Match Reports 2013 - U16

Match Reports 2013 - U16


U16A Football League Semi-Final


Saturday November 2nd 2013    Venue Silverpark      Report by Enda Kelly

 Kilmacud Crokes 3 -6             Na Fianna 1 – 11 ( AET)  

This was a match to decide who was, at least, the second best U16 football team in Dublin between the teams that finished 2nd and 3rd in the original league stages.  After a win and a loss against Na Fianna in the regular part of the league and a poor history  in previous seasons against them,  things were on a knife edge before the game.  Having stated that, this contest didn't do much to definitively end the argument either with one point between the teams at half time, the teams level at full-time, just 2 points between them at the break in extra-time and Crokes in front, for the first time in the match, and by just the minimum, at the end of extra time. 

The conditions were not very favourable for a good contest.  It was bitterly cold and wet with a strong wind blowing diagonally across the park from the gate end. 

Crokes started with the advantage of the conditions but Na Fianna were out of the traps much more quickly and had 4 points on the board in the first 7 minutes, before Crokes started to compete.  A good point from Tom Fox stopped the rot and further points from Conor, Callum ( 2) and Tom again left the minimum between the teams at half time.  Neutrals in the crowd would have considered Crokes to be lucky to have just one between them at half time at this stage.  

The home team was again slow to get started in the 2nd half  with Na Fianna getting the first two points.  Crokes levelled matters with an opportunist finish from Fergal but Na Fianna responded with a breakaway goal almost immediately from the kickout.  Thereafter, the pendulum began to swing towards the home team but they still required a goal from Tom and an equaliser from a free by Dan, just as the end of the match was coming, to force extra-time. 

A quick turnaround for extra time and yet again Crokes were slow to get going.  Na Fianna scored two points early in the first half to again put themselves in a winning position.  However, Crokes would not die.  They kept battling and battling with huge performances throughout the field notably from Sam Daly and Conor Kelly.  With 3 minutes to go another opportunistic first time finish from Callum put Crokes into the lead for the first time in the match and the local lads succeeded in keeping the gallant Na Fianna at bay from there until the end. 

The Crokes back line was notable for conceding just 1- 7 in the last 73 minutes of play.  Crokes midfield were stronger as the game went on and while the Crokes forwards found it difficult to deal with the massed defence of Na Fianna , they eventually eked  out the vital scores to win.  Special mention should be made of a fantastic save from Oisin just before the final Crokes goal.  Had that been scored it would have been curtains for the home team.     The whole panel contributed massively on the day. This was a victory first and foremost for the character and never say die spirit of the Crokes U16s.  Their skill and fitness levels were also critical contributing factors. 

Crokes now advance to the league final versus our old rivals Ballymun next Saturday at 3pm in Pairc Ciceam.  All support is welcomed.  

Oisin Doherty, Stevie  O'Dwyer, Eoin Sheehy, Lorcan Cunningham, Fergal Whitley, Sam Daly, Harry Kelly, Ben Shovlin, Conor Kelly, Dan O'Brien, Joe Doyle, Fiachra O'Connor, Andrew Fox,  Tom Fox,  Callum Pearson, Stephen McEntee, John Maher, Nathan Nolan, Stiofan O'Cassaide, Michael Reidy, Matty Hogan     

