A won­der­ful ex­pe­ri­ence for Ark­low Town FC!

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - SPORT -

A se­lec­tion of the best Ark­low Town FC un­der-12 play­ers trav­elled up to the Cru­saders AFC ground in Belfast to take part in the an­nual Bryson Cup com­pe­ti­tion re­cently.

The com­pe­ti­tion com­prised of two matches played over two days be­tween the Ark­low lads and a se­lec­tion of the best school boys from all the pri­mary schools of Belfast.

Un­der the man­age­ment team of Owen Moore, Shane Roche & Lee Kenny, the Ark­low team had been putting in plenty of hard ef­fort in the train­ing ses­sions over the last two months.

All this prepa­ra­tion cer­tainly paid off and the 15 strong panel were ready to wear the club badge with pride.

De­spite the play­ers hav­ing to en­dure con­stant driv­ing rain, both matches were played at an in­cred­i­bly high tempo and the qual­ity of the foot­ball was of an ex­cep­tion­ally high stan­dard.

Play­ers were af­forded very lit­tle time on the ball, as both teams pressed the other to win the ball back.

One of the hall­marks of this Ark­low Town team was their de­ter­mi­na­tion to keep the ball down and play out from the back.

Goal­keep­ers Luca Bourke and Ryan Mor­gan set up sev­eral good at­tacks with some ex­cel­lent dis­tri­bu­tion from the back, and when called upon made some top class saves.

The de­fend­ers did tro­jan work at the back, putting in some great tack­les as the Belfast boys threat­ened our goal.

Shane Gre­gory played a cap­tain’s role in lead­ing his team from the back.

Time and time again his team mates Tom Ka­vanagh, Harry McDon­ald, John Eras­mus, Ryan Glee­son and Diar­muid O’Reilly would track a run or make a vi­tal in­ter­cep­tion to thwart the Belfast at­tack.

The mid­field­ers worked their socks off.

Ryan Red­mond cov­ered ev­ery blade of grass, such was his mighty ef­fort.

Kian Scan­lon broke up nu­mer­ous Belfast at­tacks, while Ciaran Red­mond and Sean Byrne were a con­stant threat out wide. Up front Kyal Byrne, Aaron Eb­bitt and Don­nacha Walker proved to be a real hand­ful for the Belfast de­fence.

From an Ark­low Town FC per­spec­tive, the high­light of the sec­ond match was a won­der­ful move which started from their own box. Diar­muid O’Reilly and Ryan Glee­son won the ball back from a Belfast at­tack and passed to keeper Luca Bourke who spread the ball out wide to Harry McDon­ald.

He passed the ball into mid­fielder Kian Scan­lon who im­me­di­ately fed the ball to Tom Ka­vanagh run­ning up the right wing.

Ka­vanagh played a won­der­ful pass to an over­lap­ping Sean Byrne, and as he at­tempted to square the ball for an on rush­ing Ryan Red­mond, Byrne was fouled in the box and a penalty awarded.

Aaron Eb­bitt stepped up to take the kick, and showed nerves of steel to place it low in the cor­ner.

The two games were played in an in­cred­i­bly good spirit.

The match of­fi­cials were ex­tremely com­pli­men­tary about both sets of play­ers dis­play­ing such a won­der­ful at­ti­tude.

Af­ter both matches, it was into the Cru­saders club­house and their won­der­ful fa­cil­i­ties so that the play­ers from both teams could mix to­gether while en­joy­ing a lovely meal.

In the end the Belfast team won out­right, and so were pre­sented with the Bryson Cup.

Each player was pre­sented with a tro­phy to re­ward them for their ef­fort and con­tri­bu­tion to what was a won­der­ful foot­balling oc­ca­sion. Aaron Eb­bitt was cho­sen by the match of­fi­cials as the man of the match in the sec­ond match, and was pre­sented with a beau­ti­ful tro­phy to mark his achieve­ment.

‘Spe­cial thanks must go to John Scan­lon from Ark­low Town FC who li­aised with his con­tacts in Belfast to make sure the event ran so smoothly.’ said an Ark­low Town spokesper­son.

‘We look for­ward to 2020, when Ark­low Town FC will play host to their Belfast vis­i­tors, and another bunch of young play­ers in the club will get the chance to rep­re­sent their club play­ing the beau­ti­ful game in such a won­der­ful com­pe­ti­tion,’ he added.

Ark­low Town FC en­joyed another won­der­ful Bryson Cup.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.