Corrib Celtic 0-1 Kinvara Utd - 26th March 2022
The former Liverpool manager Bill Shankly said, "Some people believe football is a matter of life and death, I am very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that”. On the way home from Annaghdown today these are the words that came to mind. Read on to find out why!
On the sunniest day of the year so far, the Kinvara United U12 squad headed to Annaghdown, to the shores of Lough Corrib, for the divisional cup quarter final against local team Corrib Celtic. It was the team’s first time playing knock out competition and you could sense the anticipation in the air. After a light warm up, the home team won the toss and chose to play with the sun at their back but with the 12:30 kick offit was high in the sky.
The team lined out with Jamie in goal, a back three of Louis, Tadhg and Evan. Jack played as a holding midfielder with Emmett, Conor and Brian playing ahead of him. Morgan started in the lone striker position. The first half was played at a frantic pace and the match went end to end. Corrib Celtic had the ball high up the pitch for long periods and our whole team had to defend as a unit. Tadhg and Jack were solid in the middle of the park and broke up everything that came their way. Louis worked well with Brian to shore up the right channel with Evan and Emmett doing the same on the left channel. When the ball was won back, the team used the out balls to Conor and Morgan efficiently with them attacking through the middle and flanks but the Corrib Celtic back four ensured that they had no cause to celebrate. Any balls over the top were being gathered by their keeper. There was no stand-out chance for either team, with an energetic defensive header by Evan causing Jamie a moment of concern. Kinvara were also creating chances, but, when they got past the defensive cover, they could not get past a resolute keeper. With the mercury hitting 18 degrees C, the team was refreshed with Dean coming in for Jack and Daragh for Brian before halftime with Aidan coming on for Louis for the second half. Dean and Aidan got straight into it tackling and continuing the defensive work. Daragh added width and took on the home team with forward runs.
The pattern of the new half continued as per the first with both teams contesting every ball. End to end, corner after corner, plenty of physical challenges but still no score. Midway through the half the Corrib Celtic keeper didn’t keep hold of a shot with captain for the match, Conor, now in the striker’s role first to react and he hit the back of the net. A poacher’s goal and the team celebrated. But the job was not done, Corrib Celtic also wanted to get to the semi-final. For the next few minutes Kinvara were thoroughly on top, controlling the ball, passing crisply and continuously attaching and could have, no, should have scored a second goal – hitting the post the closest they came with their attaching prowess finally showing. Corrib Celtic regrouped and what followed was a gruelling, exhausting, exhilarating and stressful 10 minutes. Tackles were now flying in, some vigorous which increased the tension on and off the pitch. Bodies were being put on the line. The Kinvara team held it together and dug deep to ensure a clean sheet. Relief, joy, happiness, an exhalation of breath for fans and a well-deserved Kinvara team celebration on the pitch came with the final whistle.
Thanks to the parents and spectators for their support and encouragement. Míle buíochas to the Corrib Celtic team and management for hosting us and the match day referee.
Kinvara Utd: Jamie Kavanagh (GK), Louis Darabi, Tadhg Fallon, Evan Carroll, Aidan Burke, Jack O’Shaughnessy, Daragh Cooper, Brian Cassidy O’Máirtín, Conor Tarpey (C), Dean Corcoran, Emmett Hawkins, Morgan Waterhouse.
Team coaches: David Hawkins, Nuala Cooper and Nora Cassidy O’Máirtín.