Our under 12 team played Killeevan for the Terence Reilly Memorial Shield and anyone that was lucky enough to be in Pairc Naomh Mhuire on Saturday 18th August would have witnessed all that is good about GAA because the football displayed by both sets of players was truly outstanding. The game was nip and tuck throughout with play end to end and was played in a very sporting manner and after a thrill-a-minute match we secured the victory on a score-line Rockcorry 4-11 Killeevan 3-8.
Killeevan dictated the pace of the game during the opening exchanges and had 1-2 on the board before Gavin West tapped over our first point on the 8th minute. Killeevan replied instantly with a well-taken goal but Pauric O’Brien showed some class and sailed over a peach of a point to leave us six points in arrears after twelve minutes, 0-2 to 2-2. At this stage of the game our players were now working very hard and showed good battling qualities and were rewarded with three unanswered points from Curtis Roberts, Pauric O’Brien and Gavin West to reduce the deficit to three points. Killeevan hit a good point on the 16th minute and moments later they hit the back of the net to restore a healthy advantage leading 0-5 to 3-3. Curtis Roberts who worked tirelessly throughout the game hit two magnificent points on the 18th and 19th minutes and Gavin West showed his ability when he rounded his opponent and crashed the ball to the back of the net to leave the score 1-7 to 3-3 with a couple of minutes remaining to the break. Killeevan responded in style and rattled over further points to open up a four point margin but just on the stroke of half-time Pauric O’Brien cut through the Killeevan defence and coolly placed the ball past the advancing goal-keeper to leave the score at the interval Rockcorry 2-7 Killeevan 3-5.
When play resumed we rallied well at the start of the second half and Pauric O’Brien drew the sides level on the 4th minute when he curled over a fine point from the right wing. We took the lead for the first time in the game when Gavin West pointed on the 6th minute and we stretched our lead moments later when Pauric O’Brien scored his second goal to leave the score 3-9 to 3-5. Killeevan weathered the storm and responded with scores on the 10th and 11th minutes to close the deficit back to a couple of points. However, we quickly re-established a five point margin when Gavin West surged through the Killeevan defence and dispatched his shot to the net in superb fashion to finish off a great move. Killeevan converted a free-kick on the 17th minute but Gavin West had the last say when he tagged on two more points on the 18th and 20th minutes to leave the final score Rockcorry 4-11 Killeevan 3-8.
This was a wonderful game of football where both sets of players served up a thrilling contest and they deserve the utmost credit for their hard work and enthusiasm. The kids played their hearts out and this was recognised at the presentation when all players were greeted with a huge applause from the crowd for their efforts. In presenting the shield our chairman Jimmy McGeough rightly praised the efforts of both teams in providing such an outstanding display of football. It had been a memorable contest and was such a pity was that there had to be a losing team at the end of this enthralling contest
On behalf of the club and the Reilly family I would like to express our gratitude to the Killeevan club for taking part in the game. Special thanks to our mentors Conor Brannigan and Anthony Lynch for the time and effort that they spend coaching and looking after the youngsters. A huge thank you to our whistler Anthony Tate who without doubt carries out one of the most demanding and difficult jobs within the organisation but he carried it out with great integrity and ensured the rules were applied no matter what side you were on! Finally, many thanks to our youth officer Pascal Smyth who organised the match and it was nice to the young players receive their medals from our Monaghan minor county representatives Fergal McGeough and Lorcan Smyth.
To view a selection of photographs from the game and presentations please click the link below: