Result: Skerries Harps 7-6 Fingallians 1-6
Moriarty’s sponsored under-14 footballers got back into the groove in a hard fought challenge versus Fingallians in a cold and windy Balheary Park on Saturday. Having competed well in division 1 last year, this group of lads have braved the wind and rain for their pre-season preparations since early January , working hard in the shadows of the impressive new Harps Clubhouse Development, under the watchful eye of coach Thomas Connolly.
This was a tough, physical battle in hardy conditions and although there were signs of rustiness, it was the Skerries lads who struck first, a long range effort from Paul Wilde coming off the crossbar before the ball literally blew into the net. The ever improving Liam Byrne led his forward line, winning ball and offloading to his supporting team mates and he was rewarded for his efforts with a great point on 18 minutes. Daragh Archbold added a point for Harps to lead 1-2 to 0-0. Matt Dooley and Rory Garland came into the fray and steadied the half back line with some great possession play.
However, the Swords men hit back with two points and but for a huge workmanlike performance by Conor Nulty and Matthew Kelly in the middle of the park, it could have been worse for the boys in blue. A solid and slick full back line of Adam El Shamy, Harry Archer and David Duffy frustrated the opposition before they finally succumbed to a well worked attack resulting in a goal, leaving us at half time 1-4 to 1-2.
Harps regrouped and the half forward line answered the half-time call by working harder against the wind. Eoin Winters, Sean Campbell and Alan Joyce hassled, harried and won valuable possession, Bryan Cullen-style, to help soak up ten minutes of pressure against a strong wind. Finn Chatten began to get a grip of midfield and with the cob-webs well and truly swept away, the sea-siders began to show the swagger that thrilled us in 2014. Matt Kelly hit a great point before Robert Delaney kicked into gear with three well taken goals. Adam Fearon stamped his authority on the game, putting a bullet into the onion sack with his weaker foot following a darting run straight through the Fins defence.
Emmet Trant was unlucky a couple of times in front of goal but never gave up and gave the perfect layoff to the goal machine, David Boyd, to add his trademark strike on the game with a low shot what beat the keeper at the near post. The lads in red and white pressed hard but were frustrated by excellent goalkeeping from Eoghan Mc Donald who has the ability to land a kick-out on a pin!! Cian Mullarkey, our star centre-back, was re-introduced at half forward and showed how versatile he is when he buried the ball in the net after a long winding run.
The final whistle blew, much to the delight of our brave and ever supportive parents who were blue with the cold but happy with our first performance of 2015. The lads start our league next week with our Division 1 team away to Clan na Gael and our Division 7 team at home to Fingallians.
Mentors today : Pat Delaney, Joe Kelly, Thomas Connolly & Peter Mullarkey