Blessington U12B 2- 1 Blessington U12A

The two Blesso teams served up a real cracker this morning, with the B team running out narrow winners by the odd goal, in a game that really could have went either way.

Blesso “B” started the brighter and from the off squeezed the game in the “A” teams half, Adams was unlucky after a few minutes when he broke free only to see his shot blocked by Liam Broderick, next Daragh Gilroy went through but was unlucky when he lost control of the ball and it ran harmlessly into the A team’s keepers arms. Again Blesso “B” pushed forward and again the “A” teams defense stood up to the task with some great defending. The deadlock was broken when Cian McCarthy was brought down halfway in the “A” teams half, Ryan Keogh stood over the ball and unleashed a fierce shot to which the “A” team’s keeper did well to parry, unfortunately for him, the rebound broke to Daragh Gilroy and he slid the ball into the net (1-0), Tadgh Miley had a chance straight after this to add to Daragh strike but dragged his shot wide. The “A” started to assert themselves on the game and Sean O’Rourke was unlucky when he went clean through only to be thwarted by Ian Coughlan with a fine close range save, but  their  efforts were not to go rewarded when a mistake by Ryan Keogh let in Sean again, again Ian saved but the rebound was not dealt with by the “B” teams defense and the ball broke to Sean to prod home to make it all square (1-1). Just before half time, Daragh Broe Foster had a great free kick cleared off the line and at the other end a swerving corner was just missed by the diving “A” team midfielder with an open goal at his mercy (H/T 1-1)

The second half saw the “A” team get off to a flyer and again Ian Coughlan came to the rescue after a great run and shot by Pauric Keogh, at the other end Adams did well with an effort that just went wide of the post and then Tadgh Miley went inches wide from similar range with his shot. The game really was hotting up now and both team’s were given no time or space to make any inroads to goal, there was a real battle for the ball taken place in the middle of the park and no quarter was being asked or given by either team. Sean O’Rourke was to get another chance in the game as he went straight through from a long ball, but this time Tadgh Barrett matched his run and slid in brilliantly to clear just before the little striker could let fire, Again this seemed to spur on the “B” team and Cian McCarthy swept pass two defenders and was unlucky when his shot hit the side netting. With three minutes left on the clock and the game heading for deadlock, Cian was brought down as he broke on the right flank just outside the box, Daragh Broe Foster stepped up for the free kick and bent a sublime shot  just inside the far post. (2-1). Blesso “B” held firm for the last few minutes to run out narrow winners in a keenly contested match,

Well done to both teams for playing an absolutely tremendous match in great spirit..C’mon the Blesso


Blessington’s Bunch of Fives Beats Belmont

Belmont FC 1 – Blessington AFC 5

After last week’s Italian job at home to Brookfield, up next, was a large carbon footprint away day fixture, as Blessington under 8’s travelled to the leafy environs of Herbert Park to take on, an ever improving Belmont FC.

The pre-match preparation for this weekend’s fixture was once again planned with meticulous attention to detail by the coaching staff and the decision was made to move their mid-week training session to a state of the art, all weather training facility on the outskirts of the town.  With a “no stone left unturned” approach, the players were put through their paces to ensure maximum match day performance would be achieved by every player. It’s also widely believed that the players were given performance enhancing wristbands in order to provide an even greater edge over their opponents.

With preparations in place and a smooth journey over the mountain, the clouds parted and the Blessington team arrived at their match-day destination with pinpoint accuracy and plenty of time to spare.

For the second week in a succession it was a beautiful morning for football and the various park-life activities added an air of sophistication to the proceedings. The smell of freshly ground coffee permeating through the D.4 air was complimented by the marvellous sight of well-groomed pedigree specimens dashing around in the autumn sunshine with sticks in their mouth. Some even had their dogs with them. Some didn’t. .

The scene was set.  The teams took to the pitch. The referee blew his whistle. The game kicked off.

Similar to last week, hard tackles went in from both sides early on, but little or no ground was gained by either team in these early exchanges. The Blessington midfield paring of Jack Hardy and Billy Moore fought hard to win possession and they delivered a few searching balls into lone striker Jack McManus. These were however, easy snuffed out and the match looked early on, that it might end in a stalemate.

Football can often be, very similar to a game of poker, but with 2 Jacks and a King in their side the Blessington team, with about 10 minutes on the clock, looked like they were holding all the aces.

It also wasn’t very long, before Chris Callinan (Official club linesman), offered up some more pearls of wisdom from his necklace of footballing knowledge. With glance over his glasses and a rub of his chin, he dispensed some razor sharp tactical analysis. “This pitch is very wide” he announced.  Spot on, as usual!

With Blessington now in the ascendancy in midfield, the chances were beginning to come thick and fast. Inevitably, the deadlock was broken after 12 minutes, when Jack Hardy picked up a ball on the edge of the box and fired home the opener from about 12 yards out.  A 2nd goal was added shortly afterwards, when a Jack McManus effort was handled on the goal-line by a Belmont defender. The resulting penalty was clinically dispatched by Hardy, for his second goal of the game.

Belmont’s occasional foray into the Blessington half was dealt with consummate ease, by the defence trio of Matthew Callinan, Aidan King and Bobby Gray who once again, put in another top class display as a defensive unit.

Right on the stroke of half time, Hardy bagged his hat-trick, when he got on the end of a clinical pass from Aidan King and once again rattled the back of the Belmont net.

The 2nd half saw Belmont come out with much purpose and vigour and within minutes they had pulled one back with a neat finish under the out- stretched body of Patrick Foley.  Blessington began to look nervous but half time substitute Zach Power managed to rifle home a superb right foot effort from close range.  This settled the nerves once again and some mazy runs at the heart of the Belmont defence by Shane O’ Connor ensured that pressure continued to pile on their Belmont opponents.

That pressure was rewarded when Zach Power’d home his 2nd goal, this time opting for left foot finish and proving that old fashioned centre forward play still has place in the modern game.

Belmont never gave up belief and continued to push forward, but some fantastic last ditch defending by Emily O’Toole ensured that they didn’t add to their single goal tally.

As final whistle blew, both teams sportingly shook and hands and parents from both sides mingled comfortably (for a short time) in each other’s presence.

As each player made their way back to their chauffeur driven cars, with another excellent win under their belts, many of life’s great questions were starting to be asked.

Can I get sweets on the way home? How long is it going to take to get home?”

But as each player stared out of their car window on the long journey home, they all asked themselves the most important question of them all.

“I wonder who we’ll be playing next week and I wonder will we win”

Blessington team: Patrick Foley, Matthew Callinan, Aidan King, Bobby Gray, Jack Hardy, Billy Moore, Jack McManus, Shane O’Connor, Zach Power, Emily O’Toole.