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U15 Report from Ernie

Winning a Championship takes hard work in all kinds of weather and, as this picture from an U7 challenge match against Clontarf in November 2008 shows, this group of 2001 boys have never been afraid to put the effort in, an effort that was rewarded by the clubs second U15 A Football Championship in 3 years on a glorious day in O’Toole Park

As Dave Super Ryan said to them, they have trained like a senior team for the last month and that training paid off against a big, physical Ballyboden team. A great deal of credit must go to Dave and Panner for their coaching over the last year but as much credit must go the players, who have bought in to it and the parents who gave us great support.

The archive of this teams feats over the years can be viewed here

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Pictures here from Maurice and GAAPICS

The match itself was a great advertisement for the game of football, fast breaking, hard tackling, intensity and some brilliant point scoring. From the opening whistle Syls started fast and against the wind got the first couple of scores through fast ball delivered from the half backline by Euan Farquarson in to Denis Smith. Conor Hoyne is a very intelligent footballer who showed for every ball but also created space inside for our deadly attackers. We had spent a lot of time practising the ball to the back post and punch to the net and when Daragh McLoughney went rampaging through the middle to meet a lobbed ball with his fist we opened a lead we never subsequently relinquished. On 7 minutes Boden got a great goal but we went straight up the pitch and raised a green flag ourselves, it happened in fortuitous circumstances but in a Championship final you don’t care! Cian Grassick and Sean Gibson on the right were creating a lot of openings and Cian got a brace of points while Sean curled over a beauty. Through the first half Denis and Sean Guiden kept the scoreboard ticking over and we ended the half 2-07 to 1-04 ahead. That we had a lead of this size against the wind was a credit the hungry and committed defending of all our players but especially the goalkeeping of Simon Murphy. He made one tremendous double save that brought the large crowd to their feet and was exceptional throughout. Jack Boyne won a lot of ball and distributed it well, bringing his half backs and half forwards on to fast accurate ball.

Turning at half time we knew that Boden would throw everything at us and they did but 2 early points from Denis kept distance between us. Boden had a very good spell from 40 minutes on scoring 3 points without reply but our incredibly physical defence swarmed them and led by Aaron Coleman and Andrew Roe, nothing was given easily. Josh Bannon may not be the biggest guy but he has a huge heart and got on a lot of dirty ball and driving us out. Josh Reid is a quiet guy but he was magnificent in seeing off 3 different corner forwards. Odran Monaghan, just back from knee surgery, gave us 40 minutes of hard graft and Niall Smyth at centre forward kept a very good player quiet but also got on a good bit of ball. Pearse Clyne and Sean McCabe came in to give us fresh legs and the quality on show never diminished.

With time running down, Boden threw the kitchen sink at us but even the award of a penalty would not deny us, Simon making an incredible save and Aaron Coleman getting on the rebound and calmly working us out. As Boden came at us we had lots of space in the forwards and broke at speed a couple of times, Sean Guiden getting a sweet point and when Danny Taaffe cleverly played a beautiful through ball to Giddy with an unmarked Denis at the back post it looked game over. However a ‘Sean Cavanagh’ tackle from their No 6, ensured a one pointer rather than 3, though he did pick up a black card for his troubles.

The final score of the game was fittingly apt, a great pass from midfielder Jack Boyne to a marauding half back, Sean Gibson, a dummy solo that drew gasps from everyone in the crowd and a tap over the bar. Final score 2-12 to 1-7 and a well-deserved win which goes some way towards the disappointment of losing finals last year. Our panel was boosted up to the 24 permitted today by a few of the lads who usually star for our B team but who have been as committed in training as their A counterparts. It has certainly broadened our panel and given us more options. A total of 26 players played A football in either League or Championship.

It was great to see the big Syls crowd at the game especially the Minor team who called in on their way back from beating Ballyboden and also our hurlers and B footballers who have trained shoulder to shoulder with the lads who were on the pitch today. Thank you also to the Coaching Advisory Group who gave us Aoife Burke as physio, she performed miracles in getting guys who were very doubtful not only on to the pitch but in fine fettle.

This caps the end of a great year for the 2001 group, not only a Championship trophy but a historic achievement in qualifying for the top 4 playoffs in Division 1 Hurling, both codes can survive and prosper together.

Squad: Simon Murphy, Josh Reid, Andrew Roe, Josh Bannon, Sean Gibson, Aaron Coleman, Euan Farquarson, Daragh McLoughney, Jack Boyne, Cian Grassick, Niall Smyth, Odran Monaghan, Denis Smith, Sean Guiden, Conor Hoyne, Danny Taaffe, Sean McCabe, Pearse Clyne, Daire de Burca, Aaron Lambe, Daniel Stone, Paul Downey, Sean Murphy, Callum Clarke, Ronan Furlong.

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