The 1st year boys and girls had a highly successful day at the Ulster Futsal Championships on Tuesday, 14th November, held in the Aura, Letterkenny. Both our boys and girls teams, who were representing Inishowen, faced off against the champions of Monaghan, Cavan and Donegal.
The 1st year boys were drawn in a group with Patrician High School Carrickmacross, St Patrick's College Cavan and St Columba's Stranorlar.
Game 1: Carndonagh CS 5-3 Patrician High School
CCS started the game very well and went a goal up in the first couple of minutes. However, a Carrickmacross shot that looked well short of the line was given as a goal, giving Patrican High School a way back into the match. A number of the Carn players lost concentration and began to argue with the referee. Patrician High School took control and scored two more goals to lead 3-1 at the break. The Carn CS lads came out with renewed vigour in the 2nd half and played with much more composure. Lee Coyle pulled an early goal back before Sean O'Kane got the equaliser. The lads could sense the momentum turning in their favour and further goals from Adam Duffy and Lee Coyle clinched a 5-3 victory after a superb 2nd half display.
Game 2: Carndonagh CS 3-1 St Patrick's College
Once again CCS were behind early in the 2nd game. A ball into the box from an indirect free kick caused confusion in the Carndonagh defence and a deflection off the keeper meant that the goal stood. Carndonagh were going to have to come from behind again. CCS put in their most complete performance of the tournament in this game. They quickly grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck and began to dominate possession. The Cavan keeper pulled off some excellent saves. However, his resistance was finally broken when Adam Duffy brought us back level. The score was 1-1 at half time but Carn CS knew they were well on top. An excellent 2nd half performance with goals from Adam Duffy and Lee Coyle ensured a 3-1 win. With other results going the right way, CCS had qualified with a game to spare.
Game 3: Carndonagh CS 4-4 St Columba's
In our final game, due to other results falling favourably, CCS had qualified regardless of the results in the other games. This allowed Mr Conor Doherty to use all of his panel in this game. However as in the previous two games, Carndonagh fell behind after a particularly sloppy start. A Kyran Cantwell goal got them back into the game and ensured the scores were level at half time. In a much improved 2nd half display Carndonagh took the lead through an excellent Ryan McLaughlin (Bann) finish. However, after missing a glut of chances to go 3-1 up, St Columba's hit Carn on the counter to equalise. Again, CCS laid siege on the St Columba's goal and Sean O'Donnell finished an excellent team move to put Carn 3-2 up. However, St Columba's came back again to level 3-3. The re-introduction of Adam Duffy ensured Carndonagh dominated the final few minutes and Adam scored an excellent individual goal to put the Carn boys 4-3 up with only a minute on the clock. After an attacking corner was cleared by St Columba's, a mistake in the CCS defence allowed a St Columba's player to nip in and snatch an equaliser with the last kick of the game. The boys were disappointed by this momentarily, only to be reminded that they had now officially reached the All-Ireland Finals. The despair turned to elation when the boys received their medals and the Ulster Futsal Cup.
Boys Team: Cadan Doherty; Sean O Kane; Jamie McKinney; Adam Duffy; Kyran Cantwell; Lee Coyle; Sean O Donnell; Dara Harkin; Ryan McLaughlin (B); Aaron Porter
Our girls were drawn with Colaiste Oiriall Monaghan, Colaist Dun an Rí Kingscourt and Loreto Letterkenny.
Game 1: Carndonagh CS 2-0 Colaiste Oiriall
In a very close fought game both teams had chances early on with Colaiste Oiriall in particular in fine form. In a hard fought game with no quarter being given or taken, goals from Sophie Murphy and Emma Devlin ensured Carndonagh CS entered the break 2-0 up. In a cagey 2nd half both defences were very solid and it was a half of few chances. The game finished 2-0 and CCS were up and running.
Game 2: Carndonagh CS 8-1 Colaiste Dun an Rí
In an excellent team performance, Sophie Murphy stood out in the early stages with a 1st half hat trick. Sophie was withdrawn during the first half to rest for the final game. The girls were well on top coming towards the end of the first half. However, they switched off just before half time and allowed a deflected shot to creep into the net past Yasmin Crumlish. In the 2nd half CCS really turned on the style with Dacia Crumlish netting a hat trick and Chloe Lacey scoring two.
Game 3: Carndonagh CS 4-2 Loreto, Letterkenny
With both Carndonagh and Loreto Letterkenny winning their opening two games, this match would decide the Ulster Championship and who would represent Ulster at the All-Ireland in Waterford. In an end to end game, Carndonagh scored two sweetly struck goals from Alaina Keogh and Sophie Murphy. The half finished 2-0. The girls knew they were on top and Mr Conor Doherty and Ms Anita Doherty encouraged them to go out and take control and finish the game. The girls played some outstanding football at the start of the 2nd half and Emma Devlin scored a great long-range goal before Alaina Keogh expertly converted from a Sophie Murphy cross. The girls sat back towards the end of the game and stood off a Letterkenny player who rifled an excellent shot in off the post from distance to give Letterkenny a glimmer of hope with 5 mins left. The girls managed the game quite well until a shot from distance deflected past Yasmin Crumlish to make the game 4-2. This was the final act of the match, so the goal was only a consolation for the Letterkenny girls who made CCS fight every step of the way.
The girls were elated when receiving their medals and trophies from Shane Barr who organised another excellent competition. There was a special moment as both teams gathered together along with their mentors Mr Conor Doherty and Ms Anita Doherty and got photos with both trophies and all of their medals. The organiser Shane Barr paid tribute to the school, stating that it is very rare for a team to win both the Ulster Boys and Girls trophies in the same year.
Mr Conor Doherty and Ms Anita Doherty commended the attitude and application the players showed both on and off the pitch. Both teams look forward to representing Ulster at the All Ireland Finals due to be played in Waterford I.T. on 5th December.
Girls Team: Yasmin Crumlish; Katherine Doherty; Alaina Keogh; Sophie Murphy; Emma Devlin; Dacia Crumlish; Chloe Lacey; Ella McGonigle; Lorinne Greene; Kate Doherty