Our U19 Boys team put in a Stellar Performance away to Larkview Utd in the Quarter Final of the Leinster Football Association Cup.
Our boys started slow, the nerves could be seen and Larkview started quick and fast with our keeper Alex O'Callaghan making some big saves to keep the boys in touch. There was plenty of last ditch defending too but the boys made sure that everything was on the line to keep a strong Larkview attack out!
The break came for the boys on about 25 minutes when Jack Finn got the ball just beyond the half way line. Jack will say " it was a shot" but even Stevie Wonder would see he meant it as a cross. Never the less the boys found themselves 1-0 up. To be fair it was against the run of play but as soon as the goal went in you could see the boys free up and the nerves started to shake off.
It was actually easy to see that the nerves were gone because 30 seconds after the first goal, Aaron Dunne found himself in space betweenthe two centrehalfs, there was only going to be one winner there and it was the young Barber who came out on top. 2-0 Bunclody 26 minutes gone. It must be added here there were kids from all over coming looking for Jack Grealish because Aaron had a haircut only two people could pull off, one of them being Jack the other being Bunclody's star striker.
10 minutes later Bunclody were keeping the ball and kept finding themselves in the channels. One of those balls from Adam Dunne into Joe Gordon and into the box found the Larkview Centrehalf, head the ball up Oisin O'Leary was on the way to collect the ball in the Larkview box while it was dropping. A rush of blood to the Larkview mans head seen him obliterate Oisin in the box. The Referee only had one choice and to point to the spot. We want to wish the lark view man all the best as he suffered a face injury during the tackle. Up stepped Aaron to take and he calmly slotted away with the keeper not even moving. A brace for the youngest Dunne son and Bunclody were cruising.
The boys probably got a little two comfortable though and lost concentration within a matter of 5 minutes. Larkview had two goals. Both came from throws and it was just a lapse in concentration for the boys. They were well finished goals to be fair to lark view but we were always still in control 3-2 up going into half time.
The boys went in for half time which was probably a good decision as it got them to tune back in, the referee having none of it though giving the lads the whistle to get back out with only 6 minutes of the break gone. The lads arrived back out on the pitch and an excellent passing routine seen the boys go 4-2 up. I'll be honest if it doesn't get Goal of the season, I'll book Declan in to get his head checked myself. 15 seconds into the second half, 5 passes from the tip off & the goal finished by Joe "dopey" Finn (I didn't give him that name, it was his father) and we started back where we left off.
10 minutes later after Larkview stopped giving out to each other they found themselves playing some really good football and a well defended piece of play led to a corner. A deep corner which was badly defended seen the Dublin side get there 3rd. Game on. This was going to be a test of a few things, nerve, fitness, determination and togetherness, whoever found them was going to win this game.
I can't really remember how Bunclody's fifth came about I just remember Joe Finn, Matthew Skelly and Aaron having an involvement. The ball seemed to have fell to Aaron and there was a scarmble on the line and it was scrapped across the line. We had our 5th. Aaron had his 3rd and we were singing all the way back to our farmland. There was a bit of a ruckus about a handball during the goal. Everyone would have guessed Tommy was involved but never the less we were 5-3 up. Tommy was put behind the fence and we were looking like we were on the way to the Semi Finals of the Leinster Cup. Game wasn't over though it was far from it.
Like any team from Dublin Larkview didn't hinder the came back and back an back and were about to do it again. I don't even recall how it came about because Kevin Dunne was talking to me and I looked up and they got there 4th. It was to be there last when looking back in hindsight but they were up for it. They wanted it, we wanted it, it was going to be a nervy last 15 minutes.
A change with Oisin O'Leary who had a good game coming off for Desmond O'Connor was where out 6th and final goal came from. Larkview played the ball up which was excellently won back by Adam Dunne unto Desmond O'Connor and it was young O'Connor who crossed the ball and Jack Finn found himself in the right place at the right time and he finished. Word has it he had to brush the long hair of his fringe out of his eyes before he headed the ball into the home teams net. Aaron has offered Jack a hair cut but he has kindly refused. I must say I am slightly annoyed though because Jack scores in almost EVERY game he plays for the youths or the U19's. Comes up to my squad and he wouldn't finish his dinner.
After what felt like about 20 minutes added time, we see our boys progress to the U19 LFA Semi Final, being the first team in the Club's history to the the feat at this age level. Not a bad old win for a "Bunch of Farmers" !
Thank you to everyone in Larkview for their hospitality. You have an excellent team there and it was a great match from both sides.
Super win boys!