U16 League Division 1

Thursday June 20th 2013              Venue Popintree Park Report by Enda Kelly 

Kilmacud Crokes U16A 2-16 Ballymun Kickhams U16 1-13

This match was a great advertisement for Gaelic football. It was nip and tuck for the duration with Crokes behind for just a brief period at the beginning of the second half and winning by 6 points at the end of the game. A truer reflection of the balance of the game would perhaps be a 2 or 3 point win for Crokes but, in truth, Crokes would have been thrilled to win by just 1 score. From what can be ascertained, the last time Kickhams lost a game Bertie was Taoiseach and the Celtic Tiger still roamed the land. They are a superb team and play a very attractive brand of football. This Crokes team has reached that same level now - the challenge is to maintain that consistency of performance and indeed strive to get better again.
From the start of the match, you could sense that Crokes were going to put in a big performance. Playing on a small pitch and playing with the slope, Crokes got the first two scores, a point from Joe, who had a great first half and wasn't half-bad in the second half either, and a point from a free from Michael. It was point for point after that until half-time. The quality of play from both sides was of the highest order. Half of the scores Mun got in the first half were from frees, the only slightly disappointing aspect of Crokes game. The score at the short whistle was 8 point for Crokes to Ballymun's 6. On the basis of the performance to that point, Crokes were confident at half time but facing the might of Mun in the second half with just a 2 point advantage and the slope to come, our lads certainly weren't taking anything for granted.
If Crokes began the first half impressively, they began the second even more so. Callum, Tom and Fiachra, with a wonder score, had 3 points on the board within the first 3 minutes. Then came the Ballymun purple patch. They scored 1-3 in 8 minutes to take the lead for the first time before Conor got a fine point to equalise for Crokes in the 13th minute of the half. Crokes were responding. Ballymun got the next one before Crokes, through the galloping Fergal, levelled and then Michael fired over a free to put Crokes into the lead again , a lead they would not lose again. 
Callum scored an absolute peach of a goal at this point with the defining score of the game. He won the ball in the air, cut in from the left and unleashed a shot to the back of the net that you wouldn't see the like of in Croke Park. Against a normal team at this juncture you would have said game over but Ballymun are not an ordinary team. Harry Kelly was harshly sent to the line for a second bookable offence but the Kilmacud just lads redoubled their efforts for their friend. Tom came out into the middle and won an ocean of possession which he used to great effect. Michael was very effective in this period also having his best game for some time.
Mun had their big midfielder sent off with 5 minutes to go and with Crokes leading by 2 points. It was looking very difficult for the championship winners at that stage. However being the champions they are they never gave up. With the game going into injury time there was just a goal in it and the Mun were pressing. There was another goal in the game but it went to the irrepressible Joe Doyle to leave Crokes the winners by 6 points in total what was a really good game of football for the neutral, not that there was too many of them around.
The atmosphere at the end was a little strange. Crokes celebration was muted. It wasn't clear whether that was down to the huge surprise that had just enfolded or just exhaustion at the end of an energy sapping match.
Someone asked who had played well on the Crokes team when we hit the southside later last Thursday night. In absolute truth, it would be impossible to single anyone out for special mention. Every player and sub played to their very best. Some even reached levels never seen before. It is difficult to envisage a situation where Crokes could play as well again but that must be the target. 
Crokes have 2 matches beginning tomorrow night against Cuala ( in Shanganagh, Tuesday 25th at 7.30 - please support ) with the second v Raheny on Thursday. A clear gap has emerged between Ballymun and Crokes, first and second respectively in the league, and the following pack. It is important that this gap is maintained and perhaps widened this week to leave a good gap between second and third for the resumption of the league in August.
A final point must be made about the referee. You can always quibble about how a ref performs but in this game the man in the middle was fair, authoritative and contributed very much to an excellent game.

Kilmacud Crokes - Oisin Doherty, Stevie O'Dwyer, Eoin Sheehy, Lorcan Cunningham, Fergal Whitley, Sam Daly, Harry Kelly, Conor Kelly, Michael Frawley, Andrew Fox, Fiachra O'Connor, Dan O'Brien, Callum Pearson, Tom Fox, Joe Doyle, Stiofan O'Cassaide, Nathan Nolan, Mattie Hogan

Dublin U16 Championship Final 


Click on the above image for more photos from game - thanks to Steven Dagg.

Saturday 25th May 2013 Venue: Parnell Park Report by Enda Kelly

Ballymun Kickhams 0 - 14 Kilmacud Crokes 0 - 6

With 10 minutes gone in the second half of this tightly contested, absorbing championship final in Parnell Park, Crokes were just 3 points behind and on a roll. All the momentum was with the young southsiders. In what was probably the key moment of the game, an absolutely outstanding full length save from the Mun goalkeeper prevented what seemed a sure goal for Crokes. The ball was eventually cleared. Mun worked their way to the far end of the field and scored a point to leave four between the teams. Thereafter they found their composure again and got the next 4 scores to win eventually by 8 points.

