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Allenwood Celtic vs Rathangan U9's April 2013

The Under 9 (Whites) travelled to Rathangan on last Saturday morning for a potentially tricky fixture against a fast improving Rathangan side. Our lads started the game with purpose and in the 1st quarter they created 4 good opportunities but a combination of bad luck and good goal keeping meant that none of the chances were taken. Impressive in the opening quarter were Rhys Lawless whose kick outs are so much improved and Scott Carroll and Thomas Harris who drove their team forward at every opportunity.

The second quarter began as the 1st had ended when pressure in the Rathangan penalty box lead to a corner. Daniel Fanning hit a beautifully weighted corner into the box which was headed home by Andrew Leavy for the opening goal of the game. This goal was scored as a result of a training ground move so it was particularly pleasing to see it work in a match. Well done Daniel and Andrew. However almost immediately Rathangan replied with a goal from their very first attack of the game. A loose ball in defence was left by our lads for someone else to deal with and a Rathangan striker stole in, accepted the present and buried the ball in the back of the net. Our lads’ heads dropped and they played out the second quarter very timidly. It was 1-1 at half time.

At the start of the 3rd quarter, Rathangan took the lead when they capitalised on a 3 - v - 1 situation in our defence and scored a decent goal. This was a case of our usual 3rd quarter blip with only Ben Roche and Scott Carroll playing to their normal standards in this quarter. The remainder of the quarter was a timid affair which ended with Rathangan leading 2-1.

The "hairdryer treatment" Was applied before the start of the 4th quarter and it had the desired effect. Our lads took complete control of the game and equalised following a great individual run by Oisin Higgins across the penalty area resulting in a powerful low shot to the corner of the net. Jake Lawless and Josh Darling were paired together in defence in quarter 4 and they completely snuffed out the Rathangan threat with determination and strong tackling and they played some great ball from defence that set the midfield up to attack Rathangan. By now, Daniel Fanning Andrew Leavy and Oisin Higgins were in overdrive in midfield and our lads attacked at will. Some great determination from Thomas Harris lead to the 3rd goal. Thomas was played in by Andrew Leavy and he chipped the ball over the advancing goalkeeper and Daniel Fanning was on hand to make sure the ball ended up in the net. However, Thomas' biggest contribution to the game was yet to happen. Rathangan were awarded a free kick on the edge of the penalty area with the score at 3-2 in favour of our lads. The Rathangan player hit a brilliant shot which was goal bound all the way until Thomas threw himself at the ball and deflected it out for a corner. This was definitely a game saving clearance. From the corner, the ball intercepted by Josh Darling and was cleared from defence by Jake Lawless where it was picked up by Oisin Higgins on the right side of the field. Oisin travelled strongly with the ball, beat 2 Rathangan players and burst into the penalty box and hit a brilliant shot into the top right hand corner of the net. 

This was a game in which we got away with the result as we did not perform in the 2nd and 3rd quarters. However, we have to applaud the lads as they always respond to a light telling off by upping their performance. This was very evident in the last quarter of this match where they all played to their potential and blitzed Rathangan and turned a deficit into a comfortable victory.  

Best for Allenwood today were Scott Carroll, Oisin Higgins and man of the match Thomas Harris. All other players had good moments in the game.