U14 Championship Rd. 2

Tommie Larkins 1-10 Pearses 2-6: A big physical Tommie Larkins team travelled to Ballymacward this morning to take on Pearses in Round 2 of the U14B group stages. Conor Moran got our youngsters off to a flying start with a point from play originating from a Cian Murphy free which was played in to corner forward Paddy Kenny who found Moran lurking unmarked to tap over in front of the posts. Paddy Kenny put us 2 points to the good a minute later after a hand pass from Luke Mitchell. Just before that, full back Brian Kelly made a vital interception and Harry Mitchell a great save from a ground pull.
Larkins got on the scoreboard with a point from the stand side of the field assisted with the breeze and levelled matters from a 65 after Brian Kelly initially did well to turn the ball around the post. The game was tied at 0-2 a piece on the quarter hour mark. Then Conor Moran got his 2nd point after Paddy Kenny did the donkey work rolling the ball nicely onto his stick and a lovely stick pass across to Moran to put us a point in front. Minutes later Larkins levelled matters and then Harry Mitchell made a splendid save when a goal looked ominous with a great first time pull but his long clearance fell to Larkins No. 11 who threw it over the bar to go ahead for the first time on 18 mins.
A free from Larkins No. 6 from the stand side of the field put them 0-5 to 0-3 ahead. Then Larkins scored a point from play from around the 45’ line to fire themselves 0-3 in front. Then just before half time we were dealt a blow as Larkins scored a fortuitous goal when Harry Mitchell gathered the ball in goals but was adjudged to have been behind the goal line and the Larkins umpire was quick to raise his hand to flag the goal. Cian Murphy converted a free after a chop down on Luke Mitchell but Larkins responded immediately up the other end with a point from play after a good solo down the stand side of the field. 1-07 to 0-4 at half time and an uphill 2nd half battle was required to bring us back into this game.
Pearses needed to score immediately after the restart to get back into the game but it was Larkins who capitalised on their possession as their No. 11 again ran right through the centre and tapped over the bar. Cian Murphy then scored from play after good work from young Conor Kelly and Conor Moran. Cian Murphy missed a golden opportunity to raise a green flag as he ran through the heart of the defence and tapped the ball inches to the left of the post but the ref awarded a 21 yard free for an earlier foul which was taken by Murphy but somehow scrambled away from danger by Larkins.
Tommie Larkins danger man then ran almost half the length of the field before firing over from the left side and followed up with a free to put Larkins 1-10 to 0-05 in front. The rest of the game belonged totally to Pearses. Conor Moran gave us the tonic required as he scored a great goal from 30 yards to kickstart the fightback. Although missing a scorable free Cian Murphy was coming more and more into the game winning a 65 which was delivered into the danger area by Luke Mitchell and whipped on first time by Paddy Kenny and into the back of the net. 2 points in it but the clock was against us.
Then Conor Moran took a great line ball into our tallysman Cian Murphy who drew 5 players on him before passing to the unmarked David Hillary who fired over to put the minimum between the sides. Then the fearless Harry Mitchell made a point blank save as Larkins fired in a long ball which was caught by the Larkins forward who lashed first time only for brave young Mitchell to pounce off his line in a bid to close down the forward as the ball ricocheted off his back to deny a certain goal. All eyes were on the ref as the clock was counting down and so it finished with a great Pearses comeback showing true courage, grit andamp;amp; bravery with only a point between the sides in the end. Full time: Pearses 2-06; Tommy Larkins 1-10.
Pearses: Harry Mitchell, Oisin Donoghue, Brian Kelly, Robert Fahy, Peter O’Neill, Robert Hynes, Luke Mitchell, David Hillary, Ethan Lally, Daragh Roche, Cian Murphy, Conor Moran, Paddy Kenny, Ronan Hynes, Conor Kelly, Mark Donnellan, Stephen Grady, Jack Reilly, Eanna Cunniffe, Daragh Scarry.
Report by Martina Donnellan.