Fechin’s are spot on as they clinch U-16 crown
MAGNIFICENT is the only way to describe the efforts of the Stabannon/St Kevin’s team who came back from an 11-point half-time deficit to win the Under-14B Championship on Sunday last.
These teams had already met in the league final earlier this year when the combination side ran out winners despite a gallant comeback by St Fechin’s.
However on Sunday last the Fechin’s were on course to gain revenge when leading 3-6 to 1-1 at the half-way stage.
In that first 30 minutes St Fechin’s had a strong breeze behind them and dominated in all areas of the pitch and forced Stabannon/St. Kevins to make numerous errors.
Despite this both the mentors and the players of Stabannon/ St. Kevins knew that they had much more in them and that a comeback was possible.
With words of encouragement from their mentors the girls emerged on to the pitch with their heads held high and Aoife McMahon found the back of the net to bring the back to eight.
St Fechin’s responded with a point, but after some positional changes Sophie Smith and Aoife McMahon both found the net, only for St Fechin’s to raise a green flag of their own.
Three points from play from the combination team reduced the gap to five and two further Stabannon/Kevin’s goals eventually brought them level, and when Sophie Smith hit the back of the net her team were a goal ahead with about 10 minutes to go. deficit TOP scorer Ryan Walsh’s second-half penalty goal proved decisive in the Under-16 FC decider in Dunleer on Sunday afternoon as St Fechin’s edged out St Mary’s.
The Ardee boys pushed hard throughout, with Jonathan Commins kicking nine points to keep them in touch, but despite a late push they came up just short.
While the Mary’s were probably considered favourites, it was the Fechin’s who came out all guns blazing, with Sean Kerrisk registered the opening score of the game before Luke Matthews’ reply.
Ryan Walsh registered a quickfire brace, including a 45, and when Adam O’Neill slotted over the Termonfeckin side led 0-4 to 0-1.
Then came the Marys response, with Commins was at the heart of it. Two routine frees from Commins and a Carl Gillespie effort from play had them in front. Commins then got his fourth of the day to extend the advantage.
Just when they thought it was turning their way, St Fechin’s worked the ball up the field to find the back of the Stabannon net, bringing the sides level again.
Roisin Maguire hit the ball over the bar and Aisling Maguire goaled to put Stabannon/ Kevin’s four points clear.
After that there was no way back for St Fechin’s and the combination team put some gloss on the scoreline with a further 1-2 to complete a ninepoint victory.
Gillespie popped over a free of his own and then Commins span away from Peter Meegan and put over after excellent work from Dylan Whyte.
With four points in it at the break, the Mary’s looked well placed, and with 15 minutes to play they still held a narrow advantage, but then Aaron Keenan was black-carded when he dragged O’Neill down to the ground right in front of the posts and Walsh dispatched the penalty past James McGillick.
Commins got scores seven and eight of his afternoon, but Peter Meegan, O’Neill and two more scores from the brilliant Walsh left the Fechin’s with a three-point lead with five to play.
Walsh managed one more before the end, taking his tally to 1-8, and despite Tiarnan Corrigan and Commins pointing in reply it was too little too late and Walsh lifted the Dermot O’Brien Cup for St Fechin’s. Caoimhe Boyle, joint captain along with Roisin Maguire, receives the Player of the Match award.