Ruan was the venue for this Round 2 Under 16 A clash between Sixmilebridge and Corofin/Ruan last Tuesday evening. The opening period was even enough with both sides trading a point each from frees. This all changed however 10 minutes in when Shane O’Brien won possession out on the wing and side stepped his marker. He took a direct route towards the ‘Bridge goal and hit an unstoppable shot into the bottom left corner. A minute later out on the other wing Killian O’Connor let off a pass to Luke Neylon in the corner and he took off along the end line to set up the unmarked Shane Punch with the first of his three goals. Their third goal was similar with Shane Punch supplying the pass to Luke Neylon and he made no mistake. The ‘Bridge did pull one back after a monster free from Cian Fawl was well caught by Luke O Halloran at the edge of the Corofin/Ruan square and turning he buried it 24 minutes in. It was temporary relief as the ‘Bridge backline were struggling to contain the Corofin/Ruan forwards who were running at the ‘Bridge goal at speed always having a runner available to take the final pass with Shane Punch notching up two more goals for Corofin/Ruan in the last two minutes of the half. Halftime score 5-2 to 1-5 in favour of Corofin/Ruan, with the ‘Bridge now turning to play into a very significant breeze.
The ‘Bridge mentors didn’t make any personnel changes at the interval just positional, with Sean McNamara moving to midfield, Luke O Halloran moving to half forward and Luke Keogh going into full forward. But something did change. To their credit after the first half they had just endured they came out and every last one of them got stuck in all over the pitch. They contested every ball closing down the space Corofin/Ruan enjoyed in the first half. Corofin/Ruan did get the first 3 points of the second half but David Kennedy was unlucky not to goal for the ‘Bridge 10 minutes in with Kealon Mounsey making a brilliant save. Sean McNamara scored 3 points all from placed balls as the ‘Bridge fought on. With Darragh Toomey sticking close to Killian O’Connor, Conor Morey winning a lot of ball in the corner and Shane Punch being well marshalled by Colin Kelly in front of the ‘Bridge goal Corofin/Ruan’s route to goal was cut off. Two incidents in the second half typified the attitude of the ‘Bridge lads. 27 minutes in Killian O’Connor was tracked nearly 50 metres by Darragh Toomey and hooked just as he was about to pull the trigger for another Corofin/Ruan score. Two minutes later Corofin/Ruan‘s full back Jack Lyons (who had an excellent Game) burst through the middle third and was stopped in his tracks by a very determined Cian Gleeson. Yes they were well beaten and yes they did concede 5 goals in 20 minutes, but it was the attitude of the ‘Bridge lads in the second half that was most impressive. How they reacted will stand to them later in the season.
For Corofin/Ruan, Jack Lyons, Killian O’Connor, Shane Punch, Shane O’Brien and Luke Neylon were excellent throughout.
For Sixmilebridge, after a nightmare first half the way the whole squad including subs got stuck in was a credit to them.
Sixmilebridge: Cian Fawl, Adam O’Sullivan, Colin Kelly, Conor Morey, Leon Kelly, Daragh Toomey, Evan Murphy, Cian Gleeson, Luke Keogh 0-1, David Kennedy, Sean McNamara 0-6 (0-6F), Scott Kirkland, Colm Flynn 0-1 , Luke O’Halloran 1-0, Evan O’Callaghan 0-1, Morgan O’Connell, Adam Murray, Seamus O’Connell, Dara Casey.
Corofin/ Ruan: Kealon Mounsey, Mark O’Loughlin, Jack Lyons, Jason Power, Cillian McGroary, Conor Leen, Ryan Power, Michael Barrow, Cian Doolin, Shane O’Brien 1-1, Killian O’Connor 0-2, Liam Moran, Jack McDonagh, Shane Punch 3-4 (0-3F), Luke Neylon 1-0.
Referee: Andrew Monahan.