Skerries turn tables in Cup decider
THE nerves of Skerries Town supporters were jangling at the start of this Under-13 NDSL Cup Final - and rightly so!
Opponents Dunshaughlin Youths had beaten Skerries comprehensivly this season on two occasions - 4-1 and 5-1 - but the Fingal boys turned the tables on the Meath club with a superb victory.
The game was played on the well manicured Oscar Traynor main pitch, and despite heavy showers the night before it was in peak condition.
Dunshaughlin created the first clear-cut chance, but tigerish tackling from Ben Oaks and steadfast goalkeeping from the ever-impressive Tadhg Kelly saved the day. Jake Cruise, Callum O'Sullivan and Conall Tully were also to the fore for Skerries as fought to remain on level terms.
In midfield, Rian O'Connor, Liam Byrne, Mathew Donnelly and Rory Garland were doing great work trying to create some chances for skilfull forwards Emmet Trant and Conor Kinsella, but it was Dunshaughlin who made the breakthrough with a goal from Adam Ward just before half-time.
Mathew Kelly's pep talk at the interval had the desired effec, though. Instead of wallowing in disappointment, the Skerries players started the second half with much more self-belief, determination and the conviction that 'today is going to be our day' and nothing was going to stop them.
They started to pass the ball around with the accuracy and composure they have shown all year, with the help of the hard-working Adam Hanratty, James Dempsey, Patrick Lattimore and Daragh McCarney who had joined the fray at this stage.
Some good attacking play from Skerries resulted in a corner and Rory Garland's delivery was a peach as he scored direct from it!
A short time later, Daragh McCarney scored number two for Skerries after getting around the keeper and managing to force the ball over the line despite the desperate efforts of a defender.
Kinsella, Donnelly and McCarney were starting to control midfield, and along with the hard working Dempsey, Byrne and Hanratty, Skerries were finding ways to unlock the Dunshaughlin defence.
They profited again when Mathew Donnelly went on one of his trademark driving runs that have resulted in so many goals this season and squared the ball across for Emmet Trant to finish to the net - 3-1.
The Skerries crowd went wild with celebration, and with the benifit of the safe hands of Tadhg Kelly and the customary resolute defending of Oaks, Tully, Cruise and O'Sullivan, Skerries held out. The relief and joy when the referee sounded his whistle was palpable!
The Dunshaughlin team deserve great credit for their battling performance and Mathew Kelly and Tom Garland and Aaron Mullen must be congratulated for the improvements they have made with this Skerries team.
After the match, the trophies and cup were presented to captain Mathew Donnelly and the Man of the Match award went to Daragh McCarney.
SKERRIES TOWN: Tadhg Kelly, Ben Oakes, Jake Cruise, Callum O'Sullivan, Adam Hanratty, Patrick Lattimore, Liam Byrne, Conall Tully, Mathew Donnelly, James Dempsy, Ryan O'Connor, Conor Kinsella, Daragh McCarney, Emmet Trant, Rory Garland.