UMBRO U14 DIV 4: MACROOM 4, LEEDS 1 MACROOM under-14s secured the league title in emphatic fashion in front of a large crowd in Murrayfield on Saturday, March 31, winning 4-1.
This was a significant achievement, given that they were promoted to Division 4 only last year and having to deal with the loss of one of their star men Cathal O'riordan for most of the season.
The game itself was hugely entertaining, the first half was end to end, with both sides competing well. Chances were limited though, with defences on top. The first chance fell to the home side, when Ethan O'gorman cross was stabbed towards goal by Jack Kelleher, but Alan Murphy did well to save low on 10. The away side broke well on 16 through Dean Geaney, who fed in Evan Kelly whose effort went just wide.
The home side were pressing hard to open the scoring, but the Leeds defence were defending set plays competently. Macroom were unlucky not to take the lead on 22, when a Aidan Mcmahon corner was headed goal wards by Conor Cronin, but his effort was cleared off the line.
Wing wizard Thomas Mccarthy for the away side was growing more and more into the game, and his skill and vision was causing problems for the home side. And it was Mccarthy who put the away side in front just before half time, when he won and then took the free kick, rocketing it in from 25 yards.
The home side have had to come from behind on more than one occasion this season, and duly got on level terms five minutes from the restart. Mcmahon swung in a glorious corner, and Jack Cronin rose highest to nod home on 40. Within two minutes, a shocked Leeds side found themselves behind, when a rasping free kick from Conor Cronin was saved, but Jack Kelleher got to the rebound to head home on 53.
Leeds went searching for the equaliser, and with the home side making tactical changes to nullify the threat of Mccarthy, the home defence were comfortable. Macroom got their third on 60, with a near identical goal. A Cronin free kick was again saved, but Kelleher was again quickest to the rebound. Leeds nearly halved the deficit immediately, when a Callum O'shea run and shot went just over Dineen's bar.
The away defence were not learning from their mistakes, when amazingly Kelleher completed his hatrick on 68, when an Mcmahon free kick was again well saved, but Kelleher was on hand to tap home the rebound to secure Macroom U14 their second title in three years.
The management team of William O'riordan, Denis Canty and Alan O'connor would like to thank all players, parents, and fans for their effort over the past season. MACROOM: Caleb Dineen, Ryan Creed, Aidan Mcmahon, Blake O'gorman, Conor Cronin, Jack Cronin, Mark Corrigan, Kyle Kelleher, Jack Kelleher, Jack O'donovan, Ethan O'gorman. SUBS: Frankie Clarke, Michael Mcsweeney, Luke Costin Healy, Brian Hinchion, Stephen O'riordan, Daniel Drage, Dylan Gray, Alan O'farrell, Mark Meaney, Colin Watt RACE NIGHT: MACROOM Soccer Club is holding a race night at Murray's Bar on Easter Sunday, April 8. First race out is at 9pm with full bar facilities and admission is free.