Report by Agnes Hanlon.
Following a sluggish start to the 2014 season where victories seemed a distant ambition, the boys of the AGB U12 team found their groove coming towards the last few games and produced thrilling games and fast, free flowing, football to delight their travelling and vociferous supporters. At the outset of the season, with a small playing contingent, AGB were struggling. A few heavy losses were inflicted by various teams. This was through no fault of our gallant players or the backroom team, but we badly needed an injection of recruits. Thanks to the continuing efforts of stalwarts Lar Shaw and Noel Keohane, ably assisted by Agnes Hanlon, new players were drafted in and greatly helped in turning the fortunes of the team around.
As we approached the season end and with hard work put into the training sessions, Lar, Noel and Philip found the team becoming more settled. With the players relishing the games, the results started to change quite dramatically. All that AGB U12′s lacked was a little luck. Cracking games against Rathnew and Avondale led us to Ballinakill for the league decider; a head to head with Annacurra.
Though the day was bright and the playing surface perfect, a stiff wind blowing directly down the pitch meant that this would certainly be a game of two halves. Playing into the wind for the first half, the AGB backs were against the wall and heroics in defence from Christopher, Hugh, Adam, Dylan, Liam and Sean, meant that a 2-7 to 0-3 half time score was reachable on the turn around. With Ryan, Joe, Brandon, Owen, Patrick, Ryan and Brian putting the pressure on, the deficit soon became just four points and AGB were flying.
A goal against the run of play for Annacurra put them back in prime position and their defence superbly repelled wave after wave of AGB attacks to see them over the line by six points. The huge travelling AGB supporters applauded their heroes off the pitch, but once again a little luck had deserted us on a day when victory was within reach.
That defeat meant a winner takes all last game against Avondale on Monday the 22nd of September. As always the players and supporters turned out in numbers, despite many having previous engagements. This match was a delight from start to finish, a twenty three goal thriller that was in the mix right up to the end. Once again the AGB players were tireless, skillful and honest, racking up brilliant scores amid tough passages of play and making it the game of the season.
Great conditions in Avondale contributed to the free scoring and hard hitting nature of the match. Each and every player who played any part must be congratulated on their efforts, their honesty and will to win. In a game like this it would be impossible to pick out any stars, all involved gave everything and although Avondale lifted the cup at the end, the management, supporters and club, could not have been more proud of the efforts this group. A group who, despite a rollercoaster season and numerous setbacks, didn’t take any soft options and gave their all for their jersey. They are a group going places in the future. They are all to be congratulated on showing the heart and skills that will make them GAA stars of the future.
Team: Ryan Byrne, Sean Davenport, Anthony Duffy-Dornan, Jack Kavanagh, Ryan Kenny, Joe McGeary, Owen Moore, Hugh O Brian, Patrick O’Halloran, Dylan Cloke, Kealan Delaney, Brandon Hanlon, Diarmuid McDonald, Christopher Mitchell, Adam Neil, Sean O’Donovan, Liam Shaw, Alex Whelan and Aaron Kehoe.