Pádraig Pearses 1-8 St Thomas’s 1-6: Report by Martina Donnellan. Pearses U14s got off the mark this evening with their first win in the championship against St. Thomas’ on a scoreline 1-8 to 1-6. Although a low scoring encounter, it was tough, tenacious and hard tackling. Both teams were quite evenly matched, trading scores early on. Pearses had the distinction of having the most outstanding player on the pitch in Cillian Fahey who covered every blade of grass, as he ignored swishing hurls and got stuck into every ruck coming out with the ball on most occasions and if it wasn’t Cilly, it was Anthony Feeney who won the ball in the rucks.
Fahey opened Pearses account as he latched onto Harry Mitchell’s puck out, ran half the length of the field before firing over. Thomas’ replied with a long range free, from almost the 65’ line. Cilly was uncharacteristically wide with two frees before Thomas’ pointed from play with a good effort taken on the run. Immediately Pearses responded through two Fahey frees while Thomas’ converted a free to tie up the game at 0-3 apiece on 12mins.
Pearses jumped ahead on 14mins as Anthony Feeney leaped highest to catch Harry Mitchell’s puck out, found Fahey whose over the shoulder pass to talisman Diarmuid Ryan and while Ryan easily shook off the shackles of St. Thomas’ defence he throttled forward and unleashed an unstoppable powerful effort to the net. Both teams exchanged the next scores; No. 11 for St. Thomas pointed a nice score with Anthony Feeney & Conor Hillary on his tail making life difficult while an attempted pointed effort deflected off the post and well cleared by the clever play of corner back James Queeney.
The towering Diarmuid Ryan pointed from play in a move from the back originated by Jonah Donnellan whose crossfield pass found Fahey and with young Darren Moran also playing his part, the loose ball fell to Ryan who tapped over. Just as the teams broke for half time, No. 11 converted a free for Thomas’ as Jonah Donnellan fouled his man to make it Pearses 1-4; St. Thomas 0-5 at half time.
On the resumption of play the hosts pointed from a free after an unfair shoulder from Jonah Donnellan. At this stage, one could sense that St. Thomas’ knew it was now or never as they threw everything into hauling back the lead, but Pearses responded through a Fahey free, after he himself was hauled down followed by another from play when the ball broke from the ruck in which Conor Walsh and Anthony Feeney did most of the battling. 7mins into the game Thomas’ drew level when they blasted a 21’ free home with surprisingly only goalie Harry Mitchell and Jonah Donnellan on the goal line. 1-6 apiece.
From this point until the end, St. Thomas’ continued to press as a 65’ fell just short and a combined clearance from Dillon Roche, Cian Burke & young Fionn Donohue helped breathe a sigh of relief. Young Sean Kelly almost lifted the siege as he drew a good diving save from the St. Thomas’ goalie as Pearses could feel the pressure. Just at the water break in the 2nd half, Pearses management team had a few tricks up their sleeve. Harry Mitchell, just back from injury was moved to full back to help relieve some Thomas’ pressure while Darren Moran assumed the goalies spot.
Immediately Harry got stuck in as a double blockdown first by Harry and then Padraig Kelly paid dividends as Anthony Feeney flew out of the ensuing ruck with the ball. Darren Moran came to the rescue then with a smashing diving save to turn the ball around the post and out for a 65’. The resultant 65’ again was saved by a combination of that same duo: Harry Mitchell & Padraig Kelly with citóg Mitchell displaying some skill with good hurl control with his left and grabbing the ball swiftly with his right hand. Dara Scarry’s quick thinking helped push Pearses ahead once again when his quickly taken line ball to Jonah Donnellan found Cilly Fahey. Fahey helped to steady the rocking boat as he got on the end of Donnellan’s crossfield pass and a beauty curled just inside the upright to push Pearses 1 point ahead.
A free from way out the field from Cilly with minutes remaining gave Pearses a bit of breathing space. As St. Thomas’ searched for that elusive winning goal and a high looping ball was delivered into the danger area, who rose highest only Cillian Fahey back helping his defence to lift the siege and come out with the ball as ref Peter Murphy blew the final whistle. The game ended Pearses 1-8 to St. Thomas 1-6 , overall an excellent team performance by everyone especially in the end when the back line were up against it. Special mention must go to Cillian Fahey whose selfless work rate and hard running combined with excellent distribution earned him an almost flawless display. Next up is Mullagh/ Killtormer in Round 3.
Scorers: Cillian Fahey 0-7 (0-3F); Diarmuid Ryan 1-1.
Panel: Harry Mitchell, Cian Burke, Dillon Roche, James Queeney, Fionn Donohue, Jonah Donnellan, Padriag Kelly, Anthony Feeney, Conor Hillary, Sean Kelly, Cillian Fahey, Dara Scarry, Darren Moran, Diarmuid Ryan, Conor Walsh, Jack Kenny, Keith Kitt, Tadhg Hart, James Feeney, Brian Thompson, Tommy Nutley, Eoghan Ryan.