U16 Division 1 Footballers reach Playoff Final beating St. Vincents

posted 24 Jul 2019, 09:13 by Skerries Harps   [ updated 24 Jul 2019, 09:14 ]
U16 Division 1 Playoff Semi-final:
Skerries Harps vs St. Vincents.  

A large crowd of supporters gathered down at the Skerries Harps main pitch on a bright summers evening to watch the clubs u16 footballers face St. Vincents in the Division One Playoff Semi-Final. Having been beaten by 5 points away to the Marino club earlier in the league, the Harps lads were determined to overturn that result in a game destined to be a close encounter.
Scores were exchanged between both teams in the opening stages with centre-forward Eoin Wilde converting a point from a free and one from play either side of two Vincents points to leave the sides level after 15 minutes. Harps corner-forward Simon Connolly was then unfortunate not to add to their tally when his attempt on goal was excellently stopped by the opposition keeper. Skerries looked comfortable with the ball in their possession and with the reliable midfield duo of Joe May and Eoin Thorne pulling the strings in the centre of the park, many scoring opportunities were created. Harps were left to rue some of those missed chances when the men from Marino capitalised with 1-2 in quick succession heading into the final 10 minutes of the half. The response from the Harps was emphatic and Eoin Wilde kicked another free to reduce the deficit to four points thus beginning an excellent final five minutes from the Harps. Corner-forward Seán Emmett caught a high ball in space behind the St. Vincent defence and spotted wing-forward Ronan Mulcahy at the far post. An excellent fist-pass from Seán across the face of goal was calmly finished off by Ronan who palmed the ball into the net. Points which followed from full-forward Luke Whelan and Eoin Wilde left the Harps a point to the good at half-time, 1-5 to 1-4. 

Skerries picked up where they left off as the second half commenced as Joe May kicked a great point followed up by two sublime frees from Eoin Wilde whose personal tally rose to five points for the evening. Sensing the need for an urgent response Vincents delivered with a well- taken goal to leave a solidary point between the sides. Harps kept pushing forward and a superbly-struck kick-out from keeper Calum Herbert started off a great team move as Luke Whelan received the ball in the corner and drove past his man. Seán Emmett was ready to pounce at the back stick and made no mistake to score Harps’ second goal of the game, to return to a four point lead. A period of heavy pressure from Vincents resulted in a point but the dominant full-back line of Ronan Geoghegan, Eoghan O’Connor Flanagan and Roy Richardson made some crucial tackles and interceptions to deny the Marino men with wing-backs Eoin Gielty, Callan Kelly and centre-back Greg McEneany tracking back to help avert any danger. Wilde and Whelan added to the lead with the latter proving to be excellent target man for the very attack-minded Harps team. Vincents did get a point back but the pressure kept coming from Harps, with further points Wilde and Whelan ensuring their lead was widened. Heading into injury-time, Skerries looked like good money for their six point lead. Despite a determined effort from Vincents, it just wasn’t to be their day. An excellent cross-field ball played by Eoin Thorne found Ronan Mulcahy in space and the Harps number 12 rattled the top corner of the net to put the game to bed. Whelan’s third point of the game put the icing on the cake and sealed a well-deserved ten point victory, 3-13 to Vincent’s 2-6.  It was yet another famous victory for a team which has delivered some great moments for the northside club in recent years. The Harps will now face another giant of Dublin club football, Kilmacud Crokes in the Division One league final and in the meantime this team looks forward to hosting the Bryan Cullen tournament on the August bank holiday weekend.   

Skerries Harps: Calum Herbert, Ronan Geoghegan, Eoghan O’ Connor Flanagan, Roy Richardson, Callan Kelly, Greg McEneany, Eoin Gielty, Eoin Thorne, Joe May (0-1), Ronan Mulcahy (2-0), Eoin Wilde (0-9) (0-7f), Liam Cullen, Seán Emmett (1-0), Luke Whelan (0-3), Simon Connolly, Michael Leonard, Conor Moore.