U11 Boys Footballers in Kilmacud Crokes tournament

25 May, 2013

The Bray U-11 Boys Footballers were kindly invited to the annual Kilmacud Crokes tournament two weeks ago. Despite communions, birthday parties, foreign trips to England and France, Bray brought a strong panel of players from the 2002/2003 group for the day. In excellent weather conditions when one particular coach would have been better advised wearing a hat, Bray started the group stages against Clann na Gael Fonteroy. Bray did not get into the game at all and only for the excellent defense of Rory and Philip allied by the goalkeeping skills of Nathan we would have been severely beaten. Well down at half time it was decided to give everyone plenty of game time and try players in different positions, some worked, some didn't but good performances from Tim, Oscar and Fionn gave the team renewed confidence for the remaining matches in the group.
They say that teams learn more from their defeats than their wins and this was very evident in the second game against Kilmacud where from the start Bray totally dominated with Mark and Enda taking control in midfield and Art running the show working tirelessly up and and down the wing (Paul Galvin without the tattoos!!!). Great forward play from Evan, Gavin, Brian and Oscar had Bray well in front with continued good work in the back line where Aaron and Tadhg and Sam excelled ensured Kilmacud never really got into the game. Sebastain playing in man marking role cut out a lot of potential Kilmacud attacks and Bray were comfortable winners in the end. Our final match in the group was against another Kilmacud team, despite the break of an hour in fairly hot conditions Bray again started well with the game as good as done by half time. Knowing that Bray now had qualified there were a lot of changes made but again the younger players such as Nathan, Tim, Oscar, Gavin and in particular Evan played to the huge potential that we all know they have to run out easy winners in the end.
By finishing second Bray qualified for the quarter finals against near neighbours St Olafs who had won their group. I don't know what they feed the boys in Dublin but all the teams were bigger than us in this tournament with many of our players giving height advantage to their opponents. In what was an excellent game of football by both teams, where the excellent fielding of Mark was a sight to behold allied bythe sheer physicality of Sam, Art, Aaron and Enda around the middle it was nip and tuck all the way through. Fionn continued his good form throughout the match with the back line of Tadhg, Sebastain Philip and Rory (who did not concede a score to his immediate opponent all day) on top. In a game of inches St Olafs got a lucky goal against the run of play to be just ahead at half time. The intensity of the second half was excellent keeping everyone entralled and when Brian scored a point it looked like Bray would take over. Continued running by our forward line of Evan, Gavin, Oscar and Tim was creating space but good goalkeeping from the Olafs keeper and some bad luck kept Olafs just ahead. As what normally happens when a team is pressing for a win, Bray got caught by another fortuitious goal  and the game was out of reach. This was an excellent game and performance by the team and maybe a bit of luck could have swung it our way but such is life. A special mention must go to Nathan who was outstanding all the way through the tournament with some great saves and excellent kick outs.
Overall it a great day out and we would like to thank Kilmacud for organising the weather and the tournament. Special mention must go to the referees and all the helpers at the event who made us feel very welcome and in particular Maurice Roche whois a good friend to Bray Emmets and has been very supportive in inviting us every year but also arranging matches throughout the winter months.
We would like to thank the parents and families for coming out to support the team, the kids got real drive from the positive support from their number 1 fans on the day. We appreciate it is difficult to juggle games and family on a Sunday and particularly when the weather was good so thank you very much.
Finally we would like to thank the players, this is a great group of kids to work with, there was no messing and everyone played their part on the day which we think everyone enjoyed.