Having been promoted from division 3 to division 2 for this year’s Feile Skerries were grouped with Lucan Sarsfields (down from division 1); Cuala (down from division 1) and St. Sylvesters (Division 2) a huge challenge lay ahead.
Having departed the Harps clubhouse the destination was for Cuala’s, Thomastown pitches. Our hosts left nothing to chance with refreshments galore running throughout the day and a parade to get the teams started a big thank you to Cuala for the generous hospitality.
Versus Lucan Sarsfields, with Skerries starting slowly Lucan raced into an early three point lead, Skerries replied with a free from Luke Harrison, Lucan again took the initiative with a brace of points, Skerries did have an opportunity to score a goal just before half time but their effort went marginally wide of the post.
Half time Lucan Sarsfields 0-5 Skerries Harps 0-1
Led by their outstanding captain and full back Donal Cotter Skerries attacked early from the start but struggled to break down the Lucan defence, with Skerries denied a couple of chances Lucan pressed on to increase their lead, Skerries did reply with scores from Ben Keogh and Luke Harrison.
Final score: Lucan Sarsfields 1-11 Skerries Harps 0-3
Versus Cuala the favourites to win this group, our hosts were right up for this game after having a convincing win over Sylvesters and with a huge vocal support to roar them on the odds were stacked against us.
What a transformation from the first game, Skerries tore into their hosts from the start, with a brace of points from wing forward Killian McGinnis steadying the nerves, Skerries started to play the type of football they are used to.
Cuala responded as expected but Skerries kept plugging away with centre back Sam Jones driving forward to great effect with two super points, Killian McGinnis again chipped in with a point, along with Conor Walsh and Callum McDonnell to go into the half time break leading 0-7 to 0-5.
An early goal from Callum McDonnell put Skerries further ahead, the hosts started to throw everything at the Harps with captain Liam Woodcock pulling of a string of fine saves till finally Cuala sneaked a fortuitous goal to take the lead, Skerries again came back at Cuala with a Ben Keogh point to level matters, but Cuala worked the ball down the field to kick the winning point.
In a match that was there for the winning Skerries can take a lot of positives from the game, this result meant Skerries could not qualify for the play offs.
Final Score: Skerries Harps 1-08 Cuala 1-09
Versus St. Sylvesters, with every player now having played their part the shackles were off, Skerries played some excellent football, creating plenty of scoring chances and finishing them with aplomb.
In what was a very open game Skerries were clinical in their finishing leading at half time 3-01 to 1-06 with a hat trick of goals coming from full forward SENAD and Sam Jones with a point.
With Captain Oisin McKey rallying the troops for one last time they did not fail him, this time Callum McDonnell with a hat trick of goals and a superb finish by Mark Coomey gave Skerries their win in a very unusual score line of Skerries Harps 7-01 to St. Sylvesters 2-9.
A big thank you to the club and parents for all their support and to Barry Foran of OHSS for the generous sponsorship of kit bags.
The team went back to the clubhouse to watch the All Ireland U21 Final which capped a good day.
Overall this was a wonderful experience for these young men of which the club can be proud in how they represented them.