The last time these teams met in competitive action, the gap between them was 24 points. So the gap is closing and an eight point differential possibly slightly flattered the Ballymun team but Crokes went as close as any team in Ireland to beating them in the last few years. It has to be acknowledged that Kickhams are truly an exceptional team and it is unfortunate in some ways that they must be beaten for this fine Crokes team to win anything, but such is life. Crokes had won 10 games in succession before Saturday so despite the size of the challenge that Mun represent, the journey to the Northside was not without hope.

Crokes had a few opportunities in the opening minutes to score but the first 2 scores went to Kickhams from close in frees. Crokes first score came from a Michael Frawley free in the 9th minute. Whether it was stage fright in the team's first outing in Parnell Park or just the quality of the opposition, who were a few levels ahead of what Crokes had faced in their previous games, Crokes weren't to score again until the 27th minute when Conor Kelly scored from play. By this time, the opposition had 7 on the scoreboard and were dominating physically around the centre of the field. Crokes turned over the ball cheaply on occasion but the effort from the Kilmacud boys couldn't be questioned and even though they were 5 points down at half time all hope wasn't yet lost.

Whatever was said at halftime galvinised the Crokes lads and they came out in the second half with a renewed and increased vigour and intensity. They were like a different team. A free converted by Michael in the seventh minute followed by points from play by Joe and Tom had everyone believing that a win could be achieved. Then came the great save referred to earlier. Mun seemed to up a gear thereafter and after Conor's second score in the 10th minute of the second half Crokes didn't score again and Ballymun went on to win by eight points in the end.

Taking the game into account overall, Mun were well deserving of their win. They are a superb team who look to be getting stronger with every season. A winning margin of eight points didn't flatter them unduly. Having stated that, the Crokes lads can be very proud of their contribution on the day. In terms of effort and resilience they couldn't be faulted. Technically they have some distance to go before matching Ballymun but who is to say that with dedication and preparation over time that the bridge can't be crossed. From a physical perspective, particularly around the middle of the field in the first half, Crokes played second fiddle and this will need to be addressed over time. It should be reiterated that there is no shame in losing to this Ballymun team.

Crokes U16s have improved immeasurably in the last few months. Everyone who togged out for Crokes on the day gave of their very best and there were some outstanding displays from the lads, notably Harry Kelly and Stevie O'Dwyer. It is to the great credit of the Crokes backline, including Oisin, that Ballymun didn't raise a green flag on the day. There aren't many occasions when that happens. The team was admirably lead by Sam Daly who, especially in the second half, was simply inspirational.

Its back to league action from the middle of June with the first match, believe it or not, against Ballymun Kickhams away. After that there are two more league matches in June and then a break for July. Crokes' aim for the rest of the season must be to build on the progress made to date and to achieve second place in the league at the end of the season.

Kilmacud Crokes : Oisin Doherty, Stevie O'Dwyer, Eoin Sheehy, Lorcan Cunningham, Fergal Whitley, Sam Daly, Harry Kelly Conor Kelly, Ben Shovlin, Michael Frawley, Tom Fox, Dan O'Brien, , Callum Pearson, Joe Doyle, Andrew Fox, Stephen McEntee, Stiofan O'Cassaide, John Maher, Nathan Nolan, Stephen Kilgallen, Brian Carr, Niall Murray

U16 Division 1

Saturday 18th May Venue Silverpark  Report by Enda Kelly

Kilmacud Crokes 6 - 17 St. Annes 0 - 2

Crokes played their last match before the Championship Final last Saturday against a St. Annes team that had acquitted themselves very well in their first season in Division 1 of the League thus far. They were, however, without their talismanic midfielder due to other commitments and needed a good start if they were to put it up to a Kilmacud Crokes team at the top of its form. They didn't get that start while Crokes started at a rate of knots and, after a wasteful first few minutes in front of goal, the scores started to come and come for the Kilmacud lads. Crokes scored an incredible 5 -7 in the first half and the unfortunate Annes boys couldn't cope.

