Having played Granada and Rovers in their previous couple of outings, the motoring theme continued again this week, as the under 8’s travelled to the Transport club for an away day fixture against the unknown quantity of Iveagh Trust.
After a couple of recent heavy defeats the coaching staff took the unorthodox approach of cancelling mid-week training and instructing the players to spend the week meditating instead of worrying about fo0tballing matters. “What’s meditation Coach?” one of the players asked. “I think it’s the thing doctors give to you when you’re sick”. Replied another.
With batteries fully recharged and googlemaps directions digested, the convoy left town and sauntered down the N81 in the hope that victory was at least, going to be a possibility.
The team arrived at their destination looking more calm and composed than usual and as they made their way onto the pitch, the silent calm that had descended upon this group of young players, was briefly interrupted. “I scored in there years ago” Stephen McManus proudly announced. It wasn’t clear whether he was referring to the goal at the far end of the ground or the club house bar right behind it!
With Billy Moore ruled out through injury and unable to travel, the coaching staff took the brave decision to change things around by making some positional changes to the starting line-up. It was very much a case of sink or swim, as new signing Ciaran Clarke was thrown in at the defensive deep end alongside Jack McManus and Matthew Callinan. Jack Hardy was joined in midfield by old partner Aidan King and midfield debutant Bobby Gray made up the final piece of the midfield jigsaw. Shane O’Connor and Zach Power lead the line up front and after a brief warm up and match positions assumed, the game kicked off.
From the first whistle, Blessington immediately went on the attack and it was clear that the tactic of meditation was just what the doctor had ordered. After a few unsuccessful attacks the visitor’s patience was rewarded when Shane O’Connor dispensed a dose of reality on the Iveagh defence and fired home the opener from 6 yards out.
Some good work out on the right and an injection of pace through midfield, saw Aidan King fire home a long range effort beyond the despairing dive of the Iveagh keeper.
Half time whistle. 2-0 in front.
With first half diagnosis complete and second half tactics discussed, the game resumed and Blessington continued as they had finished off the first half. On the attack!
As the half worn on Blessington continued to have the lion’s share of the ball and all that was missing was a third goal and some clichéd quotes from the absent Chris Callinan.
However wave after wave of Blessington attack finally saw Jack Hardy add a third and a fourth to ensure that the victory was put well beyond doubt. Jack McManus, like his father before him on the same pitch, tucked one away from close range, to make it 5-0. Zach Power and Patrick Foley put the icing and cherry on the proverbial footballing cake and it was clear that the previous 3 defeats were now just a distant memory.
As final whistle blew the Blessington supporters rejoiced, not only a well earned victory but an excellent performance by a team, now back on track and ready to take on whoever the fixture list throws at them next.
Blessington Team: Patrick Foley, Matthew Callinan, Ciaran Clarke, Jack McManus, Aidan King, Jack Hardy, Bobby Gray, Zach Power, Shane O’Connor