Match Report - U14 Boys Division 3
Kinvara United B 3-1 Knocknacarra B
Kinvara United Under 14s Division 3 welcomed Knocknacarra to Killina on Saturday morning for their fifth match of their league campaign. KUFC were hoping to build on from their strong team performance away to Salthill Devon in their fourth game which saw them run the undefeated league leaders close after a spirited second half fight back by Kinvara fell just short for a 4-3 result.
Conditions were ideal on Saturday morning with the home-pitch bathed in enough sunshine to be troubling for the goal keepers and the infamous Killina wind not being a significant factor. Knocknacarra travelled with good support and a strong squad. As ever, the Kinvara blue squad players made themselves available in numbers giving the management the usual headache of selecting the starting line-up, which is a great problem to have at this level.
Match referee, Joseph Masciarelli, got the game started punctually (and kept it free flowing throughout), with Kinvara playing into what wind there was in the first half. From the outset both teams took a while to settle down, particularly with Kinvara having to settle players into some unfamiliar positions. Over the first ten minutes both teams probed each other’s defenses in what was an edgy first quarter.
The KUFC backline were not in the mood for any slip-ups however, with David Huban, Alex Lynch and Cathal Morris not feeling in a very generous mood, breaking down and clearing out several Knocknacarra attacks in the first quarter, ably assisted by Tom Quinn and Liam Daly, on the wings, leaving Luca Green with only one significant save to make in the Kinvara goal for the first 15 minutes.
Slowly, Kinvara started settling into their roles and after a couple of close shots from Harry Allen (who brought energy into his striker’s role and worked well off good balls being played in from Daire Hawkins, Jack O’Brien, and Liam Cronin in the mid-field), a corner was won after a good save from the Knocknacarra keeper. Liam Daly stood up to take the corner from the right and played a precision ball into the centre where Jack O’Brien made enough space for a shot into the Knocknacarra net just beyond the reach of their keeper. 1-0- to Kinvara after ten minutes.
This provoked Knocknacarra, however, who upped their game intensity. Attack and counterattack followed with the game flowing from end to end and both the Knocknacarra ‘keeper and Kinvara’s own keeper, Luca Green called into action to parry and save shots. The Kinvara midfield were working tirelessly to break down Knockacarra attacks with Fintan Bartley and Liam Cronin having to come off to get rested from midfield after their exhaustive efforts, but ably replaced by Idris Sabry and Sean Sweeney who both came on and kept the intensity levels high. Similarly, Sean Cosgrove came into defense to give Tom Quinn a breather who had been running constantly along the right side. The Kinvara defense remained dogged, while Harry continued to press in attack, one such attack resulted in a free on the edge of the box which David Huban stepped up to take and came close as the shot just passed over the bar.
Knocknacarra kept up the pressure though and were rewarded in the last 3 minutes of the first half with a cross-field ball falling nicely in front of one of their forwards giving him space and time to drive the ball just beyond the reach of Luca’s dive. The first half ended 1-1.
At the start of the second half Knocknacarra’s confidence grew, and they continued to press, however, Kinvara kept to their game plan with some changes in personnel and positioning required to keep the squad fresh and maintain the intensity. Ruadhain O’Brien was brought into mid-field, and Tom Quinn moving into attack. The Kinvara United defense kept to their task and remained firm, with Cathal Morris beginning to assert himself and press more forward as opportunities arose, and Alex Lynch remaining solid and level-headed in clearing balls and playing the ball out.
Having shipped a goal just before half time, Kinvara showed their character and began to apply some pressure of their own. With Jack O’Brien continuing his captain’s performance from the centre, and Daire Hawkins, Idris Sabry and Liam Cronin always making themselves available in attack and to share in defensive duties. With fifteen minutes to go in the second half, Kinvara were rewarded for their pressure, after Idris Sabry ran down the left and crossed a lovely ball into Harry Allen (who had been reintroduced to the attack) and drove the ball into the Knockacarra net, 2-1 to Kinvara.
Knocknacarra did not take this lying down though and from the restart they kept probing and attacking. With all players tiring, Kinvara had to shuffle through more changes to keep the intensity levels up all around the pitch, with Jack, Harry, Ruadhain, Fintan, Sean Sweeney and Sean Cosgrove all being shuffled through the game, and making vital contributions where needed with some being asked to play out of position to allow players with very tired legs a rest. The squad stayed disciplined with each sticking to their assigned tasks.
The pressure remained throughout the game which continued to be end-to-end stuff, however, with seven minutes still on the clock, Tom and Harry combined to get a through ball into Daire Hawkins who had made another incisive run from the mid-field to slot the ball once more into the Knocknacarra net past their keeper. 3-1 to Kinvara.
Knocknacarra were undaunted through and showed their own character by continuing to press at every opportunity, but no further breakthroughs were to come. The game ended 3-1 for Kinvara to secure their first league win of this year’s campaign. The match was very close throughout, and Knocknacarra showed they were a disciplined and well-drilled, talented team, the return fixture will undoubtedly be another closely contested game.
Back Row (L-R): Jack O'Brien (c), David Huban, Liam Cronin, Sean Cosgrove, Tom Quinn, Cathal Morris, Liam Daly, Alex Lynch, Jimmy Green (Manager)
Front Row (L-R): Idris Sabry, Ruadhain O'Brien, Harry Walsh, Luca Green, Fintan Bartley, Daire Hawkins, and Sean Sweeney.
Management: Jimmy Green, James Hastings, and Catherine Hawkins.
KUFC would like to thank the spectators and parents for their continued support 🔵💥