2007-Caulry Under 16s steal the limelight

Under 16s steal the limelight

29 February 2008

Caulry boasts one of the strongest underage structures in the county and this was reflected in the success of the Mount Temple-based club’s under 10 and 16 teams last year. Kerry native Pat Canty has coached many of the talented under 16 side since they were under 7s and is delighted with their progress.

In a year when Caulry failed to register a championship win but still managed to retain their intermediate status by virtue of two draws and a superior scoring difference to St. Mary’s, the club looked to its underage teams for encouragement and in this regard, the under 10 and 16 sides certainly didn’t disappoint.
The under 16s were Caulry’s big achievers, easily accounting for south county rivals Maryland/Tang to land the Division 1 league crown. It wasn’t a bad year either for the under 10s who were triumphant in the Caulry (for the Larry Nugent Cup), Milltown and Castledaly tournaments.

"We were very pleased with the performances of our underage teams. They certainly bode well for the future," says Pat Canty, who managed the under 16 team along with Noel Ryan.
"Caulry’s underage structures are particularly strong at the moment and there are a lot of people working hard behind the scenes to improve playing standards and bring success to the club. Both Mount Temple and Baylin are rapidly growing areas, and what we are trying to do is to get as many youngsters as possible involved with the club."

No-one knows last year’s successful under 16 team better than Pat, who hails from just outside Tralee but has been living in Athlone for the past number of years. As principal of Baylin National School, he has worked with many of the players since they were seven years old and younger, and he first tasted success with them when Baylin won the Cumann na mBunscol title for 5 & 6 Teacher Schools in 2003.

"I’ve known half of them for about 10 years now (the other half attended Mount Temple National School), and they have always been a great bunch of lads to work with. As well as winning the Cumann na mBunscol title in 2003, they won the Westmeath Mini-Sevens and they have continued to develop as footballers ever since."

Having captured the Feile Shield and reached the league and championship finals which both ended in defeat to Mullingar Shamrocks at under 14 level in 2005, expectations were high for the Caulry under 16s last year. They reached the Division 1 championship semi-final, only to lose to Coralstown/Kinnegad after a replay. Caulry led by three points in the closing stages of the drawn encounter, but a late Wayne Fox goal from a 20-metre free forced a replay for Coralstown/Kinnegad who went on to beat Maryland/Tang in the final.
Combined with Castledaly, the Caulry players also gave a good account of themselves in the under 16 ’premier’ championship. Caulry/Castledaly enjoyed wins over Athlone and St. Finian’s before losing to eventual winners Clann Braonain.

But they weren’t to be deprived of league honours, defeating Maryland/Tang by 2-12 to 0-7 in the Division 1 final at Hogan Park, Moate after recording earlier wins over the likes of Mullingar Shamrocks, Garrycastle, Coralstown/Kinnegad, Bunbrosna and St. Loman’s.
"Maryland/Tang were the only team to beat us in the league, so it was nice to be able to turn the tables in the final. The lads trained hard all year and we brought in Dessie Dolan at one stage to help freshen things up. Dessie would have been familiar with a lot of the lads as he teaches them in Moate Community School," Pat explains.

The red and whites laid the foundations for their victory in the in the opening 20 minutes when they built up a 1-6 to 0-0 lead. And while Maryland/Tang narrowed the deficit to five points by the 29th minute, Caulry surged clear against in the second half and rounded off their victory with a late goal by Jason Conlon.
Caulry made a dream start when a mistake by Maryland/Tang goalkeeper Martin Donoghue left Robert Ryan with the simple task of tapping to the net from two yards. This was unfortunate for Donoghue who saved his side from a heavier defeat with a string of fine saves over the hour.

Points from Simon Carr, Jaimal Sabir and Robert Kenny increased Caulry’s lead to 1-3 to 0-0 at the end of the first quarter and further scores from Carr and Kenny (two) left nine between the sides after 20 minutes. Maryland/Tang rallied in the final 10 minutes of the first half to trail by six points, 1-7 to 0-4, at the break and when Callum McCormack pointed immediately after the restart, the margin was down to five.

