SFAI SUBWAY U13 NATIONAL PLATE SEMI-FINAL
11.30am: CLARE 1-0 (aet) DONEGAL
VENUE: Frank Healy Park, Ennis. REFEREE: Martin O’Brien.
Storm Ciara threatened this fixture to be called off with it going right down to the morning of kick off to decide its faith. Early morning pitch inspection showed in surprisingly good condition. The rain was holding off, wind not as strong and the game was on.
Clare started the better side having some really good spells of possession in the first half. With the wind blowing across the pitch it was proving difficult for either team to get a clear cut chance on goal though.
Second half kicked off as the wind was starting to get stronger. Both teams came out determined and fired up that they could build on their first half performances. They didn’t disappoint as they continued from where they left off in the first half. Both teams displayed some great individual skills along with great movement on & off the ball as both teams shared the possession.
As the clock ticked down you could sense this was going to go all the way as neither team could find that finishing touch. Clare did have the better chances and looked the most likely to score but full time whistle blew and extra time loomed.
The rain came along as extra time and Clare picked up where they left off. Finally their efforts paid off as a long ball played up to Darragh Ball who took in down superbly and with great confidence broke away from the nearest defender. With the goalkeeper just to beat, rounding him and slotting into the open goal to put Clare in front.
The Clare boys saw out the remainder of extra time comfortably and march onto the National Finals in Mullingar on the 22/23 February where they play Galway.
Well done to Donegal on providing a very enjoyable game of football given the conditions and are truly a great bunch of lads.
Clare Squad: Callum Casey, Liam Heffernan, Eoghan Garrihy, Glen McNamara, Darragh Ball, Gearoid Austin, Kyle Kirby, Robbie Finn, Tiernan Adelu, Liam Clune, Julian Linnane, Dylan O’Neill, Shay Waller, Oisin Fahy, Oliver Hawes, Matt Jones, Oscar Wrixon Todd, Daniel Brody, Etnik Aliu, Tadgh Lohan, Conor Wall, Adam Kilker, Eoin Byrne and Aidan Moloney.
Coaches: Davy Kerins & Paul Roche.
Congratulations to all.