U14s Impress In Win Over Navan

Feb 07, 2012

After last week's waterlogging and this week's over-the-top prematch officialdom we finally got to play our old nemesis, Navan, and what a game it was.
One of, if not, the best part of bringing kids through the underage ranks is watching them discover things about themselves that they might not previously have known.
How good they really are, for instance. This group are at an age now where the physical aspects of size and strength, which dominate at Mini level, begin to give way to technique and strategy, to willingness, confidence, belief and leadership. In yesterday's game we saw the latter prevail in an effort that clearly shows just what this group is made of.
From Alex Caslin's early full-force tackle on the Navan outside centre, the intent was clear. As Mark has always said, tackling wins games.
The big games we have won have come down our stopping the opposition threat with weighty but fair tackles and yesterday we did it again.
The boys, every one of them, played at a level none of us have seen before. They rose to the occasion, took responsibility for their individual performance and gave of themselves in a fashion that made the team stand out. 
The referee, who was fully independent and did a great job, commented afterwards that the game in his opinion was of an exceptionally high standard.  Navan's defence did extremely well to hold us off in the first half but by that time they knew they were up against a powerful team full of rugged determination. It's very hard to pick out outstanding players on the day as so much work was done by everyone. Standout memories were Alex Caslin's devestating and standard setting early tackle, Cameron Lynch actually getting low to nail some big tackles too, Neil Mooney in the scrum and at the breakdown seeing his opposite number did not get through, the backline flashing the ball wide and quickly to get Shane Winkworth over the line on the far side for the first try and William Fay's reading of the game and vital clean up work at full back. But there was so much more from all the guys, so much that I could comment on and so much other stuff that goes unseen or unnoticed but is felt in the bumps and bruises and feelings of exhaustuon afterwards. So well done overyone and thanks to all the parents for supporting the boys this week and throughout the season.
I'm waiting for the ladder to be finalised but based on previous records we will finish joint top with Seapoint, with Navan third and Barnhall fourth.
Whether we get the nod as league champions or not will come down to the decision by the officials. If it comes down to points scored for and against we'll have a very good shout, but it may also come down to the head-to-head encounter -who won in the match between the two top teams- and if that's the case then that rainy World Cup Final Sunday down at Seapoint will come back to haunt us.
Still, this has been another very good year for this very, very good team. So please pass on our congratulations to the boys.
John Dunne had his video camera there again this week but the excitement meant much of what he did get was a bit too shaky to broadcast but he did manage to get Shane's try so click below for the link to see it again.   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_imGBWTC57s&context=C39786a3ADOEgsToPDskKyJLgekam12HegNxPNF-Y2
We now face two cup runs. The wider Youth and Schools tournament which we were knocked out of by Clontarf last year and the Metro Cup which we went on to win.  We have drawn Navan at home in the first round of the  Youth and Schools, so it will be ding dong all over again.
We revert to training up at Ballycorus this Sunday. I'll confirm as usual later in the week.
Well done, one and all!

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