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U13s at Aghamore Co Mayo

The u13 football panel - 28 kids and their dads headed to Mayo last Saturday week to play a challenge match vs Aghamore, Co Mayo and Michael Glaveys of Roscommon. Both matches were played at the Connacht GAA centre of Excellence in Bekan, Co Mayo. This is a state of the art facility outside Ballyhaunis with a fully equipped gymnasium, staff rooms, meeting areas etc , 4 pitches and 1 all weather facility (indoor pitch is also underway). Many thanks to John Cox and Aghamore GAA Club for arranging access to these facilities.

The A team played against Aghamore and got off to a poor start conceding a goal in the first minute. Conditions were extremely wet and it took a while for the lads to get momentum ( a few missed tackles and a number of wides didn't help the cause) as Aghamore clocked up a number of scores by half time. A quick check with the referee noted that Aghamore had a10 point advantage. Shay and Ciaran made a few tactical positional changes and there was some tough motivational talking during the half time team talk.

The second half was like watching a different match as Sylvesters played unbelievable football - great performances all round the pitch with Alan Byrne and Gavin Hydes dominating midfield. Defence was watertight despite the rain with Harry Barnes taking full control with John Gleeson and Sean O'Donnell, mopping up everything that came their way . Josh Reinhardt was majestic at centre back with Stephen Lowe, Brian Murray and Anthony Cox making excellent runs at the Aghamore defense. Stephen Lowe is without doubt one of the fastest players we have come across for some years - watch this space. Brian Murray made some great tackles while Anthony's distribution was top class. Liam Shalloe had his best game ever in the Syls jersey in the half forward line and kicked over a number of excellent scores while Liam Foley won everything that came his way in the full forward line and had a marvelous game. Some of the defensive work particularly in the middle third was immense. An injury to David McCormack resulted in more positional changes as he went into the corner and managed to knock over a few points. Luke Peyton did very well covering a lot of ground (pitch is similar dimensions to Croke Pk) to set up a number of scores for incoming players. Jamie Costello's distribution in goals was excellent.

For the final ten minutes we were camped in the Aghamore half seeking that elusive score ( we just couldn't hit the net) and so had to keep taking our points up to then. Eventually Capt Alan Byrne ran at the defense to score from distance. A remarkable performance resulted in the lads achieving a 1 point win. Many thanks to Ciaran, Shay and Dave for all their encouragement to the lads who looked as though they could have played all evening. All the hard training since the Summer on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the old Rugby Club is really paying dividends and it's great to see all the lads progressing so well - great commitment from both the players and coaches each week as we now have a really solid basis for bringing us into 2014.

A team - Jamie Costello, John Gleeson, Sean O'Donnell, Harry Barnes, Josh Reinhardt, Brian Murray, Stephen Lowe, Alan McKenna-Byrne, Gavin Hydes, Liam Shalloe, David McCormack, Anthony Cox, Liam Foley, Luke Peyton

So it was back to the McWilliam Hotel for a quick change and then a trip by bus to John Cox's alma mater in Aghamore. We received a marvelous reception from everyone there and we'd like to extend our gratitude and thanks to Aghamore GAA Club for all their kind hospitality. John Cox was master of ceremonies as cups were presented and speeches were made - Ciaran Meehan and Keith Murphy also took the mic in extending our gratitude to John and the people of Aghamore. It wasn't easy rounding everyone up at 11 o clock to bring us back to the hotel but we managed to gently escort everyone off the premises.

Back at the hotel, our very own Lennon & McCartney aka Ray Clifford and Dave Peyton were on hand with the guitars to provide musical entertainment with Shay Byrne, Liam Foley and others in fine voice until the small hours. Breakfast was a quiet affair on Sunday morning as everyone slowly headed back to the big smoke. A really enjoyable weekend had by all - many thanks to all the sponsors and in particular John Shiels of Londis for sponsoring refreshments for the lads and Bright Sparks Montessori in Kinsealy for sponsoring our new kit.


Again, many thanks to John Cox for organizing transport, accommodation etc - everyone really enjoyed a great weekend in the West.

By the way - next match this Saturday in Bridgefield at 3 vs Skerries

Photos to follow and Keith to send report on B team match vs Michael Glaveys of Roscommon!!

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