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U16 Football League – Saturday 17th February 2024

U16 Football League – Saturday 17th February 2024

Posted February 19, 2024

Thomas Davis

Naomh Mearnóg

‘Goals win matches’ and this proved to be the story at Kiltipper Road on Saturday as Naomh Mearnóg turned around an 8 points half time deficit to win by 2 points against a well drilled Thomas Davis side. 

Mearnóg lost the toss and Thomas Davis played with the aid of a strong wind in the first half. Two early Davis points from centre back Gareth Hayes set out their stall. Mearnóg responded with a free from Daniel Burns after a foul on Killian Lyons. Thomas Davis stretched their lead with four unanswered points before a well worked move was sent over the bar by Liam Hogan. Again, Davis made good use of the elements kicking two further points until Theo Dunne finished a strong solo run with a well taken point. 

With the half coming to an end, the powerful Hayes surged forward from the half back line and finished the ball to the Mearnóg net. This capped a fine first half display from the Thomas Davis centre back who scored 1-4. 

Half Time: Naomh Mearnóg 0-03 Thomas Davis 1-08 

Mearnóg got the ideal start to the second half with a Burns goal but with the wind dying and the rain coming down, the hoped-for comeback looked a long shot. The game ebbed and flowed but it was Thomas Davis who pushed forward on the scoreboard with two further points. 

With 10 minutes remaining Thomas Davis led 1-10 to 1-3. 

It was then that the game turned. Firstly, an opportunistic goal from Shane Rafter gave Mearnóg hope. Then a Jack Clarke 45m landed short of goal and after a couple of short passes Shane O’Brien found himself in space and slotted the goal home. Mearnóg spirits lifted, real urgency came into their play and the team began to believe. Although Thomas Davis came forward to score their final point of the game, the tide had turned. After another fine move, Burns found Rafter at the edge of the square and he tucked the ball away from close range. Following a lengthy discussion between the referee and the two umpires, the goal was allowed to stand. Mearnóg had hit the front for the first time and Thomas Davis were left reeling. With time running out Shane Rafter calmy tapped over the insurance point and Mearnóg finished out a remarkable comeback. 

Shane Rafter (2-1), Daniel Burns (1-1), Shane O’Brien (1-0), Theo Dunne (0-1), Liam Hogan (0-1) 

Panel: Jack Clarke, Louise Bernard, Adam Kerr, Patrick Corcoran, Sam Reid, Theo Dunne, Jake Beckett, Killian Lyons, Shane O’Brien, Daniel Burns, Oisin Nugent, Shane Rafter, Oisin Caroll, Cillian Brennan, Liam Hogan, Cillian Slevin, Ronan O’Brien, Jack Lawn, William Mourot, Senan Miland, Evan McKeever, Ethen Fitzgibbon, Thuan Ball.

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