A blistering 15 minute spell in the third quarter of this semi-final replay saw Trim through to the U17 League Final with a 3-12 to 2-10 victory over a lively Walterstown side in Summerhill on Friday night last (27th April). Like the drawn match on Monday night this was a hard fought battle with no quarter asked or given and with many passages of skillful and exciting play. Again the character and courage of this Trim side was tested and again they responded magnificently. In the end it was this character and their discipline in adversity that stood to them in difficult circumstances.
Trim started on a lively note and had notched 0-2 within four minutes of the start from Ian Birmingham and Dylan Farrell. Indeed they could have doubled this tally but poor finishing saw them shoot a number of wides. Walterstown registered their first score in the sixth minute when Peter Brennan misjudged the flight of the ball and it entered the net. Conor Quigley responded with a magnificent 45 which landed on the crossbar and went over to level the match on eight minutes. Walterstown then went in to overdrive and clocked up 1-5 in the next ten minutes without reply from Trim who looked disorganized and very unsure of themselves. Each point gave Walterstown more impetus and confidence as they took some great scores. Trim struggled to find any rhythm and even when they had the ball they misplaced passes, shot eight wides and missed an almost certain goal. The exuberance of the referee on the whistle seemed to affect their play. They looked to be in serious trouble despite the hard work of Ian Birmingham, Justin Barbiu, Conor Quigley, Dylan Farrell, Harry Kennedy, Mickey Cole and defenders Sean Mahony, Conal Roger and Ben Holden. Despite it all Trim refused to panic and gradually clawed their way back into the game as Liam Reilly and Harry Harlin started to assert themselves and move forward steadying the ship somewhat. The fightback started in the 22nd minute with the score standing at 2-5 to 0-3 when Conor Quigley split the Walterstown defence, passed to Ian Birmingham who scored a really good point. Conor registered the next point after great Trim pressure which saw the very effective Aonghus Short dispossess the Walterstown defenders and great Gary Fleming goal shot blocked but retrieved by Conor and pointed. Two minutes later Harry Kennedy pointed a free after good work by Gary, Mikey Cole and Dylan Farrell. Shortly after this Gary went on a blistering run evaded three defenders before laying on a great pass to Mikey Cole who pointed. Trim maintained the pressure and Ian Birmingham crashed a blistering shot off the crossbar and it took a fantastic save by the keeper to prevent a goal. Walterstown’s joy was shortlived though as Mikey Cole intercepted the subsequent kick out, rounded a defender and shot low to the back of the net to leave the minimum of margins between the teams as half time approached. Walterstown added a further point before the interval to leave the score:
Trim 1-7 Walterstown 2-6
The start of the second half was not an auspicious one for Trim as Walterstown extended their lead to four points in the opening 5 minutes and had Trim on the back foot. Justin Barbiu and Harry Kennedy then began to assert themselves with great back up from Conor Quigley. Kennedy pointed from a free in the 7thminute but Walterstown responded with a point from a free three minutes later. At this point Trim moved up several gears and played the fast moving, flowing football that is their hallmark. Dylan Farrell led the way with a great individual effort for a point in the 11th minute. Conor Quigley followed with another a minute later. Ian Birmingham capped his hard working display with a scintillating goal in the 14th minute to put Trim back in the lead for the first time since the fourth minute (2-10 to 2-9). The next ten minutes saw a ding dong battle for superiority and a bit of gamesmanship from Walterstown who reduced their team to 14 men because of an alleged injury to a player and, mysteriously, to their two subs. “Fair Play” rules were applied and Trim reduced to 14 men as Gary Fleming was withdrawn.
It was during this period that the Trim defence thwarted Walterstown attack after attack. Sean Mahony was magnificent as he harried and hassled attackers, dispossessed them and made some great clearances. Young Oran Kirby grew in stature at this time too, going from being solid and dependable to spectacular and averting at least two certain goal situations. Conal Rogers likewise gained complete control of his area and the half back line of Harry Harlin, Ben Holden, Daniel Coleman when he came in as a substitute, and Liam O’Reilly were impregnable in the last quarter of the match. Aonghus Short shone in this period too as he curbed the Walterstown dangerman, tackled ferociously and linked well between the defence and attack. This was his best display so far. The issue was decided in the 26th minute when the irrepressible Harry Kennedy made a penetrating run in to the heart of the Walterstown defence, drew two defenders and passed to Mike Cole who finished off a great night for him with a well taken goal. This score and the sending off of a Walterstown player on a straight red card ended the contest as the sides swopped points before full time with the final score
Trim 3-12 Walterstown 2-10.
Final is been played in Bective at 7pm on Monday 30/4/2018
Scorers: M Cole (2-1) Harry Kennedy (0-3) Dylan Farrell (0-3), Ian Birmingham (1-2) Conor Quigley (0-3)
Trim Team: Peter Brennan, Conal Rogers, Sean Mahoney, Oran Kirby, Liam O’Reilly, Ben Holden, Harry Harlin, Harry Kennedy, Justin Barbiu, Ian Birmingham, Aonghus Short, Dylan Farrell, Conor Quigley, Mikey Cole, Gary Fleming,
Subs: Evan Ganley, Jake Carolan, Sean Foley, Frank O’Reilly, Adrian Hilliard, Daniel Coleman.