U16 Football Championship Final
Lilliput Gaels 8-07 Inny Shamrocks 4-04
Our U16 footballers were crowned Division 3 champions on Bank Holiday Monday, 29th October following a comprehensive victory over a gallant Inny Shamrocks side in The Downs. The Downs main pitch and their superb facilities matched the occasion as our lads took to the field in determined mood. However it wasn't all plain sailing as we played into a strong wind in the opening half. Inny Shamrocks started as lively as the breeze behind them and we found ourselves under considerable pressure in the opening quarter. This intense pressure seemed to unnerve us early on but thankfully, due to a combination of poor shot selections and resolute defending, we found ourselves only two points in arrears at the midway point in the half. Shortly after that, we got our opening score. Peter Reynolds, who started in the full forward line but was now operating further out the field, collected a good ball from the prominent Cian Gavigan and went on a strong surge. His pass to Cody Finnane in space resulted in Cody expertly placing the ball past a diving keeper into the bottom corner. Any nerves we had until that moment disappeared in a flash. The introduction of Warric Kirby (who missed a lot of our season through soccer commitments and recovered just in time from a broken bone in his hand) around this time had an impact and we continued to dominate the remaining ten minutes of the half with well finished goals by Darragh Seery and Warric. Inny Shamrocks were still a threat however and they earned a penalty which was well finished, despite a great effort by our keeper Peter Dalton, to leave the half time score Lilliput Gaels 3-03 Inny Shamrocks 1-03. With the wind on our backs, we anticipated a strong performance from the lads in the second half and they didn't disappoint. Darragh Seery won the throw in and we attacked straight away with a point resulting. We began to assert ourselves and create chances with further goals coming from boots of Peter Reynolds, Conor Murphy and Warric Kirby. We received a setback with twelve minutes of normal time remaining when we lost the influential Zach Wright to a straight red card. This left us with plenty of defending to do as Inny Shamrocks, to their credit, piled on the pressure right to the end. Ryan Boyne, Tiernan McMahon and Darragh Seery led the defensive charge to quash the Inny Shamrocks challenge and, with their men pushed forward, we were able to punish them on the break and we finished with two well taken goals to run out convincing winners at the final whistle. The sense of achievement was evident as parents and supporters spilled onto the field to celebrate. Captain, Cian Gavigan, received the trophy from underage secretary Michael McHugh and thanked the club, mentors, players and supporters before giving three cheers for a plucky Inny Shamrocks side. This was a magnificent end to the year, the culmination of a long season of training and development for this talented panel of players. We have to give a special mention to two players who played all year long but missed out playing in the final due to untimely injuries. Our goalkeeper, Lorcan Kiernan, and corner back, Mark Killian, both unfortunately sprained ankles in the lead up to the game and didn't recover in time. Both lads featured strongly in all our games this year so it was really disappointing for them to miss out, however they were with us in all of our final preparations and again on Monday and this was another driver for the panel to succeed. A third panel member, Adam McGoldrick, also missed the action due to injury. A second special mention goes to our U14 players, David Maloney, Peter Murphy and Jack Gannon, who augmented our panel all year with David and Peter both impressing when introduced on Monday. Well done and congratulatons to the entire squad and their mentors. Team: Peter Dalton, Ryan Boyne, Cathal Kelly, Tiernan McMahon, Cian Gavigan, Luke Seery, Darragh Seery, Zach Wright, David Jackson, Conor Murphy, Mark Kiernan, Peter Reynolds, Cody Finnane. Subs used: Warric Kirby, David Maloney, Sean Kincaid, Peter Murphy, Ian Kiernan. Rest of panel: Jack O'Donnell, Jack Gannon, Lorcan Kiernan (Inj), Mark Killlian (Inj), Adam McGoldrick (Inj).
Minor Football Championship Semi-Final
Lilliput Gaels 4-10 St. Mary's Rochfortbridge 6-08 (AET)
Our minor footballers were most unfortunate to lose out narrowly to visiting a St. Mary's side after a thrilling semi-final encounter in Ballinagore on Sunday morning. Our lads were quickest to settle as Morgan Gavigan had the ball in the net inside the opening five minutes before our opponents launched their first real attack. As the half wore on, we continued to dominate and further goals by Morgan and Aaron Glennon left us with a healthy half time lead of 3-06 to 1-06. St. Mary's came more into the game in the second half and shortly after Morgan had netted his hat-trick of goals, they replied with two goals in as many minutes to really kick start their revival. From that point on, we seemed to lose our control on the game and our opponents momentum and constant attacking finally saw them edge in front by a point with time almost up. However there is great fighting spirit in our lads and we earned a late free which was pointed to bring the game to extra time. Extra time was tense throughout and scores were more difficult to come by but after us taking the lead early in the first period with an Eoin Glennon point, St. Mary's replied with 1-01 to give them a three point lead at the break. Our lads battled fiercely in the second half of extra time and one wonders what may have happened if we had stuck over points instead of going for goals as we were creating plenty of chances. A penalty claim went uncalled and Dylan Clarke was very unfortunate to hit the post with a rasping shot. However time ran out for our lads unfortunately soon after and it was our visitors who held on narrowly to make the final. While we will be disappointed not to have won a game we were well fit to, our lads can be very proud of their efforts on the day and indeed throughout the year. As the 2018 season comes to a close, we want to say well done to the panel, their manager Ed Bermingham and selectors Liam Glennon and Mick Fagan for their efforts. Team: Peter Dalton, Finian Heeney, Conal Fagan, Cian Gavigan, Paddy Doran, Dylan Clarke, Darragh Seery, Eoin Kiernan, Conor Murphy, Aaron Glennon, Jack Gallagher, Morgan Gavigan, Eoin Glennon. Subs: Warwic Kirby, Peter Reynolds, Matthew Looram, Jamie Fallon.
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Fr. Manning Football
Well done to Westmeath U16 footballers who defeated Meath at the weekend to qualify for the final of the Fr. Manning Shield. Lilliput Gaels are well represented with two footballers on the Westmeath panel, Darragh Seery who captains the side, and Zach Wright. Best of luck in the final lads!
We wish to extend our deepest sympathy to the Loughlin family, Clonkill on the tragic passing of baby Annabel. May she Rest in Peace.