Erin’s Isle 1-12
Skerries Harps 5-09
The final blow of the referee’s whistle was met with jubilant scenes at Beneavin College, Finglas on Saturday last as Skerries Harps captured the U16A Football Shield . Emotions flowed freely amongst the large away support as the Harps ran out worthy winners on the day.
A low, piercing November sun provided the backdrop to a tight pitch as the teams took the field. Having won the toss, the Harps elected to play with the breeze and were a goal to the good within 30 seconds. A fine crisp passing move through the middle saw the ball end up in Cillian Emmet’s hands and no mistake was made as his low powerful strike rattled the hosts net. Some fine work by Matthew Weldon saw Patrick Kelly raise a white flag before Isle’s made their first foray into the opposition half hitting back with a point of their own. A couple of wides from the away side were duly punished as Isle’s were awarded a penalty on 12mins. A well taken effort gave keeper James Courell no chance and brought parity. The home support grew more vociferous as another point from a free put the Finglas outfit ahead for the first time. Courell made a crucial save at this stage as the home sides’ tails were up as the Harps struggled to win ball.
As the water break approached, a free on the ‘21 was pointed by Joseph Delaney and a slick move down the right saw Oisin Quinn burst through the middle to send Kelly through on goal. Although his well-struck effort came back off the crossbar, the ball was worked back to Kelly whose goal-bound effort was then foot-blocked resulting in a penalty. Delaney stepped up and duly dispatched the ball to the bottom corner leaving Skerries up by 2 at the water break.
A converted Harps free was followed by the score of the match as a short kick out found Dara Twomey in space. Twomey fed Oscar McIvor Lynch who made huge ground to feed it wide to Kelly who swung a long range effort sweetly splitting the uprights. Another Emmet point followed a smart interchange involving Harry Cole & Sean Mooney just on the stroke of half-time, leaving the away side 4pts to the good.
The second half started in similar fashion with Delaney scoring from play after some fine defensive work from Jeff Sexton. Isle’s were not done yet however as they attacked in waves, pressurising the Skerries defence into conceding some handy frees, three of which were dispatched with ease. A goal for Isle’s now would put them back in front but the Harps defence were defiant, none more so than Luke Ryan who seemed to be on the end of every breaking ball. As the clock ticked down, Skerries won their kick out via Tim Deering whose midfield influence was now telling. Ryan Lawless broke up field and fed Kelly who broke the lines and was pulled down for another penalty. Cue Delaney, cue goal for Skerries. Cillian Emmet quickly got in for his second goal after his initial effort was well saved to leave the seasiders up by 6. One final effort by the hosts was cut out by Leo Curtis and quick transition turned defence into attack as Jonny Dunne fed Deering whose long pass found Pearse Mooney in space 30m from goal. Mooney calmly took the ball closer and curled a sublime lob into the net to seal it for the Harps.
Having defeated the top Division 1 sides in addition to the Division 2 champions along the way, this win was merited by this talented Harps outfit.
Special mention to the many Harps supporters who took the time to travel and lift the spirits especially to those who took 2 buses to get out to Finglas and back.
Joe Delaney 2-6
Cillian Emmet 2-1
Pearse Mooney 1-0
Patrick Kelly 0-2
Team: James Courell, Luke Ryan, Leo Curtis, Dara Twomey, Jonny Dunne, Oscar McIvor Lynch, Harry Cole, Tim Deering, Oisin Quinn, Joseph Delaney, Matthew Weldon, Patrick Kelly, Sean Mooney, Ryan Lawless, Cillian Emmet, Pearse Mooney, Jeff Sexton. Mentors: Brendan Mooney, Anthony Weldon, Mark Grimes, Alan Courell, Aonghus Lynch, Pat Delaney.