U 16 Football
Trim Show Character in Jekyll and Hyde Performance
What a game!
Trim looked to be coasting to victory after the opening half when they led by 5-5 to 0-7 for Duleek/Bellewstown (DB). Twenty minutes in to the second half they were 6-9 to 5-9 down and struggling badly to regain control. All seemed lost five minutes later when they went a further two points down but, in a magnificent rally, they scored 2-2 and remarkably led by a goal going in to injury time before an onslaught on the Trim goals saw DB score an equalizing goal on the stroke of full time.
It was all Trim in the first half as they converted their possession into score after score. A move from the throw in involving Brian Bolger, John McEvoy, Aonghus Short and finally Liam O’Reilly saw the opening point. This was quickly followed by an Ian Birmingham pass to Aonghus Short who finished to the net. DB’s only reply was a point from a free.
Ian Birmingham started the next move passing to Liam O’Reilly on to Aonghus who returned the pass to Ian who crashed it to the net. Two further passages of fast moving play involving Ben Holden, Harry Kennedy and Conor Quigley resulted in a Quigley point. Conor started the next move passing to Ian, on to Ben to be finished over the bar by Harry Kennedy.
A Duleek point from a free was quickly followed by a Harry Kennedy goal from the penalty spot. Aonghus Short, having a magnificent game in the full forward line intercepted a ball and pointed. Harry Harlin playing at midfield chalked up the next goal for Trim with a beautifully placed lob over the goalkeeper’s head.
DB made several attacks and were frustrated time and time again by Peter Brennan in goals with some great saves. It was evident that DB had firepower in their attack but Trim’s defence was in fine form as Conall Rogers and Adam Wilson intercepted some fine moves and forced DB to shoot wides from good positions. Sean Mahoney was rock solid at centre back and Conor Quigley and Ben Holden were very active in defence and attack. At midfield Harry Harlin and Brian Bolger held sway for long periods and laid the foundation for Trim’s scores.
Duleek scored two points and Harry Kennedy responded with a point following a pass from Aonghus. Jonathan McEvoy added the last goal of the half for Trim after a move involving Harry Kennedy, Mark Dempsey and Aonghus Short leaving the half time score
Trim 5-5 DB 0-7.
If the first half was a procession of scores for Trim the first twenty minutes of the second half belonged to DB. They registered two goals in the opening few minutes of the half Jonathan McEvoy replied with a top class long range point. This was followed by four more DB goals as they tore through the Trim defence and midfield. Incredibly fifteen minutes into the second half DB had taken the lead 5-6 to 5-7 and Trim were in big trouble.
Duleek stretched their lead with another point shortly after but Sean O’Mahony placed Conor Quigley for a steadying point to reduce their lead to the minimum. Duleek stretched their lead with another point immediately afterwards. (5-7 to 5-9).
Over the next ten minutes Trim’s scored two points per Conor Quigley and Aonghus Short to draw level again.
But once again Duleek responded with 1-1 to take a four point lead. The goal resulted from a move initiated when Conor Quigley was clearly fouled and pushed off the ball.
A lesser team would have folded but this team have more character than that. They started to regain some of their composure with the return to play of Ian Birmingham, Liam O’Reilly and Brian Bolger who were called off earlier.
A bizarre incident then occurred. Trim started to reassert themselves and DB resorted to some cynical fouling which resulted in one of their players getting a black card and dismissal from the field. However, because Duleek had no subs the referee informed Trim they had to take a player off as well-a clear anomaly in the “fair play” rules.
The resultant free saw Harry Kennedy add to his points total. In a frantic final two minutes Trim pulled out all the stops and with two great moves scored a further 2-1 (Conor Quigley 1-1 and Ian Birmingham 1-0) to take a goal lead in injury time. Duleek launched two final attacks, the first magnificently thwarted by Peter Brennan and cleared by Oran Kirby but the second ended in the Trim net for a 7-11 to 7-11 final scoreline.
The Jekyll and Hyde performance by Trim can be explained by a number of factors, fatigue in the sweltering heat after a great first half, the policy of trying to ensure all players on the panel get some playing time and the disruption it causes, home venue for Duleek, some refereeing decisions at crucial times (we benefited from some too) and the levels of fitness that needs to be improved.
Whatever the reasons they should not overshadow the determination and character shown by the team in the last ten minutes of this game.
Trim play Donaghmore-Ashbourne in a “do or die” encounter for a semi-final place. Trim must win this match to ensure it is in the shake up for the semi-final. If Trim wins and there is a clear result in the Dunshaughlin v Duleek match then we will be in the semi-finals. If those teams draw then there will be further play off matches
Trim Panel: Ian Birmingham, Peter Brennan, Harry Harlin, Ben Holden, Harry Kennedy Sean Mahony, Liam O’Reilly, Conor Quigley, Conor Rogers, Aonghus Shortt, Adam Boyle, Evan de Courcey-Tobin, Mark Dempsey, Josh Gavin, Oran Kirby, Adam Wilson, Jonathan