Cumann Pheadaír Naofa 5-2
Thursday evening saw the U12s entertain Carryduff at Milltown for the chance to get their seasons off to a better start, with both teams having lost out in their previous league fixtures. It was hoped that the blues could build on the previous two days’ exploits on the field, Cumann Pheadaír Naofa played Killeavy in a challenge game on Tuesday night, losing out narrowly to a well drilled side with some talented hurlers and big full forwards, followed on Wednesday by the bitter disappointment of losing out to Castlewellan in the primary schools Féile final.
With a full panel to choose from and all the boys eager to make up for the last few days, we were in for a real treat, if you were a blue that is. Four minutes after referee Ned Morgan had thrown in the sliotar, corner forward James Sweeney had the ball in the back of the net, the Carryduff keeper never seen it coming, such was the speed and power of the stroke. At midfield Matthew Duffy and Tiernan Kelly were winning lots of possession and supplied the Warrenpoint forwards Niall Rice, Jarlath Donnelly & young James with plenty of scoring chances, but credit to the Carryduff defence who having conceded the early blow pressurised the boys whenever under threat. On the wings the ‘point side had Ben Lock & Oran Murney putting in a great effort and not letting the blues chances escape too easy. Five minutes later when Darragh Austin burst forward from half back, sliotar in hand, he played a long ball into the danger zone and as the sliotar dropped out of the sky it was met by the hurl of Niall Rice who flicked it to the back of the net. Cumann Pheadaír Naofa were now starting to get control of the game and Liam O’Connor along with Darragh Austin were totally dominant in the half back line and could afford to push up and join in with the attack. Carryduff did eventually manage to break out of defence and give their forwards some action, but with Tiernan Burns having a fantastic day in blue along with Mark Campbell & Senan Magone all that was conceded was a solitary point in the first half. Warrenpoint five points to the good got their first point when a fantastic long clearance from Mark, as he broke out of defence, found Matthew Duffy for the first blues point of the game. Within a minute hat trick hero of the day James Sweeney struck for his second goal and was that followed up by a point from 30 metres out by Tiarnan Kelly to leave Cumann Pheadaír Naofa well on top at half time 3-2 to 0-1.
When the second half resumed it was back to business as James pounced for his third goal. The Blues knew by now that the game was well and truly won and with some positional changes on the field it saw the boys continue to seek further scores and when James Sweeney, again, gained possession of the sliotar he swivelled and drilled a shot at goal, only for it to rebound off the crossbar and back into play, but as Tiernan Burns, who excelled in defence, was now on the edge of the square he made no mistake and pulled on the loose sliotar to send it back from where it came and into the net.
Overall this was a very pleasing all round performance for the many parents who turned out to cheer on their wee heroes, as they now travel to Castlewellan next week in the hope of overturning the result from the time the teams last met.