The sun was shining, the Rockland pitch was in great form despite the rain it absorbed the previous two days, and the large crowd came anticipating a good game of football. They weren’t disappointed, as Rockland outdueled St. Raymond’s 4-11 to 4-3 in the U16 final Sunday.
The scoring, passing, fielding and defensive play were a treat to watch. Though the players fought for every ball, there was never an ill-tempered sign shown by either side.
Rockland opened the scoring via a Mike Cannon goal. Shortly after, St. Raymond’s responded with a breathtaking goal. Four splendid passes found Brian Denneny inside the Rockland defense and he rifled the ball to the roof of the net. Paul McGrath and Tom McVeigh added points for Rockland and then Justin Murray scored St. Raymond’s second goal.
Play was fast and furious at this stage. Joe Farrell equalized for the Rock and Brendan Creegan electrified the crowd with yet another well-taken goal for the Bronx boys. Not to be outdone, Mike Cannon bagged a goal again for Rockland and the sides were level once more. Rockland jumped in front with points from Brendan Fennell and Paul McGrath. Nearing the stroke of halftime, St. Ray’s again were in the lead, 4-0 to 2-5, on a goal by Steven Hughes.
On the resumption of play Peter Cassels and Brendan Creegan gave St. Raymond’s a two-point cushion. At this stage it seemed as if the tide was swaying in favor of St. Ray’s. But the Rocklanders soon began to dictate matters at midfield and their back line seemed to sweep up any ball that was pumped in from out the field. The scores then came rapidly for them: Mike Cannon (2), Casey O’Keefe and Paul McGrath pointed and now the score was level yet again 4-2 to 2-8. The old adage of points win games was showing it’s true value. These points opened up the St. Raymond’s back line and that’s when Rockland hit for the killer blow. Two goals by Mike Cannon and Chris Geoghegan put them on top to stay. Chris Hughes added a point for St. Ray’s and Mike Cannon and Casey O’Keefe kicked two more points for the victors.
St. Raymond’s: Shane McDonnell, Conor Gillespie, John Fahey, Brian Cullinan, Mike Greaney, James Farrelly, Steve Greaney, James Huvane, Justin Murray, Peter Cassells, Brian Denneny, Steven Hughes, Sean Brady, Chris Hughes and Brendan Creegan.
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Rockland: Brian Walsh, Brendan Murphy, Billy Cosgrove, Glen Roche, Ray Bader, Caleb Chiang, Seamus Keane, Tom McVeigh, Brendan Fennell, Paul McGrath, Mike Cannon, Joe Farrell Mike Geraghty, Chris Geoghegan and Conor Hogan, subs used were Casey O’Keefe and Brian Cosgrove.
U14s travel to Ireland
The New York U14 team will be traveling to Ireland on Tuesda,y July 3, to participate in the Feile na Peile under 14 club championships. The tournament will be held in Tipperary from July 6-8.
In Tipperary the Cappawhite club will host the New Yorkers. Before the tournament, the team will play two exhibition matches in Kerry: on July 4 in Duagh and July 5 in Fitzgerald stadium in Killarney. This game against the Fossa club will be the curtain-raiser for the Munster under 18-football semifinal between Kerry and Waterford.
The players on the New York panel are Sean Brady, Anthony Caltabiano, Steve Cassels, Gary Clancy, Kevin Cullinan, Michael Durkan, Joseph Farrell, Steven Greaney, Joseph Hallinan, Kyle Hannon, Conor Hogan, Chris Hughes, Matthew Jordan, Peter Kennelly, Lorcan Malone, Shane McDonnell, Thomas McGovern, Conor McKeon, Brendan McManus, Danny O’Malley, Peter Shea and Brian Walsh. Team managers and trainer are Pat Ryan and Noel O’Connell.