Fingal Football Final 2018

All roads led to Abbotstown sports complex last Tuesday the 15th of May as our senior boys team represented the school in the Fingal League final. After a very hard fought campaign and a number of narrow wins en route to the final the team emerged victorious on what was a sunny day in Dublin 15. Donabte ETNS provided the opposition and with both teams having met twice previously the odds were evenly shared before the big day. Pupils from third to sixth class joined many parents and members of the school community to cheer on the team in what was an assured display and a fine victory for St. Declan’s.
Despite been aided by a strong breeze in the first half St. Declan’s had a nervous start to the game and Donabate opened the scoring with a fine point from distance. It took our team five minutes to get on the score sheet with a great flick from the opportunist corner forward Callum Keogh to land the ball in the back of the opposition net. However, an immediate lapse in concentration resulted in a quick kick out from the well-coached Donabate keeper and with a slick moving attack up the field we conceded what seemed at the time a devastating blow, with the ball ending up in our net. Both sides exchanged scores over the next number of plays with both Declan’s free takers Adam Doran and Daniel Doherty getting on the score sheet from placed kicks. It was after eighteen minutes of play that we once again found our way to the Donabate net with a confident finish from Adam Doran. Nearing the end of the first half, Ciara Doherty hit a Maurice Fitzgerald like point from a sideline ball connecting beautifully with the outside of her right boot to slice the ball over the bar. With Adam getting on the score sheet again, St Declan’s lead Donabate 2-6 to 1-3 at the break.
It was in our second half performance that we showed our true character. Even with relentless pressure on our backline we managed to hold Donabate to two points in the second half. The team’s great hunger and determination was evident with their never say die attitude. Ferocious tackling led to many important turnovers and many counter attacks undertaken by Ryan Murphy and Habir Muritala. One of these attacks resulted in a fine finish by Callum Thomas. As the game opened up, St Declan’s played a nice brand of free flowing football by carrying and moving the ball at pace. Evan O’ Kane, Aidan Mackey and Jack Doran worked tirelessly around the middle always making their physical presence known. Our back line consisting of Phillip Carragher, Davin Jones, Eoin Byrne and Darragh Cummins were always alert and awake to any present danger. There were a few anxious moments at the St Declan’s goalmouth as the ball aided by the breeze was clutched from under the crossbar by Alex Fitzpatrick the team’s goalkeeper who in turn cleared the ball.
This was more than just a fifteen person performance. Darren Carberry and Cillian Ryan came on mid-way through the second half along with Martin Anev and Ben Ward entering the field of play in the closing moments. All players contributed to a fantastic team performance.
The afternoon concluded with a presentation of the Tom Duignan Cup to our team captain Adam Doran much to the delight of all present St Declan’s supporters. Well done to all involved on a tremendous days’ work. Thank you to Mr Farrell, Mr Lydon and Mr Ryan for coaching and mentoring the team throughout the year.