Juvenile News & Match Report Archive

Monday, 18 November 2013

Bantry Blues U16 Football County Champions!

Bantry Blues U16 Footballers celebrate as County Champions in Cloughduv on Saturday last. Photo: Ted O’Keeffe.

The bonfire at Wolfe Tone Park blazed and the people of Bantry were on The Square to welcome home the U16 footballers as County Champions on Saturday evening last. At the second time of asking they had made no mistake against Mallow and had bridged a twenty two year gap since the last underage football county title was won.
Conditions were ideal compared with the drawn game as the ball was thrown in for the county final replay in Cloughduv. Bantry looked from the off to be ready for battle and on the first attack the Mallow keeper had to be on his toes to stop a shot at goal from Arthur Coakley. A few moments later midfielder Killian O’Sullivan opened the scoring with a well taken point.
There then followed a period where Mallow settled and caused Bantry problems all over. They got on top at midfield and put the Blues defence under severe pressure. Keeper Michael Casey pulled off a great save but Mallow got off the mark shortly afterwards with a pointed free. They tacked on two more points from play and when they converted a penalty for a footblock in the area Bantry looked in all sorts of trouble. Another point from the North Cork side and the score now stood at 1-04 to a single point. Bantry now needed to up the workrate and this they did with midfielders Gavin Cronin and Killian O’Sullivan leading the charge. The Blues started to get the ball into the danger areas and their chance of a second score came when they were awarded a kickable free. Tim Foleys attempt came back off the post to him and he made no mistake with the rebound. Captain Shane McCarthy knocked over one from play and now it was Bantry who were swarming forward. Corner back Savo Dragas popped up to chip over a point and when Tim Foley converted a free just before the half time whistle to leave it Bantry Blues 0-5 to 1-04 there was only one team with the momentum.
The lads in blue were on the attack from the restart with Arthur Coakley crashing a shot off the crossbar in the first minute of the second half. Mallow did point from a free but it was in the following twenty minutes that Bantry played the football that won the county title. With Ronan O’Mahony giving an exhibition at full back and all of the backs winning their battles, Blues launched wave after wave of attack. Arthur Coakley and Daniel Murray kicked points and then came move of the game. Bantry won possession in their own back line and played the ball the length of the field for Shane McCarthy to bury the ball in the Mallow net. Next came a great solo run through the middle from Gavin Cronin who coolly took his point. Arthur Coakley knocked over a close in free and the rampant Tim Foley shot over the bar following a run from midfield a few moments later. Tim tacked on another to make it 1-06 without reply for Bantry.
Mallow needed goals at this point and came in search of them but Michael Casey made a string of crucial saves to deny them. They did get a point from play from a rebound following yet another stop from Michael but this proved to be their last score of the game as Blues defence held firm and three more points from Shane McCarthy, Tim Foley and Daniel Murray left Bantry winners on a scoreline of 1-14 to 1-06. Scenes of unbridled joy followed the final whistle from the excellent referee, Mark Maher, as mentors, subs and supporters rushed on to the field to celebrate with the players.
Following the cup presentation, captain Shane McCarthy thanked team sponsors Biggs Super Valu, team manager Arthur Coakley, mentors Gerald McCarthy, Tommy Murray, Tony O’Shea and Brian Gleeson, all the squad who worked so hard in training all year and all who helped in any way with the team.
To go behind in the first half and have the character to turn it around and win in such an emphatic fashion demonstrates the spirit this group possesses. The backs defended as a unit with discipline and bravery, led by man-of-the match at full back Ronan O’Mahony. The diamond in the middle of the field of Kieran Hanley, Killian O’Sullivan, Gavin Cronin and Tim Foley got on top and were the platform from where Bantry launched the winning push. All over the field the workrate was immense and as a team they got their just rewards in taking home the cup as worthy county champions.
Team: Michael Casey, Fionn O’Driscoll, Ronan O’Mahony, Savo Dragas (0-1), Sean Hodnett, Kieran Hanley, Owen O’Flynn, Killian O’Sullivan (0-1), Gavin Cronin (0-1), Arthur Coakley (0-2,1F), Tim Foley (0-5,1F), Shane Keevers, Nicholas O’Sullivan, Shane McCarthy (1-2), Daniel Murray (0-2). Subs used: Eoghan O’Shea, Michael Healy, Aaron Barry, James Lavin. Subs: Russell Barry, Jack McCarthy, Aiden O’Sullivan, Barry O’Sullivan.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