In the second half, things just went from bad to worse for the Tallaght team although they managed to get 2 points on the scoreboard. Their frustration boiled over and as the referee applied the laws to the letter. Crokes scored just 1 goal in the second period but also nabbed 10 points to leave the final score as shown.

Again there were good displays all over the field from the Crokes lads. Oisin made one great save when called upon and was coolness personified in everything else he did. Stevie continues to display radar-like anticipation in all he does and Eoin bossed the key battleground at the edge of the square and beyond. Stephen and Lorcan shared the shift in the other corner and there isn't much to choose between both players. The half back line of Fergal, Sam and Harry were their usual competent selves in relation to their basic duties of defending and showed loads of football when opportunities to attack presented themselves. Again the Crokes midfield of Ben and Conor excelled showing their football skills and athleticism in equal measure.

For a forward line to score 6 - 17 in one match is a complement to it's attacking prowess. Crokes had 9 scorers in total with Nathan contributing a goal from the bench and all six forwards and the 2 midfielders contributing. Under 15 goalkeeper Niall Murray made an untroubled debut in place of Oisin for the last few minutes. So another successful outing for Crokes U16 footballers - but there are more difficult challenges ahead.

Kilmacud Crokes Team: Oisin Doherty, Stevie O'Dwyer, Eoin Sheehy, Lorcan Cunningham, Fergal Whitley, Sam Daly, Harry Kelly,  Conor Kelly, Ben Shovlin, Michael Frawley, Tom Fox, Dan O'Brien, Callum Pearson, Joe Doyle, Andrew Fox, Stephen McEntee, Stiofan O'Cassaide, Nathan Nolan, Brian Carr, Niall Murray.  

U16 Division 1

Tuesday 14th May 2013  Venue Silverpark  Report by Enda Kelly

Kilmacud Crokes 5 - 7 Na Fianna 0 - 8

This match was played on a dry Tuesday evening in Silverpark and was the first time these old rivals had met in 2013. Crokes had the first two scores on the board from Michael and Callum before Na Fianna got their first from a pointed free in the ninth minute. However Crokes were the stronger team throughout the half with everyone playing at the top of their game and scored 3 goals in a purple patch from the 21st to the 29th minute effectively making the prospects of a Na Fianna comeback in the second half a remote one. The flying Joe Doyle got two of the three goals in his best game since his return to the team with the first one going to the irrepressible Callum.

However, Na Fianna were not to lie down and started the second half with a renewed determination. Another goal from Callum following a great team movement along the length of the pitch and a point from Michael just two minutes later put a halt to their march. They did score 4 points in succession from frees thereafter but couldn't get the goals that might have allowed them to mount a serious challenge. Crokes defence was strong throughout and Oisin didn't have a really difficult save to make. Crokes dominated at midfield through Ben and Conor and the game petered out after Callum's second goal in the 13th minute.

Kilmacud Crokes Team
Oisin Doherty, Stevie O'Dwyer, Eoin Sheehy, Lorcan Cunningham, Fergal Whitley, Sam Daly, Harry Kelly,  Conor Kelly, Ben Shovlin, Michael Frawley, Tom Fox, Dan O'Brien, Callum Pearson, Joe Doyle, Andrew Fox, Stephen McEntee, Stiofan O'Cassaide, Michael Reidy, John Maher, Nathan Nolan, Brian Carr.

