Under-8 challenge vs. Clann na nGael

posted 26 Jun 2015, 09:19 by Garrycastle GAA   [ updated 26 Jun 2015, 14:19 ]
Garrycastle U-8’s played Clann na nGael on Wednesday night, (June 24th),  in Johnstown for the first time this year. Both clubs had great numbers which resulted in the creation of three concurrent matches. 
The Garrycastle "Red" team played against Clann na nGael’s strongest team which gave the mentors a chance to compare the skills and abilities between the two clubs. When the ball was thrown in the Garrycastle boys tried to keep their positions, but a mix up between players gave Clann the opportunity to kick a fast ball in and post the first score. 
However, the Garrycastle team were not fazed and had an immediate response, kicking the next 11 points without response. There were some fine scores from all our forwards and midfielders with some fantastic movement and passing from Kealan McNamara, Andrew Henson and James McHugh. 
Daniel Stankard in goals made some vital saves and his accurate kicking was fantastic. Our three backs Oisin Mulvihill, Rian Gaynor and Niadh Shine were cleaning up all 50/50 balls and stopped all Clann attacks. 

We expected a strong response from Clann in the second half and they started much sharper with a fine score from long range. However, following some positional changes Oisin Mulvihill started to dominate midfield - laying off the ball into Aaron Keegan, Oisin O’Donoghue and Darragh Glennon where they started scoring from all angles. An absolutely excellent display of football from every player.  
The Garrycastle "Green" team weren’t to be outdone by the "Red" team with some fantastic displays throughout the field. This game was a lot more closely contested with both teams picking off some fine scores. However, it was the quality of the tackling, blocking and defending that caught the eye in this game. Dylan Summers and Keelan Ward made a countless number of fantastic blocks both while in goals, and when they were out the field. 
Fionn McMahon and Dylan Frawley were excellent in defence, winning 50/50 balls and taking the ball out of the danger areas. Calum Hudson dominated the midfield area and won every ball that game his way. Louie Shine and Conor McCormack covered the whole pitch putting in some brilliant tackles and carrying the ball forward with super pace and skill. Upfront Hazel Donegan and Van McCay showed lightening pace and skill and kicked some wonderful scores. Another excellent display. 
The Garrycastle "White" team decided from the start that they weren’t going to be outshone either, and got stuck in right from the throw in. This game was also very closely contested and the Garrycastle defence worked hard to keep Clann out. Dylan Moloney, Adam Kearney, Martin Stephens and Christian Turean led from the defence with a brilliant display of tackling and blocking. 
Mairead McBride, Luke Quilty and Senan Nugent policed the mid area with great effect with Luke putting in a man of the match performance and picking up three fine scores along the way. 
Ronan Croughan, Tadgh Mulvihill, Amelie Henson and Katelin Devlin-Gaffey put in great work all over the field and came out on top in a number of crucial challenges. Rhys Larkin, Oskar Pieskorski and Alex Connor were a constant threat to the Clann defence and picked off a number of fine scores. The "White" team had the largest number of players, and each player showed excellent maturity and comradery when asked to give their teammates a run. 
Overall the team performances from all three teams was excellent and to see all the skills of the game being performed, and the improvement being made, by everyone was encouraging. 
A big thanks to Trevor from Clann and we hope to return the favour later on in the summer. A huge thanks also to all of the coaches and parents who help out, your support in invaluable and greatly appreciated. 
Match report : Ger O'Donoghue and Karl Henson.