Menlough 0-10 Pearses 0-3: Report by Martina Donnellan. Well the first weekend of the U12 gaelic football arrived this morning, Easter Sunday and no better opposition than neighbours Menlough. There was always going to be a bit of a bite to this game given that so many opposing players know each other so well being comrades with the local soccer team. The Easter Sunday morning sun was out in Ballymac along with many of the parents. Excitement was high and positions picked by manager Gareth Lally, who had to rush off after the game to tog out for Pearses in their 2nd round hurling championship tie against Athenry – they knew the shape and the plan all they had to do was execute it. But when you’re up against a football stronghold like Menlough, plans go out the window.
David Walsh had Pearses off the mark with a good point from play within a minute after good work at the back from Conor Walsh, involving Jonah Donnellan, Conor Hillary andamp;amp; Ross Lally where Walsh made the hard work look easy. The next 7 mins saw a barren spell with both teams registering wides. Diarmuid Ryan made a super save to concede a 45’ which was taken by Paddy Flynn, fell back to Shane Quirke, but he also drove his effort wide. The ensuing kick out was won by Paddy Flynn who kicked over from close range on 11mins to level matters.
Menlough added a free moments later and from there, they never looked back. Pearses won 2 consecutive 45’s after good work from Darren Moran as Fionn Flattery saved well for Menlough but the Menlough backs did their job as they defended resolutely. After a pause in play due to an ankle injury to the young but wirey Kyle McDonagh, Menlough tapped over another free following the resumption of play to make it 0-3 to 0-1. David Walsh whipped the ball off his own goal line just before half time to keep 2 points between the sides at the break as one felt the comeback was doable.
Pearses restarted the 2nd half positively but knew they had an uphill battle ahead. It was Menlough who added to the scoreline with another effort from play while Shane Quirke added a Menlough point on the run before Fionn Donohue latched onto a long delivery from Jonah Donnellan to score a nice point. Eoghan Ryan had a good chance as he got on the end of David Walsh’s delivery but he shot across the face of goal where Darren Moran had to work hard to keep the ball in play but he kicked wide from an acute angle.
The resultant kick out was won by Conor Hillary who was fouled and David Walsh tapped over the free as he clawed the lead back to 2points and added a sliver of hope. 0-5 to 0-3. Then as Jonah Donnellan went off injured in the last 10mins, Menlough took over as the Pearses boys were made sweat. Killian Hughes added 2 points and a free after Shane Kenny was fouled. Patrick Flynn pointed after he latched onto a free from Shane Quirke andamp;amp; Hughes tapped over a free late in the game after Quirke was fouled to finish easy victors on a tough first day out for Gary Lally’s lads and his sidekick for the day James Clancy as joint manager Johnny Lally was off on his travels. Final scoreline: Pearses 0-3; Menlough 0-10.
Panel: Diarmuid Ryan, Cathal Hynes, James Queeney, David Walsh, Conor Walsh, Kyle McDonagh, Conor Hillary, Jonah Donnellan, James Feeney, Patrick O’Neill, Dillon Roche, Ross Lally, Darren Moran, Fionn Donohue, Rian Donohue, Sean Kelly, Jack Kenny, Jamie Nutley, Dylan King, Tadhg Hart, Tommy Nutley, Eoghan Ryan,