22 March 2003

U-14 SFAI Goodson Cup

Ashling Annacotty  2   Castleknock Celtic  3

U-14A Team secured a place in the last 16 of SFAI Cup with an away victory over Ashling Annacotty in Limerick.

Castleknock, who had made the long journey to Annacotty for this Cup replay, looked the more dangerous in the opening 20 minutes and could have taken the lead had Paddy Andrews had a bit of luck and but for some fine goalkeeping from young Cregan in the Ashling goal.

However, it was Ashling that took the lead when the ball was headed over Alan Murphy's hands to the net.  It remained 1-0 to Ashling at half-time.

Some select words at the interval from Brian Arkins had the desired effect as the 2nd half began and Paddy Andrews blasted home from close range to draw level.  At this point Danny Sweeney entered the fray for injured John Moriarty who went off with what turned out to be a broken wrist.

On the 50th minute Ashling, who enjoyed a lot of local support, again took the lead with a fine long range shot to the roof of the net.  From then on Castleknock’s greater fitness began to show and with John Byrne and Daragh Daly taking control of the middle and the magnificent kickouts and long throw- in by Terry McAuley, provided a good supply to front-men Paddy Andrews and Danny O’Mahony with the latter growing in confidence as the game progressed.  At the heart of the defence Kenneth Arkins had his finest game of the season and Thomas Nolan, Jonathan Quinn and Gary Masterson all rose to the occasion and with Alan Murphy making two fine and very important second-half saves.  But it has to be said that the real inspiration came from Paddy Andrews, who hit a rocket to the top corner of the Ashling net from way out on the right to put Castleknock level again.

And so it was now into extra time with the winner coming in the 8th minute when the ball broke to Danny Sweeney in front of goal and he gave Cregan no chance.

The final 12 minutes were as tense as one could imagine and the final whistle was sounded with great joy and relief for the Castleknock camp and heartbreak for Ashling.

Next came a visit to the Annacotty local The Black Swan where the Aishling Club, to their credit, had laid on some refreshments.

Needless to say spirits were sky-high on the Coach on the return journey particularly after the BigMacs & Coke with Paddy leading the sing-song -even though he is much more likely to make it as a professional footballer!!

Now bring the boys of Lourdes Celtic