(Report by Ronan Kelly)
A Michael Devine goal just minutes from the end was enough to send Deele College’s U-17 boys’ team into the quarter final of the Ulster Cup competition. Played in wet conditions, the team battled hard for their win and now take their place in the last eight.
With a quick brief from Mr McHugh the team was ready to go. However due to a complaint from Carndonagh’s manager the teams had to wait for the pitch to be relined. Finally at 12:13 the match had begun. Both teams started the game with great aggression both winning and losing the ball off each other. Chances were made early in the game but the first real sign of threat came fifteen minutes in when Declan Sharkey put a long range shot just over the bar. Lucky for Carndonagh’s goalkeeper who was off his line.
Carndonagh were far from being out played, and played with great teamwork. Their star performance came from their number ten who played with great skill. However Deele had also a strong midfield with key performances from Zak Brolly. Deele’s defenders Brett McGinty and Brian McNamee. And thirty minutes in, an accidental clash of heads occurred between Brett McGinity and Carndonagh’s forward. At this stage neither team had pulled away. And the match possession looked to be 50/50. The first yellow card was not shown till the last ten minutes as tempers thickened to get the first goal. With two minutes of extra time Deele had the final attack, Zak with a volley going wide.
At half time both teams came off not tired but wet and cold. Both managers had something to say to their scoreless team. Mr McHugh made his first sub taking off Stephen Gallagher for Jordan Boyce. The second half began at one o’clock and with tempers rising it wasn’t long till the referee took out his book again. After a Carndonagh player making a brutal tackle on Deele’s Anthony Bogle. Declan Sharkey stepping up to hit the free kick, but just missing.
It was clear both managers had given a word to their teams as the second half had been of a far greater standard of football. With each goalkeeper being challenged. Deele’s star performances came from players such as Damien keys who played brilliant football at left back. Zak Brolly centre midfield chasing down balls and winning them. And Declan Sharkey after twenty minutes and his third free kick was rewarded with a stunning range shot, dipping into the right post of the keeper.
However Carndonagh was not defeated yet and two minutes later scored a long range shot just beating Sean Friel. The score stood one each. It was time for Deele to step up. Michael Devine with a great strike saved by the Carndonagh’s goalkeeper. Deele kept the pressure and with not much time left Michael Devine wrestled his way through to put Deele in front.
With their hearts in their shoes Carndonagh could not get back a goal with five minutes to go. Deele had won. A victory well deserved with great consideration the man of the match went to Deele’s Zak Brolly. Now onto the quarter finals.