A Good Start for Youngsters
St. Joseph’s Charlestown……………5 Roscommon C.C………………….2
There is an old Irish proverb that goes something like this: tús maith, leath na h oibre and so it was for the St. Joseph’s u15 team as “a good start is definitely half the work” and to have it delivered by our two Polish strikers was an added bonus. We recently had our first Polish student pass his Junior Certificate Irish exam, the first of his nation to do so at our school and it is heartening to see that the East Europeans are assisting us on the sports field as well, integrating into the local community with ease. Sport has no boundaries. Infact this match had a very international feel about it with our visitors themselves fielding players from as far away as Brazil! There was a lot of skill on display at the home of Charlestown Athletic who once again looked after their local school in providing a top class facility to all.
For both teams there was an element of nerves as it was the first time the majority of players on show actually represented their respective schools at soccer. The game started well for the home side with the first goal coming after only 5 minutes. Donny Durkan played a delightful ball into Kacper Gawalkiewicz and the young striker, whose father Jakub is a stalwart of the local team, made no mistake turning the ball beyond the advancing Roscommon ‘keeper. The visitors then found their rhythm and tried to get back on level terms but found Kian Parsons in a no nonsense mood, clearing whatever came at him, be it ball or man! He was ably assisted by captain Darragh Duffy who grew into the role as the game wore on. Marty Beirne had a fine game at left back, with Marty you know what you are going to get always,110% of pure effort. Tomás Goldrick was a revelation at right back and attacked at every opportunity. By this time Durkan had settled into his midfield role brilliantly and even rattled the crossbar after 15 minutes. The home side went further in front after 20 minutes when Pawel Fijak showed great awareness in chasing a ball back to the Roscommon goal and managed to prod it beyond the goal line, a messy goal said Pawel after the game, but a very important one nonetheless.
Soon after Jack Brennan, who gave an outstanding display, running the show in midfield, had a header over the goal. Roscommon attacked immediately and from a corner kick brought the best out of Ruairí Redmond in the Charlestown goal. At this stage it was an end to end game with St. Joes the more clinical. This was very evident when Kacper was upended on his way to goal on 23 minutes. The resultant free kick was dispatched with some aplomb from 20 metres by Brennan, an absolute peach of a goal. With half time approaching Brennan put the game beyond reach when he scored a glancing header from a Goldrick cross. Sean Dunleavy had a number of chances, created from his strong running, but his finishing touch was missing. Keelin Devine made a very encouraging debut on the wing and played some intelligent passes throughout. Roscommon finished the half stronger with their Brazilian midfielder creating many opportunities and taking one, with a fine individual goal, to leave the half time score 4-1 to the home side.
The goal before half time certainly instilled some belief in the visitors and they played some fine football at the start of the second half and reduced the deficit further on 50 minutes with a good long range strike. Substitutions for Charlestown in the form of Gerald Higgins, Nathan Devine, replacing his brother, and Oran Duffy as well as Séamus Doherty gave fresh impetus to the home side to press home their advantage and this they did with a delightful strike from the super fit Doherty stealing in unnoticed to bury a corner in the back of the net and put the game beyond reach with 10 minutes’ left on the clock.
All in all, it was an entertaining match where both sides tried to play football to the best of their ability. Mr John Mulroe refereed the match in a very professional manner, letting the game flow and only intercepting when required. The home side had to line out without Ciarán Honeyman due to injury but Jack Brennan more than stepped up to the plate with a very mature display all-round.