Juvenile boys vs Foxford
Last Thursday saw us commandeer a spot in the juvenile boys’ football Connacht quarter-finals, but it wasn’t without grit, determination and fight. We played Foxford in a knockout round and they made us work for it. A strong start saw Dunmore dominate play and our skillful attacks intimidated Foxford’s backline and indeed goal, similarly a well structured backline belittled Foxford’s attacks forcing 5 wides in the first half. On several occasions Foxford choose to play defensively in an attempt to halt our scoring and only two of their forwards remained in place. It looked promising. At half time we seemed comfortable holding a 12 point lead at 3-9 to 1-3. However, this was soon to change. Foxford’s approach confused our backline, as many were left without players to mark. Instead, they chose to leave a player inside and run the ball at us. Our defense did well and continued to force many of their attempts wide. Despite this Foxford began narrowing the gap and with so many of their players following the ball we found kickouts a problem and the opposition capitalised. Unfortunately, we also saw ourselves fall short of several scoring opportunities as a powerful shot at goal went narrowly wide for Matthew Connolly and another two into the box were mishit by the runner. A questionable converted penalty for Foxford and an injury to our goalie taking him off the pitch for a time saw three goals in a matter of minutes diminishing our lead significantly and frustrating our forwards as they saw little ball to counteract. Panic was setting in. With 5 minutes to go, we seemed to still be favourites at 4 points up. This was slowly dashed as Foxford, spurred on by a brilliant comeback continued to assault our defense until we drew level. Our team rallied excellently to ensure we were not to be knocked out and credit to defense with some fantastic blocks and a superb save from goalie Marcus Halliday and some excellent tracking back by our midfields to assist. The whistle blew signalling a draw at Dunmore 4-13 to Foxford’s 5-10 and the contemplation of extra time. We were aghast that we let them back into the game but determined to not let all our hard work be for nothing. Many of our team had a score to settle after losing to Foxford by a point in their first year Connacht final last year, they did not want a repeat performance. We started extra time with a solid attack resulting in our first score from Colm Costello. They responded with three. Half time saw us down 2 points and still a hill to climb. Some well-worked balls finally came good as Matthew found the back of the net sending us into the lead by a solitary point. He soon added a point to this and our efforts went into defense to avoid the dreaded ball hitting the net the other side to undo our efforts. Alas, we had done enough, and with tired legs and a hoarse sideline, we could walk off the pitch victorious after an epic saga of a game. Final score after extra-time 5-16 to 5-4. Scores came from Robert Heneghan 2-0, Niall Heneghan 1-1, Matthew Connolly 1-1, Colm Costello 1-11, Jack Jordan 0-2 and Padraig Martyn 0-1. We now take on Mohill in Frenchpark at 12.30pm on Monday the 3rd February in the Connacht quarter-final and judging from last years’ first years this sounds like it again will be one tough match as Dunmore defeated them by the narrowest of margins in the first year competition last year.