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Magnificent Seven: U12s Runners Up In Orla & Paul Bogue Memorial Blitz
Jun. 25, 2016
What an effort from the Belcoo Seven who without a sub all day worked tremendously hard and played some magnificent football to win all group games and their tough Semi Final with Derrylin before coming up just short in a terrific final with Newtownbutler, going down 4-18 to 3-16.
The well run event in Tempo in memory of Orla & Paul Bogue seen eight teams take part. Belcoo were drawn in a group with Lisnaskea, All Stars & Tempo. Games were 10minutes each way with normal U12 rules applied.
The Belcoo Seven before today's event: Back Row L-R) Jack Greene, Jamie Ray, Conor McKeown, Josh Killilea. Front Row L-R) Cara Gray, Mikayla Maguire, Sinead Barrett.
Game 1: Belcoo 3-8 v 1-6 Lisnaskea
The opening contest seen Belcoo play a good Lisnaskea side who went on to qualify for the Semi Final as well. The O’Rahilly’s though were quickly off the mark with Josh Killilea landing a point from the throw in. Killilea added another before Conor McKeown banged in an opening goal after Sinead Barrett had done well. Lisnaskea settled with two points but Belcoo were playing well, Jack Greene got forward to point on the right with Killilea again on target to give the Blues a 1-4 to 0-2 interval lead.
The pace of the game went up in the second half but Belcoo continued to do well, Jamie Ray’s long kicks were finding his team-mates, Jack Greene in particular with Cara Gray a steady presence at the back. Sinead Barrett was to register the first score of the half before she did well to set Conor McKeown up for another.
Lisnaskea had their best spell, hitting 1-2 to bring just two between the sides but Belcoo finished strongly. Josh Killilea knocked over two good points before they finished with two well taken goals by Jack Greene and Conor McKeown following a good turnover by Mikayla Maguire.
Jack Greene secures possession in the opening fixture
Josh Killilea races away to score a point in the first game with Lisnaskea
Game 2: Belcoo 6-9 v 1-4 All Stars (NTB/Skea)
In the second game against a mixed Newtownbutler & Lisnaskea side Belcoo held the upperhand for the most part, the opposition hit a cracking goal in the 3rd minute but Conor McKeown was to curtail their best player very well when switched to mark him for the reminder of the match.
Josh Killilea again hit three points in the first four minutes before a quickfire goal double gave Belcoo a good lead. Jack Greene marauding down the left to thump in the first, he added the second within 60seconds after Sinead Barrett played him through with a great slipped pass. Barrett would make a good block on 8minutes before setting Conor McKeown up for a goal while Mikayla Maguire struck the woodwork coming to interval, Jack Greene tapped over the point for a 3-4 to 1-1 interval lead.
The three Belcoo girls came to the fore in the second half as they grew in confidence. Cara Gray was to fire in a well taken goal after a strong run and some very unselfish play by Josh Killilea. Within a minute Killilea again tore forward and played the ball into Mikayla Maguire who cleverly fisted the ball into the net. Sinead Barrett and Killilea kicked great points from distance, Barrett after shifting a heavy tackle en route.
The opposition had tapped over points with Jamie Ray making one great save however it was the O’Rahilly’s who continued on the front foot. Conor McKeown pointing from the right with Sinead Barrett kicking a long range free and Mikayla Maguire fired over a super point after more strong play by Barrett.
The game was to end with one of the goals of the day, Sinead Barrett breaking past another strong tackle before thundering a wonderful strike into the roof of the net.
Sinead Barrett breaks through a challenge
Mikayla Maguire fires over a good point in Game 2
Game 3: Belcoo 9-11 v 0-3 Tempo B
Belcoo would meet Tempo’s second string in their final group game. The host side were very young but battled away very gamely and valiantly throughout.
Josh Killilea had an early 1-1 on the board before Mikayla Maguire matched Killilea’s tally by the 6th minute. Conor McKeown and Killilea were to land points as was Sinead Barrett before Mikayla Maguire netted her second goal coming to the interval after Sinead Barrett had done well set her up giving Belcoo a 3-6 to 0-2 lead.
At the changeover Josh Killilea went into nets releasing Jamie Ray out the field. Ray was quick to bag a goal with Jack Greene following suit moments later. Being in goals wouldn’t stop Killilea getting on the scoreboard as a good forward move with Sinead Barrett seen the temporary keeper hit a good goal. He followed up with a point before the finish too.
Mikayla Maguire completed her hat-trick of goals while Cara Gray got in on the goal trail with a composed finish when in one on one. Jamie Ray was to net another while points from Ray, McKeown and Greene secured a comfortable win and first place in the group.
Conor McKeown secures the ball and holds tight against Tempo in Game 3
Jamie Ray outfield for the second half, keeps Belcoo moving forward
Semi Final: Belcoo 3-12 v 3-7 Derrylin
The Semi Final was a fantastic contest, end to end, nip and tuck whilst being played at a pace and level above the previous three outings.
