Butlersbridge 4-15 5-10 Dernacrieve Gaels

The evening of Monday Sept 1st 2014 will live long in the memory of a group of U12 Butlersbridge footballers who held off a gallant Dernacrieve Gaels to win this year’s U12 Summer League. Great credit is due to both sets of players for serving up a fine display of fast flowing football played in good spirit and to a very high standard from start to end.

Butlersbridge got off to the better start with early points from Jack Graham, Fionn Murtagh and Liam McEntee serving to steady any early nerves. As the half wore on the Bridge midfield duo of Cathal Leddy and Fionntan O’Reilly began to dominate possession and dictate the ebb and flow of the game. The boys in blue and amber extended their lead with some well taken O’Reilly points, both from play and off the ground.

A well taken goal by the hard working Jody English just before the half time whistle left Butlersbridge leading by 1-10 to 0-2 at the interval. In truth, this scoreline slightly flattered the Bridge as Dernacrieve had their fair share of possession in the first-half, and were it not for some solid defending by Sam Malone, Conor Maguire and goalkeeper, Caolan Smith the gap might have been less at the break.

Dernacrieve got off to a great start in the second half – an early free followed by a point and two goals in quick succession put the Bridge very much on the back foot. However, like true champions the boys in blue dug in and responded with a couple of well worked goals of their own scored by Jack Graham and Jody English. The Dernacrieve captain, Caoimhin McGovern was growing in confidence as the game progressed into the final quarter with only a kick of a ball separating the teams. Some inspirational blocks and clever passing from Jack English and Kevin McPhillips in defence helped turn the momentum back in favour of the Bridge and when Jody English crashed the net for his third of the night it left 5 points between the teams with five minutes left on the clock. The scene was set for a nail biting finale – and neither team disappointed. Late points by Murtagh and O’Reilly combined with solid defending on the part of Niamh McCorry, and a last minute reflex save by substitute goalkeeper Micheal Sheridan helped ensure victory for the Bridge. Both Colin Clail and Matthew Egukun deserve special mention for the role they played in getting the team to the final.

After the game the cup was presented by Brian Seagrave to winning captains Conor Maguire and Jack Graham. The team then made their way back to the Butlersbridge clubrooms where they were treated to a very nice reception hosted by the club. A big thanks to the parents and all involved.