Ulster Colleges Corn Mac Neasa.
The U14 footballers of St. Patrick’s college, Ballymena have been in impressive form as the season has progressed. Following a nervous start and an opening game defeat at the hands of Drumragh they have shown a lot of improvement under former All Saints player Aidan Walsh to qualify for the U14 semi-final.
Played as a blitz on Tuesday, there were 4 groups with the top team in each group qualify for the Ulster semi-finals. St. Patrick’s started very nervy in the opening game, having all the possession and playing all the football in Drumragh’s half. However, the team left their shooting boots in the changing room, and spurned chance after chance. Drumragh ended up scoring goals with their only 2 shots on target to start things on a negative note.
St. Patrick’s were 7 down against the breeze at the break in their second game against Dromore but battled well in the second period to put pressure on with 2 well taken goals. An equalising point ensued and indeed they had the chances to notch a win, but a draw was fair for both sides.
From there, St Patrick’s found their rhythm and became much more clinical in front of goal, punishing the opposition in the next three games, tallying 12 goals in these games. Confidence was soaring as the boys overcame a strong Armagh side and a Crossgar team in the final match who also had only been beaten once on the day. Winner takes all and the team showed a killer instinct, scoring 4 goals in the opening half and never giving Crossgar an opportunity to get themselves into the game.
Strong performances on the day from Lewis Devlin and Callum McAvoy in defence, who set an example with their tenacity and tackling, Callum O’Brien and Niall Devine were instrumental in every positive possession the team had and Caoimhin Kennedy and Conlin Neill provided the threat up front.
Next up is an Ulster semi-final against Gaelcholaiste Dhoire!
Results were as follows;
St Patrick’s 1-02
St Patrick’s 2-01
St John’s Dromore 1-04
St Patrick’s 3-02
John the Baptist 0-01
St Patrick’s 4-02
St Catherine’s Armagh 1-01
St Patrick’s 5-02