Roscommon Primary Schools 7 a side soccer competition 2016

Friday 17th June 2016 saw 12 schools in the 3-4 teacher section battle it out in the idyllic surrounds of Donamon Castle for the grand title of County Champions in the above competition. Lisaniskey NS were one of a few schools who were represented in both the boys and the girls competitions. In their opening group, the Lisaniskey boys saw off the challenge of friends and near neighbours, Tarmon, on a scoreline of 4-2, while their next match, against Newtown NS, who they had never met before, went all the way to the wire. The Oran boys went into a respectable early 2-0 lead, before the Newtown boys pegged one back. At half time, it was 3-1, courtesy of a delightful goal by Dylan Conlon, but in the second half, sustained pressure saw their lead wiped out, as Newtown levelled the game at 3-3. Extra time failed to separate the teams, and in the resultant penalty shoot-out, Cormac Mee and Dylan Conlon held their nerve to score, while the Newtown takers shot high and wide. There were some great displays during these games, none more so than goalie Jack Cuddy, who kept his team in the game several times with some brave point blank saves; Eoghan Murray, whose cultured left foot both set up, and scored, goals; Shane Walsh, whose box to box dynamism, and tricky feet made him a terror for other teams to contend with. Having said all that, this was the result of good solid team performances, with everyone playing his part.

In the semi-final, Lisaniskey played a much fancied Brideswell NS team. While the game was reasonably even at the start, the Brideswell boys began to dominate more and more the longer it went on. In spite of this, Lisaniskey snatched a lead just before half time courtesy of a fine break away by Shane Walsh and Dylan Conlon, with the latter stroking the ball home from distance. Shortly after the restart, the game was level, when a mix up in defence, and a ball not cleared, left Brideswell with a simple tap in. however, parity didn’t last long. The introduction of William Brandon gave the Lisaniskey attack more impetus, and the impressive Murray hit the back of the net to give his side a lead they would not relinquish.

This meant that they would face Cootehall in the final, a team they had played in the 5 a side competition, and had beaten, but who were very good. In a great first half, Lisaniskey created chance after chance, but couldn’t beat the Cootehall keeper, who pulled off some superb saves. In the second half, Cootehall scored a wonder goal, giving Jack Cuddy no chance, and with Lisaniskey chasing an equaliser, Cootehall scored a second to wrap up the win.

So, lots of goals, guts, grunts and groans, but no gold, and no glory. However, heads were held high, and any tears were quickly dried at the thought of the curry chips inside.

The girls had their own excitement, and claimed a notable scalp too, in their group stages. They were paired off with Lisacul and Loughlynn, both of whom had a greater pedigree in girls’ soccer than Lisaniskey. In the first game, against Lisacul, sheer power and physicality was the main difference between the teams, as Lisacul put 4 goals past the Lisaniskey keeper, while the girls in pink and black scored only one, a fine effort by Mella Lawless. This set up a game against Loughlynn, and Lisaniskey feared the worst, but they fought bravely, and actually scored almost immediately. Loughlynn equalised shortly after, and thus the pattern of the game was set. 1-0 Lisaniskey, 1-1, 2-1 Lisaniskey, 2-2, 3-2 Lisaniskey, 3-3, until finally, Lisansieky went ahead, and Loughlynn just couldn’t find a response. Cue scenes of great joy and celebration, as the final whistle was blown. This was the result of a great team performance, but special mention must go to Erin McDermott in goal, who was fantastic; Mella Lawless, whose speed and constant running led her to score 3 fine goals; Lucy Tucker, who came into her own as the games went on; and Leah Casey, who was rock solid in defence all day.

The excitement didn’t end here though. In a spectacular turn around, Loughlynn beat Lisacul in the final game, which meant everyone was all square. In the ensuing play off, Loughlynn beat Lisacul on penalties, and then beat Lisaniskey to qualify for the semi finals.

All in all, a great day was had by everyone, washed down with curry chips and blackcurrant squash. What more could anyone want?