U17s set the tone in Brewster Opener

posted 30 Sep 2018, 14:51 by Derrygonnelly Harps
U-17 Football League Division 1 Final
Harps 4-14 Kinawley 2-4

The U-17s played in the curtain raiser in Brewster Park today against a Kinawley side who pushed them to the wire in last years championship (3 times!) and defeated the Harps in last years league final.  The young Harps knew they were going to have to play at full capacity to get the better of them.

The game began in a cagey fashion, both teams getting to suss out the opposition, but Kinawley definitely started the brighter and with more purpose and intent.  An early block from Rian McGovern on Aaron Tierney in the goalmouth a sign that Kinawley were dangerous on the attack. Michael Glynns goalward shot was saved well by Daire O'Reilly in the Kinawley net.   Cagey.  It took 6 minutes for the games first score, Kinawleys Aaron McHugh pointing a free.  Kinawley attacked again and it took a great save from Lee Skuce on the incoming Lorcan McKenna to avert the danger.  Tom Keenan was proving a bit of a handful inside for Kinawley he won a free which McHugh converted before Glynn opened the Harps account on 17 minutes with a free after the Kinawley keeper was adjudged to have overcarried.  Skucey was again called into action, this time denying Tom Keenan an almost certain goal with a superb stop.  Burkey got to grips around the middle, feeding Conor Burns for the levelling score on the 22 minute mark.  It was tight and dogged.  With 27 mins gone we took the lead through Burkey after great movement from Glynn and Rian.  Glynn then pointed after a great interception from Rony McGovern who fed Ronan McHugh who fed Glynn.  Then came the goal, Glynn netting with style.  This period rocked Kinawley a bit but they put the heads down and dug a bit.  Unfortunately they missed two scoring opportunities, a McHugh free dropped wide and then McKenna was clean through only for Skucey to pull another great save out of the top drawer.  And then came the killer blow just before half time, when Glynns free from the sideline on the cinema side dropped under the crossbar and into the back of the net. 
Half time Harps 2-4 Kinawley 0-2
The lads stayed out on the pitch at half time, no big screaming match from managers Anthony, Stix and Aidy.  Quiet words of encouragement, then out again for a kick about before Kinawley emerged for the second half.
Kinawley opened the scoring again in the second half through the impressive Aaron McHugh but the Harps moved onto another level, with goals from Glynn, points from Connor McGovern, Burns and Glynn giving the Harps a comfortable cushion.  Kinawley went at it, and got the goal that had in truth been coming, Lorcan McKenna was fed a high ball in from the ever-grafting Tom Keenan and he rose higher than Skucey to palm it to the net.  3-7 to 1-3.  Points were then traded between Burns for the Harps and Keenan for Kinawley before Burkey pointed.  Kinawley weren't giving up, and Aaron McHugh went for goal, only to see his goal-bound shot graze off the crossbar.  One minute later, Glynn had the ball in the Kinawley net.  Still Kinawley went again, Oisin McKennas shot going narrowly wide, before Eoin Drumm with the catch and pass into Lorcan McKenna saw Kinawley score a goal to leave things 4-9 to 2-4.  Cian Corrigan pointed before substitute Leigh Green was called into action with a superb block on Aaron McHugh.  Greeny then went upfield and pointed twice, Ronan McHugh pointed and Glynn with a superb effort 45 yards out with the wind at his back saw the thing out.

Kinawley started well and were strong around the middle,  However, the Harps management deserve huge credit for abandoning the sweeper and going for the thing a bit; the gamble paid off.  We got a foothold around the middle and with possession launched attack after attack.  Keenan was starved of possession and ended up around the middle then which suited us.  There were great performances all round from this U17 squad and Michael Glynn will get the headlines for a devastating attacking display.  But for this writer, there were three key performers; Darragh Burke grew in confidence as the game progressed, mopping up balls at the back, grafting in the middle and driving forward when needed.  Ronan McGovern put in a massive shift and a huge effort all day long.  His tackling was tenacious and his passing today was really great.  And Lee Skuce.  His saves at crucial times early on kept us in the game, his kickouts were good, and his leadership meant the defence remained steady. But every man played his part.
Lee Skuce accepted the U17 FL Division 1 trophy from Youth Board representative Vincent Martin amid scenes of jubilation from the Purple and Gold Army!  One down...

Harps; Lee Skuce, Rhyss Campbell, Gareth McGovern, Brandon Curry, Aaron Jones, Ronan McHugh, Niall Maguire, Rian McGovern, Darragh Burke, Michael Glynn, Conor Burns, Ronan McGovern, Eoin Magee, Cian Corrigan, Connor McGovern, Conor Gallagher, Leigh Green, Bryan McKenna, Jonathan Duffy, Aaron Skuce, Ben Foy, Rory-Joe Duffy, Patrick Duffy, Jarlath Flanagan, Jamie Thompson