However, Caulry upped their game once again and points from Kenny, Kevin Maguire and Robert Ryan effectively ended the Maryland/Tang challenge. With time almost up, the Mount Temple/Baylin side applied the coup de grace when Simon Carr set up Jason Conlon for their second goal.
Following last year’s success, Pat believes Caulry should be aiming to win a minor league or championship in the next year or two.
"If these players can continue to progress as they have, they should be in contention for minor honours this year or next year. We’ll be disappointed if they don’t go on to win a minor league or championship," he says.

It was also a very good year for the Caulry under 10s who showed plenty of promise by winning no fewer than three tournaments. In the Larry Nugent Memorial tournament, which is hosted each year by the Mount Temple club, Caulry defeated Tubber/Ballycumber by 0-11 to 1-6 in an exciting final played before over 100 spectators.
Coached by the trio of Joe Roarke, Eddie Sleator and Ger O’Kelly-Lynch, Caulry raced into an early 0-3 to 0-0 lead thanks to points from Patrick Sleator (two) and Irwin Griffen. Tubber/Ballycumber replied with their opening score from Ciaran McGuinness, but further points from Sleator, Steven Connolly and Griffen eased Caulry into a six-point lead before the visitors got the last two points of the half. 

Tubber/Ballycumber made the perfect start to the second half when a Sean Farrell goal reduced the deficit to the minimum. Caulry were on the back foot at this stage, but their defence was magnificent and Deryk Shorthall was excellent in goal. The minimum continued to separate the sides until points from Sean O’Neill and Patrick Sleator put Caulry four clear. Tubber/Ballycumber rallied in the closing stages, but the home side held on for a two-point win. 

2007 wasn’t such a good year for the Caulry adult side who were fortunate to retain their intermediate status. John Higgins’ charges opened their campaign with a 2-5 to 1-8 draw with neighbours Moate All-Whites. Caulry led by 2-2 to 1-2 at half-time thanks to a brace of goals from Johnny Dolan, but Moate battled back in the second half to level before Anslem Fitzgerald scoring what looked like the match winner. However, Ger Heavin salvaged a share of the spoils for the All-Whites with a last-gasp equalizer.

Caulry showed real resilience to force a 2-8 to 1-11 draw with Kilbeggan Shamrocks in their second outing. Kilbeggan looked set for a comfortable win when they led by six points three minutes into injury-time, but in a sensational finish, Alan Carroll scored two goals in the space of a minute to earn an unlikely draw for the Mount Temple men.
Sadly for Caulry, they lost their remaining three group matches to St. Mary’s (1-10 to 3-9), Shandonagh (0-12 to 0-15) and Tang (0-10 to 1-11), and would have faced a relegation play-off against Milltownpass but for St. Mary’s inferior scoring difference.

"There was a great buzz after Caulry won the junior championship in 2005, but that seems to have fizzled out a bit over the past couple of years. But the main thing was to stay up intermediate and hopefully with the young players that are coming through, the club will be in a stronger position to make a push for senior status in the next few years," Canty concludes.

The Caulry under 16 team that defeated Maryland/Tang in the Division 1 league final was: James Egan; Mark Muldoon, Aidan Murphy, David Hanevy; Michael O’Riordan, Ben Moran, John Maguire; Alan Fitzpatrick, James Daly; Jason Conlon, Kevin Maguire, Simon Carr; Jaimal Sabir, Robert Kenny, Robert Ryan. Subs used: Shane Shorthall, Daniel Fitzpatrick, Jack O’Kelly-Lynch and Jack O’Meara.

The under 10 panel that captured the Larry Nugent Memorial Cup was: Deryk Shortall, Emmet Nally, Steven Byrne, Charlie Parker, Sylvester Coughlan, Aaron Roarke, Patrick Browne, Patrick Sleator, Patrick McMahon, Irwin Griffen, Steven Connolly, Sean O’Neill, Jack Bradbury-Hughes, Conor McCormack, Aoife Connolly, Darren Hynds, Peter O’Kelly-Lynch, Ross Daly, Jack Connaughton, Niall Fleming, Colleen Malone and Katie Roarke.

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