St Agnes's / Eire Og's Under 12 Incredibles

24 June 2011
Every now and then, sport gives us the gift of a larger life, a window onto the experiences of a Peter Canavan or a Zidane, a chance to occupy a space where nothing matters but that precise moment and the exultant joy of living it.
 
Such a moment came tonight for the U 12 St Agnes's / Eire Og team who clinched the South Antrim U12 League with a convincing win over a strong St. Galls team who were just out fought and out played on the night by a group of boys who would not be denied their moment in the sun, even on a rain drenched Friday night at Parc Naomh Una.
 
A few years ago Arsenal went a season unbeaten in their league to become the "Invincibles" but our boys went a step further, emerging from their league campaign not only unbeaten, but with a 100 % record, having won on every occasion when they took the field.
Tonight they became the "Incredibles" and they were a credit to themselves, to their families and to their clubs and especially to their coaches - Connor Mc Caffery, Liam Devlin, Chris Duffy and Sean O' Neill.
 
Right from the start the boys were competitive in every challenge, setting a pace which St. Galls could not live with. At midfield we were soon in control, with Gavin Donnelly playing to his usual high standards while John Mc Caffery gave a performance which would have made him Man of Any Match let alone this one.
 
In the forward line, Philip Kennedy had another excellent game, with tremendous high catching and brave tackling and his early goal from  set us on our way.
Oisin Mc Kenna and Jarlaith Devlin took some great scores while Paddy Carroll and Marky Hamill worked tirelessly throughout. Subs came on and off all through the game and Daniel Hill and Brendy Mohan helped themselves to goals when their turn came. Conor Erskine, Ryan and Alan all kept the scoreboard ticking over while Donald had a couple of shots go just wide of the uprights as he did well in the full forward line.
 
The defence were excellent throughout and the half back line of Owen Pelan, Paddy Mulgrew and Fintan Toner never missed a tackle or gave a ball away, indeed Paddy even managed to pop over a long range point.
In the full back line Luke, Ronan and Conor Boyle defended as if their lives depended on it and behind them Jack was again calm and sure in everything he did.
 
As with the forward line, subs came and went throughout and Matthew Fenning and Owen Duffy did as well as anyone when their chance came.
 
Over the course of the season, John Mulgrew, Kevin Mc Cann, Killian Mc Cormick and Stephen Erskine have all come along to help the boys in their warm ups and to give advice to the team as the games went on and tonight they were there helping out again - a great example to anyone.
 
 Each of the players had a great game tonight, and so too did the line - every boy got to play in the league decider just in the same way that every boy has gotten to play in each and every game of the season.
 
No-one has had to stand on the sideline and watch the parade go by without them and to see the joy on everyone's faces at the end was fantastic.
Sometime, years from now, looking back we will realise that in the end the small things were actually the big things and giving every kid the chance to shine is more important than winning. To manage to do both at once that's really something.
 
For all the photos of the night, click on Gallery and scroll down to the bottom of the page to Juvenille Football 2011 and click on U12's in New Kit.