The second annual Colm Cooper Blitz

posted 18 Sep 2013, 04:29 by Skerries Harps   [ updated 20 Sep 2013, 01:07 ]

The second annual Colm Cooper Blitz Saturday 7th Sept 2013 Dr Crokes Killarney

Just before dawn on Saturday the 7th of September 61 (26 players) brave and willing souls departed Skerries with a sense of adventure and willingness to accept the invitation sent out by Dr. Crokes to participate in their annual Colm “Gooch” Cooper blitz.

This is an initiative set up by Dr. Crokes to honour one of the greats of the GAA and his famous number #13 shirt.

The format of the blitz is centred around the #13 – Under 13 competition; 13 a-side games; 13 minutes a half; goal posts were set up from the 13 metre line to opposite 13 metre line; one hop and one solo; 2 Groups of 4 with top two from both going into the Cup Semi-finals and the bottom teams entering the Shield semi-finals.

First Round 12.20pm– Skerries Harps 1-07 Clonmel Commercials (Tipperary) 0-2

Captain Conor Walsh led by example dominating the early exchanges and driving forward from the centre back berth setting up some early scores and setting the tone for the day. Skerries mid-fielders Sam Jones and Joe Marron offered great support to both the defence and attack. Full Back Donal Cotter intercepted numerous attacks and ably supported by Shane Dowling closed down any Commercial attacks that came their way. Skerries led at the break 1-5 to 0-2. Half Forwards Adam Bund and Killian McGinnis dominated the second half although the team did not capitalise with scores they did create several chances. Skerries scored another two points to run out as comfortable winners

Scorers: Joe Marron 1-1 Conor Walsh 0-3; Killian McGinnis 0-2; Luke Harrison 0-1

Second Round 13.40pm – Skerries Harps 2-06 Castlehaven (Cork) 2-04

Skerries attacked Castlehaven managed by former Cork great Niall Cahalane from the start through captain and mid-fielder Sam Jones who scored a rapid 1-1. Ably supported by fellow mid-fielder Thomas McBrien who also scored an early point, Skerries took an early five point lead against their Cork opposition. However complacency set in and Skerries conceded some soft frees with Castlehaven converting two to bring them back into the game, disaster struck for the Harps when poor communication seen Castlehaven finding the back of their net to level the game at half time.

Castlehaven started the second half at a furious pace scoring an early goal and point and making life difficult for the Harps throughout the pitch. An inspirational 45’ from McBrien lifted the young Harps to better things. Scores from Adam Bund, Killian McGinnis and Callum McDonnell who lofted a fantastic score from a difficult angle brought Skerries to within a point of their Cork opposition. Skerries completely dominated the remainder of the game but could not work an equaliser and with time running out McBrien ran from deep working the ball well to put himself in a position to score a cracking goal and giving the Castlehaven keep no chance to win by a two point margin.

Scorers: Thomas McBrien 1-2 Sam Jones 1-1; Adam Bund 0-1; Killian McGinnis 0-1; Callum McDonnell 0-1;

Third Round 15.00pm – Skerries Harps 2-04 Monaleen (Limerick) 1-0

Captained by the inspirational Donal Cotter from mid-field , the Skerries forward line received plenty of possession, with full-forward John Healy setting the way with a very well taken point. This was quickly followed by a free from dynamic half forward Cormac Rocks. With Monaleen starting to take over the Skerries defence led by Declan O’Reilly and Tim Sharkey held firm and held their cool under pressure. The Harps half back line of Oisin Cousins, Patrick Finn and Patrick Hutton held a strong line of defence with some excellent tackling and interceptions. A superbly well taken goal from Darragh Redmond, followed by a point by Ronan Horan put Skerries into a well deserved lead approaching half time but then disaster struck Monaleen scored a goal out of the blue to leave the half time score at 1-3 to 1-0.

Again the young Harps men did not panic and relished the task set them for the second half to ensure they finished the top of the group. Half forwards Mark Coomey and Ronan Horan terrorised the Monaleen defence reaping their rewards with Horan scoring 1-1 to finish top of the group and now fixed to play the Hosts Dr. Crokes in the semi-final.

