Epic encounter in shield final

St. Brigids Blackwater 1-09 v 2-06 Buffers Alley

Supporters were treated to 85 minutes of exciting football in this U12 Division Two Shield football final. The match also had plenty of contraversy too to boot. The Alley had the early lead, leading by 2 points to 1 after 7 minutes but then our lads completely took over with a goal bound shot saved by Alley keeper before Joe Rossiter levelled the game a minute later. We spurned a coupe of chances before Joe Rossiter did some nice work with Aidan Malanowski finishing off a great move to the goal. Our lads while on top but didn’t take our chance and Alley started to sneak back into the game. They scored a free before Joe put it back to 4. Alley had their best spell scoring 1-2 with out reply in the next 6 minutes. The ref blew for half time on 26 minutes with Alley leading by a point.

The excellent Darragh Byrne equalised after 6 minutes before Alley moved in front again. With 17 minutes gone in the second period and scores hard to come by, Joe Rossiter scored a point with the outside of his boot. We had to be at out best a minute later when an Alley player was bearing down on goal with Ronan Malanowski making a last minute saving tackle. The game crept on to 50 minutes and the ref blew the final whistle. A few Alley mentors remonstrated with the ref and after a couple of minutes the ref decided to play an extra five minutes (I’m not joking) although in fairness it was supposed to be 30 minutes a half.  Both sides couldnt get a score so it finally went to extra time!!. Two 10 minutes ensued and we were unlucky not to goal straight after the throw in, Joe Rossiter worked the 45 short and when it came back to him he went for goal only for it saved on the line. He won a free 30 seconds later, smartly worked it short and when it came back to him he put is in front by one which it stayed until half time in extra time.Alley nearly goaled after the turn only for the ball to be cleared off the line after some heroic defending. Alley hit two wides in a row and when we got our chance we took it, when a Joe Rossiter goal shot hit the keepers hand and he saved it onto the bar and over. A two point lead is always dangerous and we hung one with some brilliant blocking and defending, with every single on of the backs putting in man of the match performances.  With time ticking on with only two minutes to go, Alley got their chance, after a long ball in they goaled and the ref gave it only for the umpire to adjudge that the player had ran the ball over the line.The Alley mentors remonstrated with the referee but in fairness the correct decision was made. From the resulting kickout they won the ball and won a softish free. From the resulting free they went for goal only for it to be saved and cleared. The Alley player again won another free and we lined the goal with all our players and they goaled. With time now 4 minutes over, we had one last chance we won the kickout, worked it down field and won a precious free. Adam O Connor from full back stepped up to take it.  The O’Connors are well known for their free taking ability and Adam was the coolest man on the pitch as he slotted it over to force a replay.

It was a throughly exciting game and the lads deserve a big crowd the next day when the replay is fixed. Time and date yet to be confirmed.

Team: 1. Nathan Moran. 2. Sean O’Brien. 3. Adam O’Connor. 4. Tristan Cashe. 5. Ultan O’Reilly. 6. Ronan Malanouski. 7. Calaum Mooney. 8. Eugene Clarke. 9. Joe Rossiter. 10. Jamie Lambert. 11; Caolan Salmon. 12. Darragh Byrne. 13. Ciaran Byrne. 14. Barry Whelan  15. Aidan Malanouski.  16. Callum Byrne. 17. Callum Corrigan. 18. Dennis Dempsey 19. Philip Byrne