Kennedy Cup Day 5 2012-06-15 19:08:00

DAY 5 - THURSDAY 14TH JUNE 2012

This was not a good day.

We were up for breakfast for 8.00am with our team meeting at 8.25am and then down on the pitch in good time for the 10.00am kick-off.
It was the Shield semi-final, the competition that we won last year.

ADSL 0 : Longford Schoolboy League 1

We started very well and played some great football at times and the early signs were very good. However, Longford got to grips with the game and by the 21st minute they had a goal disallowed for offside and in the next minute hit the post from a free-kick. We did finish the half well but never actually had a shot on target.
We struggled to get out of our half against a physically stronger Longford team. Unfortunately we never actually threatened their goal. They took the lead 10 minutes into the second half and it looked like there was no way back. It took until six minutes from time for us to have our first and only shot on goal in the whole game.
This was a disappointing performance from our lads who had performed well in the tournament up to this point.
That result means that we will play again this afternoon for places 19th/20th at 3.30pm.
We had lunch and then got ready to play our last game in the 2012 Kennedy Cup.

ADSL 0 : Carlow Schoolboy League 0
(Carlow win 4-2 on Penalties)

It does not get any better really.

We were much the better team, playing the better football but had nothing to show for it.
In the first half we came closest when Emmet almost got on the end of a very good free kick from Irwyn and then in the last minute a good move involving Robbie and Jack set up Irwyn for a snap shot on the turn that was well saved.
We owned the ball in the second half and had a number of chances but nothing really clear cut. The best chance was a close range header from Michael which was saved while Sean McG tried hard to score what would be a winning goal but to no avail.
A penalty shoot-out looked inevitable for a long time.
We went first and David scored. We however missed our second kick with Robbie scoring our third and then missed our fourth with Carlow scoring each and all of their first four kicks to win the penalty shoot-out 4-2.
So we finish 20th. Not really what we came for.
Any objective analysis of our 2012 Kennedy Cup campaign would have to conclude that it was not an outstanding success. We only won two of our six games, drawing one and losing three. As against that we were competitive in every game and never lost by more than a single goal. We were organised and never conceded from a set-piece or a corner kick. We conceded six goals in six games, keeping two clean sheets. It could also be argued that we had little good luck, were on the wrong end of more than a few bad decisions and the margins between success and failure were small. But we really lacked a cutting edge. Six goals in six games tells the story and we failed to score in our last two games.
It is also true that we had some outstanding individual performances. Sean McGrane had a great week and was our best player closely followed by Emmet Nally while Conor Lynam also had a great week.
Otherwise it was a great experience and adventure. We have had opportunities that we might otherwise never have had. We have also made great enduring friendships and have memories that we will always treasure. It has to be about more than just what happens on the playing and training pitch.
After the game we returned to the accommodation soaked to the skin for the second day in a row. Time for a shower and then Christmas dinner!
Wow! Turkey & Ham with all the trimmings to include Brussels sprouts. It was incredible.
After dinner each player received a Certificate of Participation in the 2012 Kennedy Cup. Sean McGrane also received an award as our Player of the Tournament. Michael also made presentations on behalf of the players to Colin, John, Brian and Seamus. It was a nice way to finish.
Unfortunately our day was completed on a bad note as we watched Ireland lose 4-0 to Spain. We were totally outplayed.

That was soon forgotten as we got busy trying to enjoy our last night at the Kennedy Cup.





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