ADSL's FANTASTIC FUTSAL !   14/01/2014

                             

 

 

The ADSL stormed into the new year with the 7th Annual Futsal Tournament reaching new heights of excitement and drama in four action packed nights of qualifying Groups in the Athlone Institute of Technology last week.

 

After 72 games, 15 ½ hours of amazing action, 287 goals and endless excitement eight teams have qualified for the Grand Finals this Thursday of a competition that has just got bigger and better with every passing year.

 

The twenty-six competing teams thrilled huge crowds every night last week in excitement and incredible drama that just had to be witnessed to be appreciated. The action kicked off last Tuesday with 21 games in Group A.

 

                                                         FUTSAL GROUP A

 

Ian Harney from the St. Josephs Pumas had the honour of scoring the first goal in the first match of the 2014 ADSL Futsal Tournament in a 4-0 win over the Temple Villa Cheetahs. In the very next game Luke O’Rourke scored the first hat-trick of the competition for the Hodson Bay Greens in a 4-0 win over St. Francis Galaxy and this Tournament was off to a flyer from the very first games.

 

Temple Villa Elks set down an early marker for overall victory and went on to top the Group with a very impressive 100% record winning all their six games, scoring 35 goals and only conceding one to be the first qualifiers for this Thursday’s Grand Finals. Cillian Lawlor, Mathew Cox and Ronan Scanlon are all survivors from the team that won this competition last year and together with Luke Clinton, who was awarded the “Best Player in Group A”, and a good overall squad, this team will be many people’s favourites to lift the title again this year.

 

St. Joseph’s Pumas qualified in second spot on 15 points from five wins from six games and they will fancy their chances on Thursday night and would love another crack at the Temple Villa Elks in the Grand Final.

 

                                                             FUTSAL GROUP B

 

Group B was the so called “Group of Death” and lived up to its billing on an amazing night.

 

Hodson Bay Celtic were hugely impressive with Ben O’Carroll and Oisin Canny as goal machines for the Ballybay Boys. They were five wins out of five yet qualification went down to the last games with St. Peters and St. Josephs Tigers breathing down their necks. A 1-0 win over the Tigers for a Conor Gavin inspired St. Peters gave them a narrow advantage  meaning St. Josephs just had to beat Hodson Bay in the penultimate game of the night. In awesome drama a fantastic game finished scoreless meaning Hodson Bay qualified as Group winners, and many people’s favourites for Thursday, together with a very good St. Peters side who will fancy their chances from Pool 2 on Thursday. A gallant St. Josephs however lost out after an incredible nights’ football.

 

Ben O’Carroll won the Award for “Best Player in Group B” and if there was an admission price for the Finals on Thursday he alone would be worth the admission.

 

                                                         FUTSAL GROUP C

 

Group C on Thursday night was to prove the closest of the four Groups.

 

In 72 Group games there were only 15 Draws. Six of those were in Group C. It was that close, and that tight and tense making for another great nights’ entertainment.

 

Eventually Ballinasloe Town Lions topped the Group but only in the last five seconds of the very last match. Temple Villa Huskies recovered from losing their first game, a 1-0 defeat to a Marcus Blagriff goal for the AC Celtic Kings, to win their next three games but the Roan Sweeney inspired Huskies still had to beat Ballinasloe in the last game to top the Group. And they did lead 1-0 until five seconds into the famous last ten second countdown when Ballinasloe scored a dramatic equaliser from an own-goal to top the Group.

 

Temple Villa Huskies however did qualify as Group runners-up but now find themselves in the much more difficult Pool 1 on Thursday evening.

 

Conor Ryan from the St. Joseph’s Panthers won the Award for the “Best Player in Group C”.

 

                                                            FUTSAL GROUP D

 

Group D on Friday night created the most amazing atmosphere on a memorable night in the AIT and one of the best in seven years of ADSL Futsal.

 

Ballinahown, with Luke Keenaghan to the fore, got off to a great start winning their first three games but they were matched by an equally impressive AC Celtic Aces who also won their first three games setting up a mouth-watering meeting of the two teams in Game 10 of the night.

 

AC Celtic Aces put down a marker with an emphatic 3-0 win courtesy of a Neil Kenny hat-trick. The Aces went on to beat St. Joseph’s Bears 6-1 in their last game to top the Group with a 100% winning record scoring 22 goals and only conceding four which suggests they must have a chance in Thursday’s Finals.

 

Ballinahown held on to second spot to also qualify ahead of a fast finishing Temple Villa Wolfhounds who were only a point further back at the end of a wonderful nights Futsal. Neil Kenny from AC Celtic Aces took the Award for Best Player in the Group on a night when the AIT Hall just rocked.

 

                                          FINALS LIVE ON THE INTERNET

 

All attention now turns to the Grand Finals on this Thursday evening.

 

The eight qualifiers, from seven different ADSL Clubs, will now compete in two separate Pools, playing three games each, with the two Pool winners qualifying to meet in the Grand Final for the coveted Stacey Cup while the two Pool runners-up will contest a 3rd/4th Place Play-Off.

 

Last weeks’ Group games were played out in front of record crowds in a unique and amazing atmosphere and it is anticipated that the Count John McCormack Hall will be packed to the absolute rafters on this Thursday (16th January).

 

The action commences at 6.00pm sharp but if you are going you are well advised to get there early. This is an unbelievable festival of football and celebration of everything that is great about young people’s sport. There will be great colour, raucous noise, thumping music, raw emotion, incredible excitement and amazing football. This should not be missed. There is simply nothing like it or that even approaches it. Go along and see for yourself.

 

If you cannot make it, and you should, you can follow live streaming of the whole event, together with commentary on the internet on aitsport.ie.

 

We wish all the remaining eight teams and players the very best of good luck for a fitting finale to a wonderful and remarkable Futsal Tournament.

 

 

 






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