Longford Slashers Intercounty Blitz 8th September 2012
Moorefield u12 were invited to play in the Longford Slashers intercounty blitz last Saturday. 16 clubs competed with representatives from Cavan, Clare, Dublin, Galway, Laois, Longford, Mayo, Meath, Offaly, Roscommon, Sligo and Tyrone, with Moorefield representing Kildare.
The competition was separated into two divisions with 32 teams competing. Moorefield brought 25 players and entered a team in both Division 1 and 2.
Both Moorefield teams won all of their group games overcoming Western Gaels (Roscommon), Longford Slashers (Longford) and Ballaghadereen (Mayo), qualifying for the quarter finals as top of their groups.
Moorefield B went on to overcome Carrick Sarsfields (Longford) 3-6 to 0-2 in the quarter final and Corofin (Galway) in the semi final winning 3-4 to 2-5. They then faced a different Longford Slashers team in the final. Unfortunately Longford Slashers got two early goals, setting down a major challenge to our players. The lads regained their confidence and came back strongly, but the early lead told in the end with Longford Slashers coming out on top.
The Moorefield A team also met Carrick Sarsfields in the quarter final and overcame they quite easily on a scoreline of 7-4 to 0-3, however they were then paired with a very good Dromard team. Moorefield have a history with this club and this semi final didn’t disappoint. The Dromard lads were physically big, skillful, well organised and attacked from all over the pitch. Our players took some time to get control of the game, going behind several times, but ultimately came out on top on a scoreline of 5-5 to 3-5. Moorefield were then paired with Whitehall Colmcille in the final.
The Whitehall Colmcille team were really excellent, moved the ball very quickly and accurately, were physically big and completely dominated the first half. Unfortunately they also displayed a great range of shooting skills. Our players came in at half time and were faced with a decision on whether to completely fold or go out and put it up to the Dublin team in the 2nd half. Showing great character the lads took the game to Whitehall immediately, however, it was always too much of a moutain to climb and although we won the 2nd half it wasn’t enough and Whitehall took the honours.
It was a great achievement to make both finals, no other club got two teams to the semi-finals, never mind to the final games. Having played 5 matches already on a hot day our players were quite tired by the time the finals were played and both opposition teams had bigger panels to allow their players rest in the earlier rounds. There is no doubt this played a part in both results.
From a football perspective the aim of the day was to test ourselves against other counties and guage where we are. This was an overwhelming success.
After the football and a bit of food the lads went to watch Longford Town playing Wexford Youths. Joining with the away support they got straight into the craic, singing their way through the match and helping the Wexford lads play the drum! Afterwards they stayed in local accomodation kindly organised by an ex-Newbridge man, Martin Mangan. A great and late night was had by all the lads. In case of doubt, they stayed up playing games such as “finger soccer”!
The secondary purpose of the trip was to reward the lads for their hard work through the year and to encourage team bonding. This was also achieved, they’re a great group of lads who gave no trouble whatsoever and all get on brilliantly.