Winter is coming but it looked a long way off on a sun-drenched afternoon in the cosmopolitan field of Newtown, Castletroy. With spectators from all ends of both parishes anxious to see who would win bragging rights from a mouth watering Premier U12 match-up.
Match report from Greg (John Snow) Coulter.
"It always seems impossible until it’s done.” Mandela, never had in mind u12 soccer against Annacotty B’s when he spoke those famous words. He could hardly have in mind Lisnagry A trailing Ashling 1-0 prior to halftime and 2-1 with 10 minutes to play but the words fit the moment.
Going back to the beginning, Lisnagry opened with a changed squad. Starting from the back the experienced duo of Moroney & O’Connor (centre back) were joined by new signing speedster Lynch to complete the 3 man defence. With Conway between the sticks they had assurance, aggression and a small bit of menace about them. With Glynn, Devine, Kett & MacNamara passing and moving in midfield there was only the speedster Ferte in a central attacking role.
With an early attack our noisy neighbours struck with surgical precision. Annacotty continued to dominate the early phases and former Lisnagry star Fergus O’Duinn reminded the claret & blue men just what they were missing having taken the yellow only one short winter ago. With 15 minutes gone it is hard to make early changes but the inspirational C Ryan demonstrated his quality with his very first touch. A perfectly weighted corner was met by a controlled header. 1-1.
Lisnagry’s coaching panel, joined this week by the redoubtable motivator Dr Glynn, once again continued to ring the changes adding Coulter, Moloughney, Foley, D Ryan to the fray. With Lisnagry gradually wrestling control of a torrid midfield battle & Conway in goals launching from the back new attacking waves it seemed like Annacotty were hanging on.
Like a thief in the night, O’Duinn had other ideas and after devilish trickery he finished with a fiery left foot into the bottom corner. 1-2. Lisnagry responded with by launched attacking wave after wave. A header from Coulter rattled off the cross bar & Glynn demonstrated his undoubtable ability with another header from a corner. As hope faded a moment of magic from Moloughney secured a penalty. With the coolness we have come to expect from this talented individual the penalty was despatched like a bullet. 2-2
Captain MacNamara afterwards was quoted “When you play the game of soccer, you win or you die. There is no middle ground”. Returning to their much loved, passing game Lisnagry redoubled their efforts throwing caution to the wind. The coaching panel had one last ace up their sleeve in the mercurial winger Cronin who added width and guile to a side gaining momentum. Almost inevitably the final coup de grace opportunity fell to Moloughney. Blink & he’ll punish you, and under intense pressure he delivered once again taking his season tally to 6 from 4 games. 3-2.
With time seeming to stand still the young Lisnagry men continued to demonstrate their character, maintaining focus as the seconds dragged by before ultimately collecting the 3 points they richly deserved for their efforts. Young coach Ciaran Coulter was asked if this was the high water line for this brave team. His terse response was “You know nothing, Dunphy Gill”.
Squad: Glynn, Moloughney, Foley, O’Connor, Coulter, Devine, MacNamara (Captain), C Ryan, D Ryan, Lynch, Moroney, Conway, Ferte, Kitt, Cronin.
Management: Coulter, Coulter, Glynn, Devine