Thriller in Trim
Trim and Clann na nGael renewed their intense rivalry in underage football when the under 17’s team met in rain soaked conditions in Trim on Friday 23rd March. Despite the atrocious downpour for the entire match and a surface that was just about playable after all the bad weather recently both teams served up a scintillating display of open, attacking football which ended in a welter of excitement as the teams ended level on a Trim 4-7 Clann na nGael 5-4 scoreline.
The signs of an epic battle were there from the opening few minutes with Trim opening the scoring with a great finish from Mikey Cole for a goal. Within minutes Clanns had equalized with a great goal from a tight angle by Thomas Doyle. The sides swopped points immediately after with Conor Quigley hitting the target for Trim.
Play swung from end to end and there was some great defending for Trim from Brian Bolger, Sean Mahony, Oran Kirby, Ben Holden and Harry Harlin and the ever reliable Peter Brennan in goals. Harry Kennedy, was given the task of marking Clanns dangerman Darragh Swaine and he did a great job for the entire match. Conall Rogers, playing at right half forward, an unusual position for him, was prominent during this half and made some great runs to create space for colleagues.
Clanns took the lead again with a goal from Daragh Canny but Harry Kennedy responded five minutes later with a cheeky finish to the net and he added a further point from a free shortly afterwards to restore the lead for Trim.
Just as it looked like Trim were gaining control Clanns hit back with another goal, after a mix up in the Trim defence, to give them a two point lead. Justin Barbiu reduced that to the minimum shortly afterwards with a great left footed point and the same player responded with a great goal after Clanns had restored their two point advantage with a well taken score. It was Clanns that had the final say in this half with a point on the half time whistle to make the half time score:
Trim 3-3 Clann na nGael 3-3
If anyone thought the game would quieten down in the second half as the weather and pitch took its toll they were mistaken. Trim opened well with points from Conor Quigley (2) and Ian Birmingham but they suffered two serious blows as Liam O’Reilly and Dylan Farrell, both of whom were playing well at the time, had to retire from play. Mark Dempsey and Aidan Hilliard substituted for them.
Clanns put on the pressure for some time after this and certainly had Trim under the cosh but solid defending and some poor finishing by Clanns meant that Trim retained their three point advantage up to the 22nd minute. Their determination and spirit epitomized b
y a full length diving block by Harry Kennedy when Clanns looked certain to goal. However, the pressure finally told and Clanns got 1-1 in the next few minutes to take a one point lead.
But Trim refused to go down without a fight. Frank O’Reilly worked tirelessly throughout the match to get possession for Trim in the forward line. His tenacity and use of the possession he got was impressive and crucial for Trim especially in the later stages of the match.
A sweeping move up the field involving Ben Holden who gave a “Man of the Match” display throughout, the very impressive Sean Foley and Mark Dempsey saw the latter finish the ball to the net for a well worked and well taken goal. Clanns worked the ball down the field and got a free 13 metres out. Darragh Swaine went for bust and succeeded in getting the ball through goalmouth for his side’s fifth goal and giving his side a one point advantage in the last minute of the game.
Trim refused to panic and started to work the ball upfield. Clanns conceded a number of frees that allowed Trim to get within shooting distance and they suffered for that as Conor Quigley pointed with the last kick of the game to leave the final score:
Trim 4-7 Clann na nGael 5-4.
Trim Team: Peter Brennan, Oran Kirby, Brian Bolger, Ben Holden, Harry Harlin, Sean Mahoney, Liam O’Reilly, Harry Kennedy, Conor Quigley, Conal Rogers, Mikey Cole, Justin Barbiu, Dylan Farrell, Frank O’Reilly, Ian Birmingham.
Subs: Sean Foley, Mark Dempsey, Aidan Hilliard, Evan Ganley.