With the withdrawal of Mc Dermots from competition at this age group St Brigids U-14 squad had no competitive games this week. Thankfully however, Eire Og were able to accommodate the team in a friendly at Woodlands on Sunday. The friendly was set up to be an U-13 development match with both sides giving opportunities to the younger members of the respective panels to play full matches. St Brigids fielded 12 U-13 players supplemented with older players on a rotation of three 20min matches. The format was popular with players and allowed management the chance to experiment with changes in position and work on set pieces.

The younger players acquitted themselves extremely well with Dowling and Webb both finding the net on two occasions. Mid-field new boy Paddy McCauley showed great determination in winning ball in the middle of the park setting up the half forward line on numerous occasions with long range point opportunities. A tactical switch, moving Peter Lundy into the half forward line saw him free to move along the left wing from where he provided quality ball for the full forward line to exploit. Patrick Fee also flourished in the half forward line with intelligent distribution and dogged tackling particularly toward the end of the game when others were lagging.

As with so many reports this year however the main plaudits go the defence. With many of the backline stalwarts not playing some new faces were asked to stem the Eire Og attack. Benny Lee, Jack Lavery and Aidan Fee under the stewardship of Conor Heaney did this with flying colours. Not just content with winning the ball, all were able to switch defence into attack with good examples of intelligent distribution under pressure and when appropriate accurate passing into space-both skills that have been highlighted on the practice ground recently.
For the older regulars it was business as usual from halfback and mid-field –McGrady making a welcome return after illness and Messrs Kelly, Mackle, McClean, Phoenix and Begley all contributing to the tally of points.

Mentors were a bit concerned early in the game as all the above managed to kick a series of wides from close range. Mc Bride and McKeating however did steady the ship and confidently slotted over 3 points each proving the wind was not entirely to blame for St Brigids lack of early accuracy!!

Conor Carey had a quiet day in goals thanks to his defence but he had the opportunity of practicing kick-outs into a stiff breeze under the watchful eye of Senior keeper John Mackle who turned up to watch.
Man of the Match on this occasion went to Benny Lee for controlled tackling and intelligent distribution under pressure.
Final Score not recorded.

By Paul Gormley Tue 12th Apr