U16.5 Gaelic Football: Knock-out Performance Seals Shield Win

U16.5 Rafferty Shield Final, Owenbeg

Carndonagh CS 5-09 vs 0-04 OLASP, Knock

It was a dominant display and a comprehensive win for the CCS lads over their Belfast counterparts in the Ulster Shield Final. Two early goals set the Carndonagh side on their way and left too much for Knock to do to ever get a foothold in the game.


With a great day for football, it was Knock who had the opening possession and attacks of the game. They worked the ball well but struggled to pierce the Carndonagh defence to get into the shooting zone. In the end, with good patience and great tackling from Jack Doherty and Brendan McLaughlin, Carndonagh broke with speed. The first score was a goal which was made from a Danny Diver run from half-back. Danny took a shot on goal which was well blocked down. However, the ball was deflected into the path of Jamie McDevitt who buried it into the back of the net. Diver and Darragh Douglas, fresh after being announced on the Queen’s University Future Stars Team of the Year, were well on the radar of the Knock management. However, they were unable to stop their influence on the proceedings.


The second goal came shortly after when Oisin Cooney played a ball into the corner for Darragh Douglas to retrieve. With undoubtably the score of the game, Darragh raised the ball and roasted his marker along the endline before hammering the ball home past the helpless keeper. CCS pressed the kickouts and with some outstanding fielding from Man of the Match Calvin White, the forwards stopped the Knock backs from getting out, turning over the ball continuously. Three frees from Douglas were added before Oisin Cooney struck another goal to put 12 points between the teams after 20 minutes. Knock finally got on the board in the 23rd minute with a fine score from their midfielder. In the final 5 minutes of the half, CCS got another 1-2 vs 0-1 to leave it 4-05 vs 0-2 at the break.


With CCS cruising, the 2nd half was a very different game. Frustration was getting the better of Knock by the end of the 1st half and calm heads on the CCS side were required to finish the job. Knock needed goals and couldn't let Carn score. Knock made the positional changes required to keep the CCS playmakers quiet. They sent their big no. 14 into the middle of the park after being marked out of the game by Davin McLaughlin in the 1st half. The defence stepped up to the challenge, letting nothing through. Intense work from all the backs sniffed out most chances with some great blocks from Conor McCallion and Euan McFeely. When required, Daniel McDaid made fine saves that kept away any hope of Knock getting a purple patch in the game. Hard running from the likes of Mac McLaughlin, Cormaic McLaughlin, Tiernan Doherty, and Sean O'Carroll when introduced, kept the pressure on Knock with Ciaran O'Kane keeping the scoreboard ticking over. In the final 10 minutes Knock were reduced to 14 men, their fullback getting a straight red. White made them pay, getting the 5th goal. Two more points were added to finish out the scoring.


Overall, it was a huge team performance from the CCS lads who really stood up and should be proud of how they played. The game could have descended into a dogfight. However, the lads did their talking with the ball and came out the victors. All there was left to do was for John O'Callaghan to lift the Shield and get the party started.


Team: Daniel McDaid, Jack Doherty, Davin McLaughlin, Conor McCallion, Brendan McLaughlin, John O'Callaghan (C), Mac McLaughlin, Cormaic McLaughlin, Oisin Cooney (1-0), Danny Diver, Calvin White (1-0), Tiernan Doherty, Ciaran O'Kane (0-5, 4f), Darragh Douglas (1-4, 3f), Jamie McDevitt (2-0).


Subs: Euan McFeely for J. Doherty 17min, Sean O'Carroll for B. McLaughlin 38min, Lorcan McGonigle for Tiernan Doherty 42min, Emmet McGonigle for C. McCallion 48min; Unused: Aiden Doherty, Callum Morris, Oran Lafferty, Ryan Noone, Martin McLaughlin, Ryan Doherty, Ben Gill, Matthew McGoldrick

Absent: Dylan Doherty and Mark Doherty

Maor Uisce: Taylor Bonner, Odhran O'Donnell, Logan McDaid, Brendan O'Carroll