The Carryduff GAC 2008 boys certainly did not disappoint at sun drenched Naomh Gall CLG yesterday, at their excellently run annual May Day tournament. The lads got off to the best possible start, comfortably accounting for a resolute O’Donnell’s team. Being assigned back to back fixtures, next up were the physically superior Naomh Pól CLG. Trailing from the short whistle the lads never gave up, their heads remaining high and fighting right to the end. It wasn’t to be however and Naomh Pól won out by the minimum. The lads were then afforded a break, to draw breath and get some water on board. The heat was really taking its toll, which is not something you hear too often at these coordinates! In the third and final game the lads found their rhythm again and proved too strong against a gallant Cellbridge team.
Being runners up in our group this placed us against a strong Fingallians team from Dublin, who comfortably won their group. We knew however from the performances in the group stages that we were a match for any team, if we maintained our work-rate and excellent attitude. That we did. The ‘word in the parc’ was that Fingallians were a very mobile and skilful outfit and were fancied to go all the way. With the game seemingly gone from us in the second period of normal time the lads hit a purple patch to draw level at the long shrill. Two 5 min periods of additional time would follow. As was the case in regulation time, Fingallians started the stronger, hitting 3 scores without reply. As was the case throughout day, however, Carryduff GAC never gave up, fighting back bravely to trail by 2. The last minute of additional time was signalled by ‘an réiteoir’ giving the lads one final chance, having been awarded a free kick ‘i lár na pairce’. The ball was perfectly weighted towards the small parallelogram where a scramble ensued, and the net rippled, sin é!
Semi-final next, against Fr. Rocks from Cookstown, the 2017 (and eventual 2018) winners. There is no doubt that the extra time in the quarter final took its toll on the lads in the extreme heat. This was a step too far with Fr Rocks winning out by a few scores.
The lads departed the pitch with their heads held high to the applause of the proud spectating parents. As they say, they left everything they had on the pitch, which is all you can ask for. The determination, endeavour and ‘never give up’ attitude shown throughout the competition was a delight to see, and made myself and the other coaches very proud. It is often said, but the future is no-doubt bright if this bunch of lads can stick together.
I would personally like to thank all 13 players for taking part, and also to the coaches for helping out.
Is mise le meas,