The Kinvara Boys U15’s agreed to a fixture change request from Kiltullagh so this league cup game was played on a Sunday. The conditions were very tough for both teams as it was bitterly cold and the high wind that blew across the pitch required special attention. The referee Mike Walsh reminded both teams that since it was a cup game that it would go into two 10 minutes of extra-time in the event of sides being level after 70 minutes, and then to penalties if required.
The first half of normal time had both teams playing reasonable football and making a few chances each, however none were converted. The half-time jaffa cakes went down well and instructions went to every player to fight for every ball against a physical Kiltullagh side who had beaten us by a score line of 3-1 in the league back in November. Back in November it seemed that Kiltullagh dominated every 50:50 challenge in every position on the pitch. This wasn’t happening today though, with Kinvara lads starting to match their physical strength.
The second half of normal time was an entirely different game, with Kinvara dominating the chances at a ratio of 6 chances to Kinvara and 1 chance to Kiltullagh, none of which were converted for either side. Best chances for Kinvara were from Conor Burke and Cian Morgan. Almost all of Kinvara good play went through one player, Ryan Waterhouse, who put in a man-of-the-match performance, and simply everything Ryan tried worked well, using his great touch of a ball to ghost past people on the outside channel, and mixed up play really well by retaining possession when required and linking up with other players. Daniel Connolly was now dominating in the air in midfield and all kick outs from their keeper was being attacked leading to goal scoring opportunities. We still couldn’t put the ball in the net but remained patient and hard working. Late in the game one big chance came to Kiltullagh when they broke our central defence, but amazing alertness and pace by Jack O’Connor resulted in the attacker being pushed out wide and the ball was safely diverted to touch.
With the game looking like it was going into extra time, the manager dispatched one of the subs to bring out the emergency supplies of fruit pastilles for the boys, and they were duly devoured.
Extra-time though was when everything changed for Kinvara who dominated the entire period, winning almost every 50:50 challenge and creating endless chances. The option most tried by Kiltullagh was the long ball, which simply did not work against the strong wind, with almost every long ball ending up safely in touch. Kinvara on the other hand, played attractive football on the ground, mainly through Ryan Waterhouse, and good passing and interchanging. Finally our dominance paid off, with Conor Burke scoring what ended up being the only game of the contest. A very tense 6 minutes remained where Kinvara held possession high up the pitch and excellent discipline and composure from every Kinvara player. It would only take one mistake by one player for Kiltullagh to get back into the game, but Kinvara did not make a mistake and Kiltullagh did not get a scoring opportunity in extra time.
The final result was: Kiltullagh 0-1 Kinvara United AET.
Kinvara Team: Hugh Gately, Oran Frawley, Conor McGrath, Dylan Marchant (Captain), Kevin McHugh, Ryan Waterhouse (Man of the Match), Conor Burke (1), Harry Mulleady, Michael Corless, Daniel Connolly, Cian Morgan.
Subs: Jack O’Connor replacing Kevin McHugh early in second half of normal time. Sean Pearl, Hugo Fossati, Conor O’Dwyer, Michael Costello.
The Kinvara U15 team is sponsored by AIP Thermoform Packaging, based in Ennis, who specialize in the design and manufacture of “Technical Packaging Solutions” for the Medical, Electronic and Retail sectors. For more info go to http://www.aip.ie/