Match Report SFAI U13 – PAFC March On To Last 8

Portlaoise welcomed Camp Juniors Dingle County Kerry to a dry Rosleighan on Saturday afternoon in the Round of 16 of the SFAI National Cup. Portlaoise took the game to their guests from the outset. They took charge of the centre of the park through the high intensity of play from Colin Conroy and Aaron Doran in the centre, ably assisted by Jason Horan and Ben Dempsey on the flanks.
Despite the territorial advantage Portlaoise found it most difficult to create clear cut chances thanks in the main to some outstanding defensive play from the Camp Juniors back four, led by their fair haired centre half that was outstanding throughout. In the 10th minute Jamie Preston Portlaoise pounced on a Camp clearance and his fine long range effort whistled over the bar. An excellent Brian Smith cross was superbly cleared by the second Camp centre half. In the 14th minute Portlaoise had the breakthrough that their efforts merited, Aaron Doran beat his man on the right of the box and forced a corner from a second defender. Aaron’s corner was headed clear to Aaron Brennan, his first timer was courageously body blocked but Daryl Ntumba was on hand to fire the ball to the net. Camp responded and an excellent through ball to their striker out on the left was averted by a well timed Conall Rowney tackle. Jason Horan had a great shot courageously blocked by the Camp right full. Colin Conroy headed over the bar on 17 minutes after good approach play by Michael Culliton and Jason Horan down the left flank.
Jamie Preston and the excellent Aaron Brennan were called on in turn to avert two quick Camp counter attacks. Colin Conroy shimmied inside his man but was upended by another defender. Aaron Doran failed to test the keeper from the resultant free 25 meters out as he fired over the bar. Daryl Ntumba then failed to capitalise on a ball that fell kindly for him after good approach play from Brian Smith. Daryl was unlucky to see a good shot go wide of the right post after excellent approach play from Aaron Brennan, Michael Culliton and Colin Conroy. At half time Portlaoise held a slender one nil lead despite their dominance.
Within two minutes of the restart an Aaron Doran strike was disallowed as Daryl Ntumba was harshly adjudged to have fouled the centre half before setting up the opportunity for Aaron. An Ntumba back header from a Doran free was comfortably saved by the keeper. Sub Kyle Enright broke up a Camp threat, Michael Culliton continued the move down the left linked with Doran who turned and played back to Colin wide on the left wing. Colin ran across the face of the Camp rearguard and struck a magnificent shot into the top right corner, a goal worthy of the occasion.
Once again the Camp players were courageous in adversity. They played their best football of the game over the ensuing ten minutes. Time and again they had their attacking efforts stymied by Brennan, Rowney, Enright and Josh Hogan. The only clear shot they had was from distance and that was capably dealt with by Conor Graham in the Portlaoise goals. From one of the Camp attacks Colin Conroy put Jason Horan through with a superb pass but Jason failed to get hold of his effort and shot wide of the near post. The tireless Benny Dempsey made it three when he pounced on a rebound from a Dylan White effort that was neatly set up by Tiernan Cahill. Conroy had a penalty claim waved on before Samuel Emmanuel had an attempt diverted to safety. Dylan White finished the scoring when he converted from close range after good work by Luke Dunne O Connor.
The Camp Juniors squad can hold their heads high after such a gutsy performance. It must be stated that they were at a serious disadvantage having to travel for four hours to play this game. Their discipline was exemplary throughout and Portlaoise wish them every success in their quest for the Kerry league title. Portlaoise now host the winners of Tramore (Co. Waterford) and Belvedere from Clontarf Dublin DDSL in the quarter final. Best wishes to our U14’s when they endeavour to emulate the U13’s when the travel to play College Corinthians Cork in the round of 16 next weekend.

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1 Response

  1. Jimmy fitzpatrick says:

    excellent report as always –Comhghairdeas to team and mentors –Best of luck in quarter-final —onwards and upwards !!

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