Caragh Celtic U-8 team played their very first game in the KDUL on Saturday, 14th of September away to Kilcullen. There was much excitement as many of the players were making their debut in the league. The pre-match nerves soon disappeared once the kick-off was taken. The Caragh Celtic team lined out as follows: Lorcan Byrne(goals), Cathal McCarthy, Jack Courtney (defenders), Cian Corcoran, Bobby Taaffe, Daragh Carey(midfielders), Daragh Cooke(forward). Subs- Charlie Carr, Aaron Sharpe
The first quarter was a scrappy affair with both sides taking some time to settle. The score remained goalless at the end of the first quarter. Caragh Celtic began to dominate in the second quarter and more importantly began to retain possession of the ball. Cathal McCarthy was outstanding in defence. Bobby Taaffe, Lorcan Byrne and Jack Courtney took control of the game in the middle of the park and Caragh were quickly rewarded for their efforts. A superb ball through split the Kilcullen defence and Charlie Carr finished superbly by chipping the keeper. This goal was quickly followed by a second, Bobby Taaffe scoring with a great strike from the edge of the box. The score was 2-0 to Caragh Celtic at half time.
The third quarter began in the same vein with Caragh Celtic dominating possession. However, very few clear cut chances were created. Best for Caragh during this quarter were Daragh Carey, Lorcan Byrne and Jack Courtney whose work rate was superb. Dara Cooke put in a solid quarter also. However, Kilcullen pulled one back with a great strike and the quarter finished with Caragh Celtic 2-1 ahead. The Caragh Celtic players looked tired however after their efforts.
The last quarter saw Kilcullen dominate and the writing was on the wall. Cian Corcoran put in some great work. Cathal McCarthy and Aaron Sharpe were busy at the back and put in some great tackles to keep Kilcullen at bay. Kilcullen got the equaliser with 4 minutes left and unfortunately the Caragh heads just dropped a little. With two minutes left Kilcullen broke Caragh Celtic heart’s , (and that was only the parents), by snatching the winner. Disappointment all round but nothing that a Jaffa cake and a fizzy drink couldn’t sort out.
This was a game that Caragh could have won or at least taken a point from. However a lot of positives can be taken from the game. We have found a real utility player in Lorcan Byrne who can play almost anywhere. The work rate of Bobby Taaffe, Cian Corcoran, Jack Courtney and Daragh Carey was a joy to behold. Charlie Carr finished his goal in style and Dara Cooke was unfortunate not to add his name to the score sheet.
Aaron Sharpe made a solid debut and is certainly a player with huge potential. He is a player that will never shy away from the physical aspect of the game and put in some great tackles in the last quarter to deny Kilcullen several clear cut chances.
Cathal McCarthy was extremely strong throughout and marshalled the defence with confidence. He would be one of the candidates for man of the match and so too would Jack Courtney and Bobby Taaffe. All the boys did well but these three in particular impressed throughout.