Under 16's beat in semi

Desertmartin 1-5 Newbridge 3-11

When these two teams met in the league earlier in the season 3 points separated the teams Newbidge winning 3-6 to 1-9. In that game Desertmartins wastefulness in front of goal cost them victory, On Saturday at Ballymaguigan an even more wasteful Desertmartin team will look back on this game and wonder how they managed to loose a game they dominated for long periods.

Newbridge had first use of a fresh breeze in the first half but it was Desertmartin who started brightest Enda O?Hagan missed a free inside the first minute and it was to be a bad day at the office for him as he was guilty of a number of bad wides throughout the game. Desertmartin continued to dominate the early exchanges but more wides were to follow before Enda O?Hagan did open the scoring with a pointed free. Almost immediately Newbridge replied and from their first attack hit their opening point Desertmartin however still dominated possession but could not convert this possession into scores after 15 minutes the teams were still level at 0-3 apiece with Enda O?Hagan and Ferghal Higgins hitting the Desertmartin points. Really however on the balance of play Desertmartin should have been at least 6 or 7 points clear at this stage. Newbridge were now starting to get into the game more and the tagged on 2 more points top lead by, Paul kidd replied with a point for Desertmartin before Newbridge capitalised on some slack defending to hit 2 more points to lead by 0-7 to 0-4 at the break.

Desertmartin introduced Cathal Brown at half time and he took his place at midfield it was Newbridge who started the half strongest however and they increased their lead with an early point. Newbridge were enjoying a spell of dominance at this stage but the failed to capitalise on this and Desertmartin rode out the storm. Cathal Brown snapped up a breaking ball in the middle played a great ball through to full forward Paul Kidd who rounded his marker and planted a shot to the net. This score give Desertmartin a great lift and a minute later Paul McFlynn hit the equalizing score. Desertmartin looked all over the winners at this stage but their failure to put scores on the board was to prove their undoing. Time after time shots were taken from crazy positions instead of playing a simple ball into the full forward. After weathering a battering Newbridge broke out with a promising attack however Desertmartin seemed to have averted the danger but the clearance was not held by Ciaran Burns a Newbridge forward had a shot the ball was called wide by Christopher Bradley in goals but the ball struck a post and fell to a newbridge forward who crashed the ball to the net. Despite this set back Desertmartin still took the game to Newbridge but failure to convert chances into scores sapped at their confidence. With 10 minutes to go only 3 points separated the teams but Desertmartin suffered a fatal blow midfielder Paul McFlynn who had been magnificent throughout suffered a broken collar bone after a very robust tackle from a Newbridge player. From that to the end Newbridge took over and they capitalised on some poor defending from the desertmartin defence twice a forward rose on the edge of the square unchallenged and crashed shots to the back of the net to kill of the Desertmartin challenge.

Team and scorers
Christopher Bradley
Barry O?Hagan
Paddy O?Neill
Brendan Higgins
Gavin Walker
Mark Murchan
Declan Murray
Paul McFlynn
Martin McGuigan
Ferghal Higgins (0-1)
Paul McGovern (0-1)
Enda O?Hagan (0-2)
Sean McStravock
Paul Kidd (1-1)
Ciaran Burns

Cathal Brown for Gavin Walker
Adrian Trainor for Sean McStravock
Kyle Bradley for Ciaran Burns
Declan Connery For Paul McFlynn
Thomas Toner For Cathal Brown

Were too now for this Desertmartin team, as the season has now finished players need to look at their performances not only in this game but throughout the season and particularly look at the areas of their game they must improve on. The must vow to work on these weaknesses in particular realise that it is a team game and no one player can be bigger than the team, that each player should concentrate on playing and their own performance and allow managers to deal with everything else.
The team have under performed as a place in the final was well within their grasp. However the effort put in by all the players has still to be commended these lads are after all only 16 years of age and are still learning and behalf of all of the management team I wish to thank all the players for their commitment and dedication throughout the year.

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