28th May 2017
It was early April when Carryduff U12s travelled to Kilcoo and played out an exciting and competitive match with their hosts; a high scoring game from which Kilcoo emerged victorious by 9 points. At U12 level, the result is less important than the boys enjoying themselves and developing as individuals and a team. Nonetheless, results can serve as a barometer of progress and in their post-match huddle that morning, coach Shane Donnelly let the team know that they were well capable of turning that result round and beating Kilcoo before the end of the season. Did the players buy it?
Fast forward seven weeks and the teams met again in Páirc Aodha Dhuibh, with the Duff lads proving their coach’s words to be most prophetic as this time they emerged with a convincing 15 point victory. The result in itself didn’t matter anymore than it had that morning in April, but it signposted the progress being made by the team, the lessons learned and the development of the squad. And in that sense it did matter.
Carryduff played better football and battled harder throughout. The defenders were disciplined in the tackle and moved the ball at pace through a strong midfield sector which allowed for the creation of plenty of chances for their lively forwards.
Goalkeeper Oran Donaldson turned in an impressive display. He varied his kick outs and this allowed the midfield to win plenty of ball. In front of him Lorcan O’Hagan was very steady and put in some great tackles while Jacob Dixon effectively curtailed the influence of the lively Kilcoo corner forward. Ryan Sherry read the game well and made numerous runs from deep, the best of which ended with him stroking a brilliant point with the outside of the boot for one of the scores of the match. Alongside Sherry, Cian Duffy again won some great scrappy ball and was instrumental in setting up a lot of the Duff’s quick counter attacks.
In the middle, Dara Cunningham worked hard all day and was always an outlet for kick outs. He played some lovely balls in to the full forwards, particularly in the second half. Declan McArdle gave another committed performance before succumbing to a dead leg injury in the second period.
Of the half forwards, Oisin McGurk had a great contest with one of the stronger Kilcoo players and consistently drove Carryduff forward and set up a lot of scores. Cameron McClure also worked his socks off both offensively and helping out his defenders.
The inside forward line was on fire and thrived on the great service provided to them. Eoin Blaney has a real tussle with his marker but showed his worth by hitting 2-1. Alongside him, Lorcan O’Connor tormented the visiting defence with his speed and finishing, bagging another three goals and a few points to boot.
It was also pleasing to see Joseph Doherty return from injury and put in a quality second half performance at full back while Niall O’Neill notched an impressive 1-1 from half forward in the second half also. Final score: Carryduff 6-9 Kilcoo 2-6.
So back to back impressive wins for the team and the challenge now is to continue to progress as tough tests lie ahead.
The Division Two game for Carryduff B against Liatroim was called off.
Carryduff A v Kilcoo: Oran Donaldson, Lorcan O’Hagan, Jacob Dixon, Ryan Sherry, Cian Duffy, Declan McArdle, Dara Cunningham, Oisin McGurk, Cameron McClure, Lorcan O’Connor, Eoin Blaney, Joseph Doherty, Niall O’Neill