Josh Killilea got his usual early points, this time from placed balls as a physical Derrylin side were strong in the tackle. A quickly taken third free gave Jack Greene the opportunity to point and he did so very well. Derrylin tied matters with a goal before going ahead with three points on the spin.
Belcoo rallied though midway through the period. Sinead Barrett ignited the O’Rahilly’s with a wonderful point from distance. Josh Killilea knocked in a goal after a racking clearance from Jamie Ray put him through. Killilea was to ping over three points on the trot before Jack Greene ended the half with a cool soccer style goal to leave it 2-7 to 1-4.
Derrylin would register a goal to renew their challenge and some well taken points had them back to within one before Belcoo netted their third goal, goalkeeper Jamie Ray, taking his two touches to advance from his goal and his attempt at a point from just inside his own half dipped under the crossbar.
Derrylin responded immediately with a third goal of their own but an exhibition of place kicking from Josh Killilea seen Belcoo into the final. Four deadballs from all angles and long distances following fouls on Mikayla Maguire, Sinead Barrett and Conor McKeown split the posts while a fine save by Jamie Ray and some wonderfully timed tackles from Cara Gray kept Derrylin at bay late on.
Josh Killilea, Mikayla Maguire and Sinead Barrett all under pressure to retain the ball from bigger opponents in a great Semi Final tussle with Derrylin
Final: Belcoo 3-16 v 4-18 Newtownbutler
What a Final this was, a simple wonderful advert for underage football in front of a sizeable crowd. There were some superb points of both feet by both sides, woodwork rattled aplenty, blocks, pressure and stunning saves by our goalkeeper Jamie Ray during the extended contest, now 15minutes a side.
Newtownbutler blitzed Belcoo in the first six minutes, hitting 1-6 without reply and it was looking like it was to be a one sided affair. The O’Rahilly’s though, don’t know when they are beaten and having worked tirelessly all day, playing every minute of every game, they still had the confidence and belief within themselves as well as the energy to mount a mighty fightback.
Conor McKeown produced three moments of brilliance to lift his team-mates. An excellent catch and point was followed with a viciously struck goal before he claimed the next kickout and fired over with the left foot this time.
Jack Greene was coming more in the game and added a point from the left with Josh Killilea pointing a sideline ball and adding two more as Belcoo took a firm grip of the contest. Newtown did muster a goal at the other end and nearly had another but for the fingertips of Jamie Ray who pushed a stinging drive onto the crossbar.
Some great blocking by Cara Gray and Sinead Barrett with Josh Killilea swooping back to clear danger and Mikayla Maguire applying great pressure also ensured Newtown failed to add to their tally in the final six minutes of the half while at the other end Belcoo were on fire.
Sinead Barrett kicking another beautiful point after winning back the ball from her opposite number while Josh Killilea rattled one of the goals of the competition as he found the top left hand corner of the net with a magnificent effort. On the stroke of half time Jack Greene broke away to point and after a hectic 15minutes there was nothing between them. 2-8 to 2-8.
Away it went again and it was end to end, point for point for the most part. By the 20th minute both sides had three points each kicked. Conor McKeown’s left footed effort sandwiched between two Josh Killilea points.
On 22minutes Jamie Ray was beginning to take centre stage, he kicked a massive point from a free well inside his own half to give Belcoo the lead. Two great saves were then made before he denied Newtown a goal. The opposition did however score from the rebound and they would turnover Belcoo moments later and another three pointer swong it in their favour, five up with five to play.
Some points were added by Newtownbutler to pull seven clear but Belcoo weren’t finished, Jamie Ray making another fine save before picking out Josh Killilea who jinked past two defenders and slipped the ball into the net. The next four efforts at goal were all points, two each, all very well taken scores, Killilea the Belcoo scorer.
The goal Belcoo required for a grandstand finish eluded them, Conor McKeown did launch over a great point at the finish but it was Newtown, who like Belcoo had topped their group unbeaten, finished the day as Champions without a defeat. A fine achievement.
Cara Gray takes Belcoo out of defence before offloading to Jack Greene to carry forward
Conor McKeown wheels away from two Newtownbutler players in the Final
Recap: The Belcoo Seven were simply magnificent from start to finish. Everyone of them working hard for one another throughout the day and all making great contributions across the five games in supplying scores, creating chances, tracking back and battling for each and every ball as they continue to improve and develop their skills. They were to register 24-56 over 5 matches, fine shooting by any standards. For the record - Jamie Ray (3-2), Cara Gray (2-0), Jack Greene (5-7), Conor McKeown (4-9), Josh Killilea (5-30), Sinead Barrett (1-6), Mikayla Maguire (4-2).
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