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U10s Take Home John Tennyson Cup

posted 22 Aug 2012, 08:13 by Shaun-Marty Lawless

Naomh Pol Annual Under 10s Football Tournament
John Tennyson Cup and Sheila Mc Alernon Shield

Saturday 18th August 2012

Tournament Report:

St Pauls held its Annual under Tens Tournament, the John Tennyson Cup and Sheila Mc Alernon Shield at their Playing Fields on Saturday August 18th. It was a splendid day weather-wise and there was a great turnout with 15 clubs participating.

Although the tournament has been running for 25 years Ballyhegan U10s were appearing for only the second year. We turned up with a squad of 14 players on a warm sunny day and our hosts as usual had everything well organised. The pitches were perfectly marked out, a schedule of matches was given to each team and every pitch had a member of St Paul’s there to arrange the next match, keep score and provide up-dates for all visiting teams.

The Davitts started their campaign with a match against Madden, despite a strong finish we came up short and lost narrowly. We made some changes for the second game against St Michael’s and a strong display in defence by Tiernan Donachy and Dan McKeever shored things up and we came through comfortably. This convincing win secured our place in the Cup competition with the stronger teams in the Tournament. After a short break we came up against Tir na Og in the quarter final. The Davitts had played them twice already during the season and came out winners both times in close contests. We told the team that this would be their biggest challenge yet as Tir na Og would be well motivated for the game. This proved to be the case, however with clinical finishing from Jack Furphy and strong displays in defence from James Crummie and Michael McCann the Davitts came through this big test. The girls and boys were delighted to be in a semi final for the second week running however this time we were set to face Clann Eireann. This proved to be an epic match. The team were in inspired form, a fabulous flying one handed save from Ryan Rafferty a commanding midfield display from Kevin McCann and a totally dominant display from Jamie McGahan in defence took the game to extra time. During the extra period the two teams traded scores with James McCormack and Peter McGrane seeing the team through with the last two scores of the game. The large and vocal support from all the parents was in much evidence at the final whistle and the team were delighted to be in a final for the second time in a week.

The final was played against Clan na Gael who knocked us out of the Wolfe Tones Tournament at the same stage last week. Ballyhegan were well up for the challenge and the longer time allocated for the final probably suited the Davitts with the fitness work they have been doing all year. However Clan na Gael were not about to give us anything. They had some stylish forwards and strong midfielders. The Davitts though were able to match them up with Rosie Donnelly providing fresh legs in midfield and a particularly notable tackle from Kevin McCann when he chased a seemingly lost cause to make a goal saving block on the Clans forward who was clean through. This game was on a knife edge and the tension was building on the field and on the sideline. James McCormack showed magnificent leadership with an outstanding display in half forward, securing possession and setting up and scoring points with almost every play. However as the final moved towards extra time it looked as though Davitts would come up short again as the Clans put pressure on our defence. A magnificent jump and clean catch from Jamie McGahan followed by a well placed clearance relieved the pressure. The Davitts moved the ball swiftly down the field and fed it to John Doherty far out on the right wing. John used his speed to get past his marker and trusting his technique took aim and sent a long distance shot over the bar for the winning score. The final whistle went a few seconds later and this young Davitts team had their first Trophy. The scenes at the final whistle reflected the joy this young team brought to the many parents and supporters there to see the first silverware the Ballyhegan U10s have won in many years.

The Trophy was presented to joint Captains James McCormack and Kevin McCann by Mrs Tennyson wife of the late John, a valued former member of the St Paul’s Club. The St Paul’s secretary made note at the presentation of the quality of the football in the final from both teams and how the match was played in the most sporting fashion. As the St Paul’s secretary said it is a credit to the coaches of these young players that this was the best final they have had the pleasure to host.

Congratulations to the coaching team of Peter McGrane, Chris O’Carroll, Martina Donnelly, Maria Ferguson and the commitment of parents and all involved in the development of our young Davitts. This success augers well for the future of our club.

Ballyhegan Squad:
Ryan Rafferty, James Crummie, Jamie McGahan, Michael McCann, Kevin McCann, Peter McGrane, Jack Furphy, James McCormack, John Doherty, Tiernan Donachy, Dan McKeever, Rosie Donnelly, Molly Harvey, Ellie O’Gorman.