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Mowlds praises NDSL efforts

Listening to the NDSL officials during my week in Limerick, the minimum level of success for the week differed from a quarter-final appearance to a semi-final appearance.

Well the team went all the way to the final and they weren't just there to make the numbers, they gave the winners, the DDSL, their most competitive game over the week-long competition.

Starting win an impressive 5-0 win against Roscommon on the opening night, the league then had their struggles on Day 2.

A poor performance in a 1-1 draw with West Cork meant an all-or-nothing game against Kerry on the Tuesday night and it was a performance built around character and fighting spirit in the pouring rain that saw them claim a late 2-1 victory to top the group.

Day 3 saw the NDSL youngsters rediscover some sort of form with a 3-1 quarter-final victory over Dundalk, but the following day they had to rely on their fighting qualities again to progress 4-2 on penalties after a 0-0 draw against Cork Schoolboys.

The final then saw the DDSL prove too strong for Jimmy Mowlds and Paul Colgan's side, but certainly they were happy that their team performed more like they could do in the final.

"We were delighted with how they played in the final and even the DDSL said afterwards we gave them a great game. As an Academy, we were delighted at how they performed in the final," added Mowlds.

"I was disappointed at how we played against Cork in the semi-finals. We have better players than what we showed in that game and we wanted the lads to show they can play and I think they did that against the DDSL. We turned up and tried to play and gave them a game."

And it was great to see that after getting to the final showing great spirit, the team showed on the competition's biggest stage they can play too.

Jimmy added: "We always say to the lads 'win the battle and then play'. In the final, we just really missed a big lad up front who could hold the ball up for us but our centre half kept playing the ball out all the time."

"Throughout the week the lads applied themselves brilliantly and went about the final in particular the right away."