Double delight as U14’s win Div 1 Shield

Double joy for Skryne U14s – two trophies in one week

Both Skryne U14 teams wrapped up their season in style this week by claiming both the Div1 Shield final and the Div7 Shield win with wins over St.Pats of Stamullen in the Division 1 decider and over Dunboyne in the Division 7 competition.

Following a very busy summer consisting of almost weekly matches for both squads, the Div. 1 team played their final on Tuesday evening in Dunganny. Having been beaten by St. Colmcilles in the recent summer league Div.1 final the lads the lads were keen to go one better this time round. Following a keenly contested semi-final win over Donaghamore/Ashbounre, the lads were eager to compete the job and despite missing both James Dardis and Andrew Nolan through injury, the lads were confident they could overcome the challenge from St.Pats. The opening half was a sign of things to come as both teams had scored a goal each within the first few minutes. Skryne were enjoying a good deal of possession thanks to the efforts of both James Mangan and John O’Regan in midfield. At the back Riain McConnell and Cathal Lenehan were resolute and solid, while up front John Finnerty, Andrew Canavan and Daniel O’Keane were playing really well. Scoring in the first half was dominated by goals with Skryne forwards grabbing four goals in the opening half. By half time Skryne led by 2 point on a 4-0, 2-4 score line. The opening 10 minutes of the 2nd half saw the Pats lads turn the game on its head and were to score three goals in rapid succession to go eight point ahead. The Skryne lads were in trouble but slowly regained composure and with wing backs Cillian Moss and Ben Cherry upping their game the Skryne boys slowly bridged the gap score by score. Robert Gallagher who came on in place of the injured Sean McCarthy, set up numerous attacks. A cracking goal by John O’Regan reduced the margin. Up front Charlie Swan and full forward Shane O’Connor was winning valuable possession and both won a number of frees which were scored by Mark Swan and Daniel O’Keane to bring the team to within two point of each other. St.Pats continued to be dangerous on the break but some fine saves from the impressive Luke O’Brien in goals and strong defending by subs Matthew Ryan and James Reeves saw the St.Pats lads miss some scoreable opportunities. As the minutes wound down Skryne were 2 points behind. The Skryne lads kept the best to last when following a St.Pats attack, that was broken up in the Skryne halfback line by Cathal Lenehan and Cillian Moss, the ball was passed to John Finnerty who combined with Robert Gallagher and Shane O’Connor to work his way up the field and right through the St.Pats back line, then the ball found its way to Mark Swan who got the crucial goal to put Skryne ahead by a point. The final whistle followed shortly and there was both relief and joy for the Skryne boys who had to come through a really cracking game. The final score was Skryne 6-3, St.Pats 5-5. Afterwards Andrew Lenehan, Meath Coiste Na Nog, in presented the Div. 1 Paddy O’Brien Shield to Skryne Captain Cillian Moss, complemented both teams on their progression and development during the year.

Just 24 hours later the Skryne U14 2nd Team played their Div. 7 Shield Final against Dunboyne in Skryne. Following some uncertainty over the availability of a referee, Jack Gordon was confirmed and credit must go to the Walterstown man for making himself available at such short notice.

Operating in a special division for clubs fielding 2nd teams the Skryne boys were facing a Dunboyne team that has the edge of the Skryne lads in the Spring league meeting earlier this year. The first half was to be a mixed affair for the Skryne lads. During the opening 15mins of the 1st half the Skryne lads were 2nd best and struggled to keep with Dunboyne. However, this bunch of lads have a great attitude and some great work by the full back line of Kevin Cooney, Ben Armstrong and Ciaran Quinn limited the scoring opportunities for Dunboyne. Prompted by the midfield duo of Robert Gallagher and Darragh O’Dowd and Andrew Canavan who despite playing at half forward was picking up possession all over the pitch, the Skryne boys began to put some moves together as well as getting to grips with Dunboyne. Some late scores from the impressive Billy Smith playing at full forward saw Skryne lead by 1 point at half time despite not playing anywhere near their best.

The 2nd half saw a complete turnaround with Skryne totally dominating the match. The half back line of James Reeves, Matthew Ryan and Stephen Corry were well on top and kept the flow of possession into the forwards. Despite a few missed opportunities, the forward found their scoring boots and points from Charlie Swan, Tom Lenehan, Josh Grendon and saw Skryne extend their lead. Substitutes Cian McCarthy who had been introduced for the injured Ciaran Fox, along with Declan O’Connor, Dylan Murphy, and Ben Mooney all made vital contributions. Additional gaols from Billy Smith and Robert Gallagher gave the Skryne boys a comfortable margin as the game drew to a close. To their credit the Dunboyne lads never game up and were stopped repeatedly by some fine tackling by Ben Armstrong and the steady ball handling of goalie Killian Manning. The last few minutes of the game saw Matthew Ryan who moments earlier following a tackle had fallen awkwardly on his neck, win possession and despite being surround by about three Dunboyne lads kick an absolutely cracking point from almost 40 meters to round off the evening in Style for the Skryne lads. Afterwards in a Sporting gesture Liam from Dunboyne presented Stephen Corry, the Skryne Captain with the Div.7 Shield.

Final score Skryne 4-10 – Dunboyne 2-5

The two victories were a great way to finish up the season for the U14s. It is the first time in a number of years that Skryne has had sufficient numbers to be able to field two teams in the U14 grade. To be so competitive is a really positive sign for the future and certainly the quality of football played by both teams bodes well for the club in the coming years.

Skryne 2018 U14 Panel:

Luke O’Brien, Riain McConnell, James Dardis, Jamie Mullen, CIllian Moss, Cathal Lenehan, Ben Cherry, John O’Regan, James Mangan, Andrew Nolan, John Finnerty, Mark Swan, Sean McCarthy, Shane O’Connor, Daniel O’Keane, Killian Manning, Kevin Cooney, Ben Armstrong, Ciaran Quinn, James Reeves, Matthew Ryan, Stephen Corry, Darragh O’Dowd, Robert Gallagher, Andrew Canavan, Josh Grendon, Charlie Swan, Tom Lenehan, Ciaran Fox, Billy Smyth, Cian McCarthy, Dylan Murphy, Declan O’Connor, Ben Mooney and Oran O’Rourke

About the Author: Cormac Grendon

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