The Salthill Devon U12 A’s progressed to the semi-final of the Connaught cup in an entertaining game played out last Wednesday in Drom against a youthful Athenry side. Two good footballing teams served up some great passages of play in difficult conditions.
On a cold and breezy evening the Devon lads started poorly and with hardly a minute on the clock found themselves a goal down. Panic then seemed to set in for the next 10 minutes with a lot of lose passing and balls being played high into a strong wind. When the Devon lads finally settled down and started to play the ball on the ground they began to dominate both possession and chances and on 20 minutes deservedly drew level. David Kilraine stroking home on the half volley from a Thomas D’Arcy knock down. The roles were reversed just 3 minutes later when Kilraine crossed for D’Arcy to head home a cracking goal to put the Salthill lads in front. A fine save by Adam Morris from an Athenry free kick in the dying minutes of the half kept the score at 2 – 1 at half time.
With the wind at their backs in the 2nd half the Salthill lads were expected to push on and add to their tally. However a combination of the wood-work and some excellent defending from Athenry kept the score at 2 – 1. While Salthill enjoyed the greater possession and chances this young Athenry side always looked dangerous on the break. On one such break with only 5 minutes remaining Athenry went very close with a lob that only just cleared the crossbar. That was to be the last chance of the game with the Salthill defense well martialed by Tommy Lillis seeing out the remainder of the game.
A big thanks to the Athenry team and we wish them all the best for the remainder of the season. Thanks also to the match ref John Thornton for officiating so well.
For the Salthill lads the Connaught adventure continues with a home semi final against Westport on Saturday April 13th at 2pm. Your support will be very much appreciated.