U16A Championship Semi-Final


U16 v St Brigids C'Ship May 4th 2013

U16 v St. Brigids (2)

Click on the above images for more photos submitted by Michael Reidy


Saturday 4th May 2013 Venue Silverpark        Reporter Enda Kelly

Kilmacud Crokes 1-8 v St Brigids 0-6

Great Day out in Silverpark

Crokes under 16 footballers won this championship semi-final by 5 points last Saturday on a beautiful afternoon before a very decent crowd in Silverpark. It was a difficult game to predict for a few reasons with the teams never having met previously in either league or cup.
Brigids used a number of players from their 2012 All Ireland Feile winning team as well as the best of their regular U16s and this contributed to the uncertainty around the outcome. They had beaten the highly regarded Na Fianna on their way to the semi also. From a Crokes perspective, the concentration pre-match was on our own performance, not the opposition's and the feeling was that if that could be 'got-right' then everything else would look after itself.
Crokes started with the slope and the breeze in their favour but it was Brigids that scored first in the 7th minute. However, it was to be their only score of the half. Crokes pressed relentlessly and Brigids were forced to foul the flying Kilmacud forwards whose movement was exceptional particularly in the full forward line where Tom and Callum worked together very well. Michael Frawley was exceptional in his freetaking throughout and scored four in the first half and another in the second. In addition the rampaging half-back Fergal clipped over a beauty to leave the half time score at 5 to 1 in favour of Crokes.
The start of the second half was to be the critical part of the game. A good start for Brigids and everything was up for grabs again. As things transpired, it was Crokes that got the first score of the second period. Another end to end move resulted in Joe being fouled in the square with a penalty awarded to the home team. It was clinically despatched by Callum. The gap was now 7 and Brigids never got closer than 4 thereafter. They had their purple period with 3 points between the 21st and 27th minute but Tom had pointed in the 9 minute also and a great point by the galloping midfielder Conor, who came to life in the second half after a quite opening period, kept a critical distance between the teams.
This was a superb display by the boys from Crokes. The best a management group can get to hope from a team is that they perform on the day and do themselves justice. To a man this Crokes team excelled. From the cool and ever-reliable Oisin in goals to Andy in the full forward line everyone played at the top of their game. The full back line of Lorcan, Eoin and Stevie were absolutely solid throughout and didn't even concede one goal scoring chance to the opposition. Sam, the captain at centre back, was his usual bundle of energy in the pivotal centre half back role and Harry had his best game of the championship to date. Special mention should be made of the outstanding Ben Shovlin in midfield. Last but not least Dan, like Conor, had a quiet first half but burst into life at the start of the second and was hugely influential thereafter.
Brigids were competitive throughout and even though Crokes were on top they could never relax and didn't ever get out of sight. Crokes are in the final now and playing possibly the most outstanding underage team of the last few years in Dublin, Ballymun Kickhams. However this is an improving Crokes team who ran the Mun to 5 points in last year's under 15 championship. The final is a huge challenge for the Kilmacud boys who so far have not been found wanting.

Kilmacud Crokes - Oisin Doherty, Stevie O'Dwyer, Eoin Sheehy, Lorcan Cunningham, Fergal Whitley, Sam Daly, Harry Kelly Conor Kelly, Ben Shovlin, Michael Frawley, Tom Fox, Dan O'Brien, , Callum Pearson, Joe Doyle, Andrew Fox, Stephen McEntee, Stiofan O'Cassaide, Michael Reidy, John Maher, Nathan Nolan, Brian Carr

U16A Championship Quarter Final

Saturday 27th April 2013      Venue Silverpark         Reporter Enda Kelly

Kilmacud Crokes 3 10 Castleknock 2 4

The U16 Championship Quarter Final in Silverpark last Saturday between Crokes and Castleknock again showed the potential of the current crop of players from Kilmacud. Crokes were up against the best team from Division 2 of the League, a team undefeated in league football this season, and a team eager to continue their progress in an upward direction.

Crokes dominated possession at the start of the game although their first 4 attempts on goal yielded just one point with 3 wides ensuing also. Nevertheless, the Crokes tactic of driving the ball quickly into a 2 man full forward line was working well. The opposition were never given an opportunity to settle into the game and, once the Crokes team found their range, scores started to mount up. Some of these scores were of top quality and after the opening period Crokes had just one more wide in the half and another 1 -8 on the scoreboard. Castleknock began to come into the game as the half progressed but they had left themselves an uphill task. The score at half time was Kilmacud Crokes 1 - 9, Castleknock 0 - 4.