Scorers: Ronan Horan 1-2; Darragh Redmond 1-0; John Healy 0-1; Cormac Rocks 0-1

Semi – Final 16.20pm – Skerries Harps 2-06 Dr. Crokes (Kerry) 1-08

An epic game played at a thundering pace, the hosts dictated the early pace of this game and went into an early three point lead before the men from the capital could find their feet. Full forward Luke Harrison dragged his team back into touching distance with two excellent points, then flying mid-fielder Thomas McBrien came thundering through to score an excellent goal after great play from defenders Shane Dowling and inspirational captain Fionn O’Leary. With the ‘Gooch’ watching on Crokes came back with a couple of scores before the driving force that is Adam Bund kept his composure to give Skerries a half time lead of 1-3 to 0-4.

Crokes started the second half by putting the Skerries defence under considerable pressure and scoring 1-3 without reply, to their credit the Harps men held their nerve and started their come back with Bund kicking two points, with time running out Skerries threw caution to the wind with midfielders McBrien and Jones driving forward at every opportunity chance came their way. Bund cracked the cross bar with Crokes defenders hanging onto him for dear life, it looked like Skerries had run out of time. With Skerries collecting the kick-out full forward Harrison cracked the ball to the Crokes net with aplomb and Bund scoring a point from the resultant kick-out the game had turned in Skerries favour. Crokes with time running out earned a free but with nothing getting by the Skerries defence led by Josh McGough and Conor Walsh they took their point and with that the full time whistle went. Skerries were now through to the final.

Scorers: Luke Harrison 1-2; Adam Bund 0-4; Thomas McBrien 1-0

Final 17.40pm – Skerries Harps 0-03 Corofin (Galway) 2-04

Captain Shane Dowling led his team out for the final of this eagerly awaited game, after a thrilling day it came down to a showdown between the men from Dublin and the men from Galway. Corofin who are one of the top clubs in Connaught football have a very proud tradition and can back it up with a senior club All Ireland as well as a number of All Ireland Feile titles.

The Skerries rear-guard were under immediate pressure from the opposition with Corofin finding the back of goal keeper Liam Woodcock’s net and racing into a five point lead. The Skerries men were not holding back with Luke Harrison and Ronan Horan kicking excellent points to give Skerries a fighting chance. With Skerries driving forward at every opportunity chances were presenting themselves, Mid-fielder Sam Jones was denied by the Corofin goalkeeper after great work to get through their tight defence, Skerries continued to bombard their defence but could not find a way through, Skerries trailed at the break 1-3 to 0-2.

The second half was equally as frustrating for Skerries with the Corofin goal keeper surely man of the match with some telling saves. Corofin hit Skerries on the break to close the game out with a well worked goal. The Skerries lads never gave up and continued to attack the Corofin defence through good play from Patrick Finn, Jodi McIvor and Joe Marron. Finally half forward Killian McGinnis took a great score from an acute angle to match the Corofin team. With the whole Skerries panel getting a run out during the final this helped to strengthen the team bond which was the overall objective of the trip as well as the experience of playing teams laden with history from other counties. These goals were certainly met.

The club would like to thank Dr. Crokes for the invitation and hospitality they afforded the team on the day also the great Gooch who made himself available to everybody and anybody no matter what the request!

These young men represented themselves in the best possible manner and were a credit to their parents and club it was a privilege for us (the mentors) to be involved with such a committed group!

The Skerries Harps U13 Mentors

Team in Full:

Bund Adam, Coomey Mark, Cotter Donal, Cousins Oisin, Dowling Shane, Finn Patrick, Foran Kieran, Harrison Luke, Hutton Patrick, Healy John, Horan Ronan, Jones Sam, Marron Joe, McBrien Thomas, McDonnell Callum, McGinnis Killian, McGough Josh, McIvor Jodi, O'Leary Fionn,O'Reilly Declan, O'Sullivan Fionnan, Redmond Darragh, Rocks Cormac, Sharkey Tim, Walsh Conor, Woodcock Liam