U19 RCC 4:1 Ballymahon Vocational School

U17 RCC 0:3 Ballymahon Vocational School

On Friday the 17th of November RCC’s Senior boys’ soccer team and Junior boys’ soccer team both travelled to Athlone Town FC stadium to play against Ballymahon Vocational School in the West Leinster League. Unfortunately, it was a day of mixed fortunes as the senior team had a comfortable 4-1 win while the junior team lost out to a superior Ballymahon team 3-0. The senior boys’ team quickly got on the scoresheet as Eugenio Neto scored his first goal of the game when he was played through on goal on the right-hand side of the pitch and chipped the ball over the Ballymahon’s keeper’s head and into the back of the net in the 5th minute of the first half. Ballymahon tried to respond with a score of their own, but RCC’s backline held strong stopping Ballymahon in their tracks. RCC pressed on as they settled into the game, making great runs up the pitch from Liam Naughten, Enzo Bueno and Ryan Dowling stretching the Ballymahon backline. With both sides being evenly matched it was hard for either side to find the back of the net as the first half dragged on. It wasn’t until the 22nd minute when RCC got their second goal of the game when Ryan Dowling picked the ball up on the left wing and sent a low ball into the box that Eugenio Neto hit first time sending it flying into the back of the net giving RCC a 2-0 lead.

Unfortunately, RCC couldn’t see the first half out without conceding when Ballymahon got their only goal of the match in the 34th minute when they forced the ball into the net from a corner after a scramble in the RCC box. RCC made a few more attempts on the Ballymahon goal with great runs up the pitch from Liam Naughten and Nathan Mac an Bhain but none were successful, and the first half ended with RCC holding onto a slim 2-1 lead.

Both teams had attempts at goals in the first few minutes of the second half, but neither could manage to find the back of the net. RCC got their third goal of the game in the 68th minute when Ryan Dowling passed the ball up the pitch to Eugenio Neto who tucked the ball away into the Ballymahon net to secure his hat trick. Ballymahon tried to get back into the game and were sending more and more men into attack which left more opportunities for RCC to exploit and extend their lead. RCC sealed their victory with a smashing strike from midfielder Izidro De Vargas in the 83rd minute after a well worked passing move resulted in Vargas’s strike from outside the Ballymahon box that went whizzing into the top left-hand corner of the Ballymahon net leaving the final score 4-1 to RCC. This was the first game of the season for the senior team and secures their first three points of the season.

The junior boys team started slowly against Ballymahon and fell behind after 20 minutes when the Ballymahon midfielder hit a long-range effort which sailed over the RCC’s keeper’s head and into the back of the net. RCC rallied after going behind and went close to equalising on a few occasions through Antony Cox’s free kick and Conor Carely’s long-range effort. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough, and the boys were trailing 1-0 at halftime. Only a few minutes into the second half RCC went 2-0 down after a lapse in concentration at the back allowed the Ballymahon winger to put a low cross into the box which was converted at the back post. For the next 25 minutes of the game RCC dominated possession and were creating good chances through Marc Shally and Rory Connolly but unfortunately each chance went a begging. In the final few minutes with RCC still searching for a goal to get them back in the game Ballymahon got their third goal when they counterattacked and were awarded a penalty which was converted. The RCC team kept battling until the final whistle, but it just wasn’t to be their day in front of goal. Next up for the junior team is a must win game against Templemichael to secure a place in the final.

U19 RCC squad: Brian Keegan, Connor Fannon, Jack Hayes, Dylan Treacy, Brian Mannion, Izidro De Vargas, Nathan Mac an Bhain, Liam Naughten, Enzo Bueno, Ryan Dowling, Eugenio Neto, Kian Mulligan, Ashton Glancy, John Paul Devaney, Conor Harris, Joshua McCormack, Leonardo Carvalho and Pietro Tavares.

U17 RCC squad: Nathan Flynn, Anthony Cox, Joshua Donlon, Conor Carley, Callum Leech, Evan McNeill, Marc Shally, Eoghan Morris, Oisin Hynes, Rory Connolly, Cian Hayes, Oisin Kelly, Caileann Sheridan, Pierce Fannon, Jamie Lohan, William Staunton, David Glancy, Sean Fannon and Daniel Hanmore