Pearses 6-9; St. Thomas 2-4: Report by Martina Donnellan. Our U12s got off to a flying start as the sun shone brightly this morning to see Pearses record a comprehensive win in their opening round of the U12 championship. They strung together a great team performance to beat St. Thomas’ 6-9 to 2-4 considering that this was their first official outing of the year with other sports interfering with challenge matches so no one knew exactly what would lie in store. But this bunch of lads are absolute stone mad sports fanatics and they gelled together as if they were a seasoned team.
Both sides started well and went at it hammer and tongs for the first 5mins. St. Thomas’ started strongly with two early points, their first a long distance free and No. 13 tapped over a lovely point from play. Pearses battled back with 2 points from play from David Walsh; the pick of them his 2nd which he lofted into the clouds with Padraic Kelly and Conor Walsh involved in the build-up which saw the contest evenly poised up to this point. Padraic Kelly put Pearses in front from which they never looked back when he pointed a beauty from a fair distance. Cathal Hynes had a chance to find the net but the goalie saved well while the rebound fell to Diarmuid Ryan who spotted the inrushing Davy Walsh on the far side and he drew a smashing save from the keeper. James Queeney put Pearses in the driving seat when he found the top left corner of the net after Diarmuid Ryan was instrumental in the move. The Pearses lads gave away a few frees, forgetting the U12 rules …. No soloing, just 1 touch and let go…. but fortunately they were only punished for one of them by their No. 9.
Diarmuid Ryan goaled just before the break after Cian Burke won the ball in defence, fed Jonah Donnellan who delivered into space for Queeney to run on to. Queeney fired into the danger area for Cathal Hynes and Diarmuid Ryan to battle it out. Diarmuid Ryan, the bigger lad lifted, turned and fired to the net which ultimately swung the encounter so that Pearses deservedly led at half time 2-3 to 0-3. The 2nd half saw a Pearses blitz assisted by the stiff breeze with Jamie Nutley and Dillon Roche having little to do. Conor Walsh continued the scoring spree within a minute of the restart with a great point as he worked hard to first win the ball in a ruck and then fire it over. Padraig Kelly then found Davy Walsh who split the posts with his 3rd from play. A poor clearance from the host’s goalie fell nicely into the hand of Jonah Donnellan and he made light work of his pointed effort with 5mins played in the 2nd half. At this stage the Pearses lads were queuing up for scores as Conor Walsh hit the butt of the post, the rebound fell to Cathal Hynes and somehow Conor Walsh got on the end of it to finish to the net. St Thomas’ quenched their barren spell as they responded with 2 quick fire goals; the first from a free which Darren Moran did well to get a hurl to but the rebound was flicked to the net from close range. Their 2nd goal was a well worked effort which brought them right back into it to reduce the deficit to 3 points almost at the midway point of the 2nd half. 3-6 to 3-3.
But Pearses found another gear as they responded in true style. Darren Moran made a superb save and straight from the puck out the ball was worked up the field with Cian Burke, Donnellanand Hynes having a hand in play before Diarmuid Ryan’s effort just had the legs to carry over. Davy Walsh scored his 4th from play after Cian Burke did the donkey work. Conor Walsh then drew a good save from the Thomas’ keeper resulting in a 65’ which Donnellan stood over and it dipped at the opportune time to find the top corner of the net. Cian Burke who was revelling in the half back line, passed to scoring mojo Davy Walsh who rattled the net to bring his personal tally from play to 1-4. Davy added a free after young Kyle McDonagh was fouled. Conor Walsh certainly finished the game as a contest with a whopping goal almost at the death while Thomas’ pointed from play in the last puck of the ball to put a better gloss on the scoreline. Final score: Pearses 6-9; St. Thomas 2-4. It was a game in which the entire team’s energy and drive was complemented by Davy Walsh with 1-4 from play and Conor Walsh with 2-1.
Panel: Darren Moran, Jamie Nutley, Dillon Roche, Patrick O’Neill, Padraic Kelly, Cian Burke, Jonah Donnellan, Conor Hillary, Conor Walsh, David Walsh, James Queeney, Diarmuid Ryan, Cathal Hynes, Fionn Donoghue, Kyle McDonagh, Daniel Lydon, Brian Thompson, Dylan King, Niall Grady, Ciarán Hogan.
Scorers: David Walsh 1-5 (0-1F); Conor Walsh 2-1; Padraig Kelly 0-1; Diarmuid Ryan 1-1; Jonah Donnellan 1-1; James Queeney 1-0.