Swords & The Battle of Clontarf
Fingallians Vs O’Tooles
The first of today’s matches were against a tough Fingallians side and took place at Balheary park where the opposition proved as challenging as the conditions. Fingallians made a strong start with some well taken points and goals. Not to be outdone, the young O’Tooles men showed their metal and resolve. There were some brilliant hooks and blocks made by both Eoin May and Nathan Russell.
Our goal keeper Ben Hogan made some mighty puck outs from goal (reminiscent of the great Tipperary goal keeper and name sake Ken Hogan), one in particular provided an assist to O’Tooles’ opening goal. The ball was collected, scooped up and drilled into the roof of the net by Luke Caulfield.
In the second half there was some brilliant tackling by Cillian Harte, Luke Humpston, Rhyss Carroll, Harry Boon. There was also a string of superb saves made by Callum Kelly and some superb clearances by Daniel Drew when O’Tooles were up against it. Nathan Russell earned man of the match with a fine display of hooking and blocking, if skill points counted we would have dominated this affair.
On another day we could have won this game, but we live to fight another day.
Clontarf Vs O’Tooles
The weather conditions had improved from the early morning downfall, little Larriers faced their opponents on the astro pitches in Clontarf. The conditions were perfect. We had multiple matches on show, each team geared up to what would be a thorough test of their skills and resolve.
Clontarf were on the attack from early on, they had us playing deep in our own half. The pressure was on and an early goal followed. This would test the character of our young men, how would they respond? Half way through the first half, we started to show some composure on the ball. The confidence was on the rise and the shots started to rain in. Led by Conor and 3 goals in quick succession, the young guns were starting to click.
An amazing passage of play displaying great team play led to a wonderful point starting from deep inside our own half, involving four O’Tooles players, ….a quick side line ball taken by Ciaran to Conor, who solo ran and struck a lovely pass it to Elliott McMahon, with Clontarf struggling to get near O’Tooles, Elliott then laid it off to Killian Shannon who struck it right between the posts from 20 yards out. Phenomenal stuff altogether, a score that was as much applauded by the opposition mentors as it was by our own. In the second half we continued from where we left off and managed to add a few more scores to our tally.
In this match we dug deep despite going behind early on and kept pressing from the back. This was epitomised by Elliott McMahon, man of the match. There were a number of great individual displays on show, most notably Conor and David Byrne who put in some brave tackles, blocking and hooking their way to a well-deserved victory.
Our second game in Clontarf, was full of some great individual displays. This was a match that signalled the start of a tough hurling season. Little Larriers were up to the task. Driven from the back by the ever-present Sean Mulligan and some tight marking from Sam Hoey, O’Tooles more than matched their opposition.
There were great exhibitions of Blocking and Hooking from the Smith brothers, when Clontarf were about to strike, they were stopped in their tracks. Ethan making some crucial blocks and fully supported by Troy who would mop up and initiate the attack. With some inviting play, our forwards being led by Kaylem and Nathan got on the score sheet time and time again. The pick of which was a beautifully crafted point (Point of the match) by the very talented Mikey Webster. A special mention must go to Sean Mulligan who’s dogged determination and skill earned him the plaudits for man of the match. Keep up the good work!
Got off to a fiery start, both teams were raining in on each other. There were some big hits in this truly contested battle. Coaches on both sides were vocal in their instructions to ensure their sides were focussed on the job at hand. Scores came in from either side, there were some pot shots from distance from young Wilson who was determined to take advantage of the early exchanges. The lads were on the front foot, Lewis Stanley showing some great determination and opening play for his fellow team mates, picking up the ball and making some nice contributions by making some crucial interceptions and laying the ball off to Conor Brennan who got on the score sheet.
There were some fine performances all round, most notably from Sean Collins and Tomas at left back, who mopped up a lot on the flank, getting a head of the forward whilst restarting the attack. Again, the O’Tooles boys were putting into practice what they learned on the training ground, attacking the ball, putting in the blocks and passing with impunity. There were indeed some great displays from our future stars, man of the match Conor Brennan going from strength to strength, well done!