The Kilmacud focus waned somewhat in the second half. The early ball tactic was largely abandoned and the ball seemed to take longer and longer to get to the danger area. Castleknock, to their credit, never gave up and began to force the issue somewhat. However, the base that Crokes had built in the first half stood to them and Castleknock didn't get closer than 5 points at any stage. They scored two goals but Crokes replied with one of their own immediately afterwards on each occasion.

There were 7 scorers in all on the Crokes team with all 6 forwards contributing. This is always a good sign. Callum again top-scored. In the defence the full-back line was superb, particularly in the first half, with Stevie O'Dwyer absolutely outstanding. Eoin was a pillar of strength at full-back also. The halfback line was solid throughout with Harry Kelly showing a clean pair of heels to the opposition on more than one occasion. Midfield worked very hard for the hour with both Ben and Conor dominating their immediate opponents.

Crokes are due to play the semi-final, next Saturday at 3.30 in Silver Park, against St. Brigids - to be confirmed. All support is very welcome.

Kilmacud Crokes - Oisin Doherty, Stevie O'Dwyer, Eoin Sheehy, Lorcan Cunningham, Fergal Whitley, Sam Daly, Harry Kelly Conor Kelly, Ben Shovlin, Michael Frawley, Tom Fox, Dan O'Brien, , Callum Pearson, Joe Doyle, Andrew Fox, Stephen McEntee, Stiofan O'Cassaide, Michael Reidy, John Maher, Nathan Nolan, Brian Carr

U16 A Championship

Saturday 13th April 2013 Report by Enda Kelly 

Kilmacud Crokes 6 9 Naoimh Fionnbara 0 4

Latecomers to this match missed what were probably the defining moments of the game with Crokes leading by 2 1 to nil after the opening minutes of this U16 A Championship game. Crokes, in the top half of Division 1 of the league were facing Division 3 opposition and would have been expected to win the match by most commentators but Championship is Championship, as they say, and, if Finbarrs had made the start Crokes did, who knows how events would have unfolded. As it was the game followed anticipated lines but the Crokes youngsters must be applauded for this disciplined, energetic show, displaying all the skills of the game over 60 minutes.

Callum and Andy got the two early goals for Crokes with the top-scoring Tom Fox getting another 1 - 2 before half-time. This was countered by just 4 points from Finbarrs, all from placed balls. So at half- time, Crokes were comfortably ahead although they had to play up the hill in the second half. At the short whistle the scores were Crokes 3 - 2, Naoimh Finbarra 0 - 4.

If the Crokes full-back line was good in the first half and they were, they closed up shop completely in the second half. Oisin, in goals, was solid and assured for the entire afternoon albeit called into action less and less as the match progressed. Much of the success of the defence could be put down to the tight-marking half-back line and energetic midfield pairing of Ben and Sam. It wasn't a day for high fielding skills but there is much more than that to the position in the modern game.

When the forward line clicked, their movement and passing was mesmerising at times and clearly showed the hard work that has been put into the team since the beginning of the year. All skilled in the basics of the game, two more goals from Callum and one from the quicksilver Joe were the highlights but, better still, was the fact that the team's scores were shared by six players in all with midfielder and captain Sam chipping in with a fine effort.

All five substitutes got a run and acquitted themselves well, those picked to start cannot afford to rest on their laurels. There is very good competition for places on this team.

It wasn't by any means a perfect display - there is much to be worked on. Crokes opponents in the next round will be Castleknock who lead Division 2 of the league having won all their matches to this point. They will undoubtedly be a more severe test of Crokes under 16s than Saturday's opponents.

Kilmacud Crokes - Oisin Doherty, Stevie O'Dwyer, Eoin Sheehy, Stephen McEntee, Fergal Whitley, Harry Kelly, Lorcan Cunningham, Sam Daly, Ben Shovlin, Andrew Fox, Conor Kelly, Dan O'Brien, Michael Reidy, Callum Pearson, Tom Fox, Joe Doyle, Stiofan O'Cassaide, John Maher, Nathan Nolan, Brian Carr