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Cobh GAA U13s finally taste victory



U13s finally taste victory.

Having started their league journey on April 9th our U13 hurlers lined out for what was to be a memorable four days, with a semi-final and final within 4 days.


Cobh v Passage : U13 “A” league semi-final

First up was a home semi-final match against Passage. This team is used to having some large crowds watching and this was to be one of the bigger crowds. In what overall a physical, and bruising encounter the lads were very well supported. Both players and supporters behaved themselves admirably, and let the referee do his difficult job on more than one occasion. Our lads were focused on the win, and stayed focused on that prize throughout the game. We had the benefit of a slight wind for the first half, and the early exchanges were very close and hard fought. By half time we had a hard earned a 5 point lead (2-4 to 1-2 lead). Up front we had some great first half performances in particular from Ryan Hickey whose hard work created many of the opportunities, and Ciaran Leahy who scored 1-1 and alongside him. However as a team we had saved the best hurling for the second half and during it we managed to hold Passage scoreless. In particular the backs excelled, with full back Odhran-kidney Power managing a strong and talented full forward, and Jeff McCarthy making several inspirational goalmouth clearances. Our half back line was fantastic with Aaron Dolan, Conor Hogan and the outstanding David Coffey, putting in lots of hard work.  The second half remained scoreless (for both sides) and the game was still in the balance, until following a shift from Midfield to full forward,  Adam O’Donovan bagged a classic “full forward” goal to finally stretch our lead to eight points. Late on, George Keating created some more chances, as Passage risked everything to try and close the gap. We finished the game with another point for a very well deserved, but very closely contested, 9 point victory. Overall a very brave team performance, but had we enough energy left for the final on Saturday ?

Cobh v Mayfield U13 “A” league Final

Having just won their semi-final on Wednesday night many of the lads were still a little sore and battle weary but they took on the challenge with great spirit. We again had a huge and vocal following who made the most of the luxurious facilities, and they filled the covered seating area with colour and support for the boys in green. On the pitch however conditions were not as good and following a heavy nights rain the Mayfield pitch was heavy and very soft in many places. Cobh started well and made the most of the chances they created. Highlights of these early exchanges was an inspiring high catch and clearance by goalkeeper Christian Field that signalled to team that today might be our day. Whilst we managed a few scores (including a spectacular point from near the endline by wing forward Dylan Higgins), Mayfield had a few wides and we went into half time with a significant 2-4 to 0-2 lead in spite of the match being very closely contested. Early exchanges in the second half were good for Cobh and we extended our lead with an early point. Mayfield threw caution to the wind and reshuffled their players in an effort to regain hope of victory. They gained some momentum with a goal and when they got a second on this game was really on. The home support had something to shout about, and our lads had to withstand a storm. With the scores standing at 2-2  to 2-6 we needed some cool heads, and we had several. Several long clearances from Paudi Kearney, Adam O’Donovan, David Coffey and centre forward Niall Spriggs, put the ball into the distant corners of the pitch and corner forwards Keith Donnachie, and Max Kahn, competed for possession, and created some chances, from which we got a valuable point. But Mayfield replied with a third goal to leave us just 2 points in the lead. Both sets of supporters were on the edge of their seats and Mayfield continued to risk everything for one more score. It was high stakes stuff from Mayfield and each time we cleared the ball up the field we looked like we might score the decisive score. Cobh keeper Christian Field stretched to deflect a Mayfield shot destined for the corner of the net, and minutes  later when Mayfield broke through from midfield and looked to have the goal at their mercy, their star player was met with a perfectly timed shoulder, a flick away of the ball, and then a clearance (all in one movement) from corner back Gearoid Lynch. Cobh supporters held their breath in case the referee called another soft  free, but so well timed was the shoulder, the question never arose. The ball was swept quickly up the pitch, and fell to Edward Lane, who beat his man and hit a well placed shot on goal. The Mayfield keeper somehow blocked the shot, but Sean Hilliard was in the right place, at the right moment to drive the rebound into the net, to restore the 5 point cushion.. A few minutes later the final whistle blew and it was the Cobh lads who were celebrating. Captain Niall Spriggs thanked the supporters for their great support over the years, and accepted the new U13 trophy on behalf of the team. The Cobh name will be the first name on this new trophy.

This team fully deserved their victory and were unbeaten throughout the league and this 100% record and final appearance was made possible by a full panel of 26 players, which also included some younger players who did play in earlier games in the league but did not get to play in this years final or semi-final. Nickolai Wilk, Pa Carey, Sean hayes, Andrew Powell, Dan Sheehan, Jack O’Donovan, Kevin Murphy and Diarmuid Kearney can all look forward to playing U13 next year, and maybe even making sure the Cobh name remains the only name on this U13 hurling League trophy next year.

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