U16 Footballers Must Do It All Again

Bantry Blues U16 footballers must do it all again on Saturday next in Cloughduv at 2.00 after playing out a thrilling draw in their County Final against Mallow at that venue on Sunday last.
In a downpour, it was first blood to Mallow when they pointed from a free. Bantry had a couple of attacks following this and took the lead when a 45 from Tim Foley dropped in around the square and Arthur Coakley finished it to the net. Shane McCarthy and Nicholas O’Sullivan both had options at goal following this but wisely took their points to put Blues 1-02 to 0-1 up. Mallow pulled one back from a free but Tim Foley and Shane McCarthy extended Bantry’s lead further with points from play. Once again Mallow were accurate from the placed ball as halftime approached but this was cancelled out by a Daniel Murray point before the break leaving the score Bantry Blues 1-05, Mallow 0-3 as the teams made for the dressing rooms.
Mallow upped the tempo from the restart and were first on the board with another pointed free. Daniel Murray replied with one from play but then followed a period when Mallow grabbed the initiative and pulled back three points on the trot, remarkably all from frees. Bantry needed to get back into the game and it looked like captain Shane McCarthy had stopped the rot when he ran at the Mallow defence and hit a cracking goal. He followed up with a great point to put Blues two goals clear with ten minutes to go. However Mallow were dogged in their determination and continued to press forward. They were rewarded with a goal and now one score separated the sides. Bantry hearts sank as the North Cork side hit a second to level the game with minutes left. The Blues showed their fighting spirit by winning possession and pushing forward in search of the winner and it looked like it had come when Tim Foley shot a point in injury time. But the drama was not over and in the sixth minute of injury time Mallow were awarded a free which they converted to leave the sides tied at 2-08 each as the ref blew time from the kick out.
Credit is due to both teams for the match they served up in the conditions. All fifteen of Bantry Blues players gave outstanding performances but the conditions were energy sapping and mistakes were inevitable from both sides. It would be hard to single out individuals as every man battled to the end but captain Shane McCarthy was a constant thorn in the Mallow team’s side with his handling, speed and shooting.
Team: Michael Casey, Fionn O’Driscoll, Ronan O’Mahony, Savo Dragos, Sean Hodnett, Kieran Hanley, Owen O’Flynn, Killian O’Sullivan, Gavin Cronin, Arthur Coakley (1-0), Tim Foley (0-2), Shane Keevers, Nicholas O’Sullivan (0-1), Shane McCarthy (1-03), Daniel Murray (0-2). Subs: Michael Healy, Aaron Barry, Patrick Casey, James Lavin, Sean Thornton, Russell Barry, Eoghan O’Shea, Jack McCarthy, Aiden O’Sullivan, Barry O’Sullivan.
The club would ask that everyone possible travel and shout on the lads this Saturday as they go to finish the job off and bring the cup back. Come on the Blues!   

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

U16 Footballers in County Final!

