford supporters.
Craanford: Dean Wadding, Aidan Kavanagh, Martin Kavanagh, Pat Doyle, Jack Curran, Eamonn Doyle, Kevin Hyland, Alex Kelly (1-0, Penalty), Aodan Whitty, Patrick Kavanagh, Cormac Doyle (1-1), Padraig Tobin (1-0), Eoin Byrne, Joseph Conroy (0-1), Brendan Tobin (0-3, 2 Frees). Subs: Jack Fleming for Patrick Kavanagh, Ciaran McLoughlin for Eoin Byrne, James Doyle for Kevin Hyland, Brendan Greene for Pat Doyle, Maurice Tobin for Jack Fleming, Padraig Donohoe for Joseph Conroy.
Realt na Mara: Jamie Doyle, Joe Woods, James Lawless, Sean Neary, Richard Conroy, Aaron Earle (0-1, Penalty), Eoghan Murphy, Aaron Hall, Barry Adamson, Eoin Canavan (0-1), Martin O'Loughlin (1-0), Joseph Burke, Kyle Moore Kavanagh, Charlie Freegrove, William McDonald. Subs: Brad Fitzpatrick for William McDonald, Martin McCarthy for Richard Conroy, Farrell Doyle for Charlie Freegrove, Ewen Stephens for Sean Neary, JJ Tomkins for Kyle Moore Kavanagh, Jack Doyle for Eoin Cavanagh.