Mid Under 12 Group 1 Football Final 2014

Match Report by Joe Bracken, Mid Bord na nOg PRO

Seamus Hanafin Furniture Store
Mid U12 Football Group 1 Final

Durlas Óg 3-08 Drom-Inch 2-03

At the business end in group Durlas Óg and Drom & Inch served up a thriller with the Durlas lads putting in a powerhouse performance ensuring it was back to back titles for them in last Saturday’s final in The Ragg. With leaders all over the field especially in key areas, Durlas Óg imposed their will on the game and made Drom & Inch work especially hard for each score they gained.
Oisín O’Brien was first to score for Durlas with a free in the second minute but the lead was short lived as Darragh Kennedy pointed from play for Drom. Soon after his opposite number Jack Kelly pointed for Durlas before he instigated a super move for his side. Collecting the ball on half way Kelly set flight with O’Brien pulling away to his left. In full flow he fed O’Brien who in turn found Darragh Stakelum outside the square, Stakelum making no mistake in hitting the net, Durlas in command.  By now Paddy Creedon was in supreme form in midfield showing super strength in possession as well as excellent aerial capabilities.
The Drom machine got motoring too and a great move combining Kennedy, Maidhc Fitzpatrick and Diarmuid Brennan was snuffed out by James Armstrong for Durlas Óg at a crucial passage in play. As a result the ball was fed downfield for Creedon to score past midway in the half.  Drom though were right back in it within a minute as a high ball in from Jack Lillis found its way to the net to leave two between them. Fitzpatrick and Drom with their tails up sensed blood but Stephen Donovan in the Durlas goal was equal to the challenge as he stopped Fitzpatrick’s fine effort.
Overcoming the Drom rally Durlas kicked over four points in as many minutes to give them the half time advantage 1-07 to 1-01.
Creedon now had two markers for company in the second half each time he went near the ball as Drom sought to stem his influence. Drom were dogged too as they harried and hustled proceedings. John Campion and Paudie Kinane emerged as leaders in this half as they took the game in earnest to Durlas Óg. But in Paddy Creedon, Conor Stapleton and Armstrong they found resolute resistance as their no nonsense approach epitomised their work ethic. Campion though was on the board for Drom and reduced the lead with a forty five on six minutes.
However, for Drom the game was to turn irrevocably in a two minute spell midway through the half. First Conor Whitehead’s great clearance out of defence for Durlas Óg eventually found it’s way to Stakelum who netted his second of the game with a sweet strike and he soon had a hat trick, this time Armstrong supplying the ammunition for his super shot. Stakelum a constant menace with sniper like radar on his every strike securing one hundred percent strike rate on the day.
Drom tried valiantly to get back into it but Stapleton cleared his line time and again to great effect. Kinane and Campion then linked up in play but Donovan cleared again as Drom went in search of goals. Kinane and O’Brien exchanged points before Campion found the net for Drom in the final minute when his forty five found the net off the cross bar. As referee John Kelly called time on a wonderful game it bought the end also to an exciting days play in The Ragg.
Fitting then that a star of the game Paddy Creedon, Durlas Óg captain came forward to collect the cup from Mid Chairman Joe O’Sullivan and Seamus Hanafin sponsor, also present was Mid Secretary Sally Young.

Durlas Óg; Stephen Donovan, Conor Fogarty, Luke Fogarty, Conor Stapleton, Daniel Ruddy, James Armstrong 01, Paddy Creedon (Capt.) 0-1, Jack Kelly 0-2, Darragh Stakelum 3-1, Oisín O’Brien 0-3 (01f), Conor Ruddy, Urban Nolan, Conor Whitehead
Drom-Inch; James Mullens, Ethan Blake (Capt.), Jack Ryan, Tony Cahill, Maidhc Fitzpatrick, John Campion 1-1 (0-1’45), Paudie Kinane 0-1, Darragh Kennedy 0-1, James Kennedy, Diarmuid Brennan, Jack Lillis, Paul Mullens, Colin Callanan

Referee; John Kelly (Thurles Gaels)