Our U16 footballers progressed to the county final after a great display against Passage in the semi-final played in Clonakilty on Sunday last.
Bantry were on the attack almost immediately from the throw in with Gavin Cronin’s shot for a point coming back off the post. A moment later Nicholas O’Sullivan’s volley at goal cannoned off the crossbar and Bantry unbelievably hit the woodwork a third time before Tim Foley settled things with a point. Shane McCarthy and Arthur Coakley hit two more and then from a Tim Foley free kick Nicholas O’Sullivan directed the ball to the net to put Blues 1-03 up.
Passage got a break soon after when Blues full back appeared to have the situation under control but lost his footing in the wet conditions, allowing the full forward in to shoot a goal. Passage West narrowed the gap further with a pointed free, but then followed a great period for Bantry. Tim Foley won the ball at midfield from a kick out. He ran at the Passage defence, played a one-two and hit the net with a rocket. Blues took over at midfield with Gavin Cronin and Killian O’Sullivan dominating that sector and points from Arthur Coakley, Shane McCarthy and a free from Tim Foley made Bantry’s total for the half 2-06 to 1-03 at the break.
Passage had won two of their games with comebacks on their run to the semi final and Bantry were well aware of this. It was the Blues who started the second half in a storm with Gavin Cronin shooting a great point. Arthur Coakley broke through the Passage defence and his shot clipped the crossbar for his third point of the game. The lively Shane McCarthy popped over Bantry’s third of the half a few moments later. Their opposition pulled back a point but from the kick out Arthur Coakley won possession and carried before laying on a pass to Tim Foley who drove to the net for Blues third goal. Bantry were in top gear at this stage and Shane McCarthy pointed from a Daniel Murray pass and followed up with a goal that put the issue beyond doubt. Further points followed from Arthur Coakley and Tim Foley and at the final whistle the score stood Bantry Blues 4-13, Passage West 1-04.
The scoreline does not reflect the work it took for Bantry to carve out this result. On a day of continuous rain it was tough going with big hits going in all over the pitch. The backs had to be on their toes especially in the first half but great displays by Kieran Hanley at centre back and Ronan O’Mahony at full were the foundation of this win. All of the backs had to be up to the task but each one of the six stuck to the job and cancelled out the scoring threat.
In the middle of the field, the trio of Gavin Cronin, Killian O’Sullivan and Tim Foley were immense and carried the fight to Passage time after time. It wasn’t an easy day for forwards but the score amassed tells the story of their effort. In the other semi Mallow overcame Clonakilty so this type performance will have to be repeated and maybe bettered to claim the prize of a county championship.
Team: Michael Casey, Fionn O’Driscoll, Ronan O’Mahony, Savo Dragos, Sean Hodnett, Kieran Hanley, Owen O’Flynn, Gavin Cronin (0-1), Killian O’Sullivan, Arthur Coakley (0-4), Tim Foley (2-04,2F), Shane Keevers, Nicholas O’Sullivan (1-0), Shane McCarthy (1-04), Daniel Murray. Subs used: Aaron Barry, Patrick Casey, Michael Healy, James Lavin. Subs: Aiden O’Sullivan, Barry O’Sullivan, Russell Barry, Sean Thornton, Eoghan O’Shea.
The final is fixed for 2.30 on Sunday next in Cloughduv, this team deserves your support so please go and cheer them on.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Great Battling Performance by U12 Footballers in Dunmanway

Dunmanway on last Sunday evening was the venue for the meeting of Bantry Blues U12 footballers with Sam Maguire’s in the league semi final. After a great battling performance from the Blues they went down by 2-07 to 1-5.
Up against a physically much bigger side Bantry held their own in the first quarter. Maguire’s went two points up early on but Blues fought back with scores from Paddy O’Neill and Shane Crowley. However the home team finally broke down the Bantry Blues defence getting two goals to leave the half time score 2-05 to 0-2.
After the half time team talk, the Bantry lads took to the field with a resolve that they were not going down easily. They piled on the pressure but the excellent Dunmanway keeper made save after save. Ayrton Doyle reduced the deficit with a pointed free and eventually Blues made the breakthrough with the smallest man on the field, Aiden O’Sullivan beating the Sam Maguire’s goalie from close range. The lads in blue gave a great second half performance with further points from Ciaran Thornton and Ayrton Doyle but in the end the comeback too much to ask for.
Great displays all around with Matthew Harley very safe in goals, Jack O’Brien, Ted Wiseman, Greg Cotter, Paddy O’Neill and Charlie Lavin very strong in defence. Midfielders Shane Crowley and Ayrton Doyle fought to the end and up front Ciaran Thornton, Kevin Clifford, Daniel Downey, Aiden O’Sullivan and Keelan Lynch were tigerish.
Team: Matthew Harley, Charlie Lavin, Greg Cotter, Ted Wiseman, Paddy O’Neill (0-1), Jack O’Brien, Shane Crowley (0-1, F), Ayrton Doyle (0-2, 1F), Daniel Downey, Ciaran Thornton (0-1), Kevin Clifford, Aiden O’Sullivan (1-0), Keelan Lynch.