Carrick United won the Waterford League u-11’A’ cup final with a 2-1 win over favourites Tramore.
Tramore shocked league winners Villa in the semi final so everybody knew this final would not be easy. Carrick started brightly, playing the usual passing game. The three boys at the back, Tom, James D and Ian looked comfortable and knocked the ball around well. Zach did not have too much to do in the opening stages and dealt with anything that came his way in his usual calm manner. Mark bossed things in midfield, ably helped by Christy, while James P on the right was causing lots of problems for the home team. Dillon on the left was excellent again and he was unlucky not to put United ahead in the first couple of minutes. Mikie did great work up front and he too was unlucky not to find the net in the first 15 minutes. Tramore were restricted to long balls up the field and from one of these one of their players went tumbling to the ground in a race to the ball with Zach. The referee, perhaps a little harshly, pointed to the spot and the Tramore player made no mistake, blasting the ball to the net. The young Carrick stars did not panic and continued to play good football. They forced a series of corners and went close on a couple of occasions with Tom and Christy unlucky not to score. They then got the breakthrough they deserved when that goal machine, Mikie, won a great header and put the ball in the net, again from a corner. This could only be seen as justice done, as a short time earlier they seemed to score but the ref deemed the ball to have not crossed the line. The second half was more even in terms of possession with Tramore putting more pressure on the Carrick defence. Eoghan came on to give Mikie a well deserved rest up front and caused problems with his height and pace. Luke and Ronan came in to the middle while Sean and Jamie provided fresh legs on the wings. Adam came on in goal and made some vital interceptions when Tramore might have broken through. It became a real battle and Luke showed the way with some thunderous tackles on the Tramore dangerman. Carrick got a new lease of life in the last 10 minutes and were unlucky not to score having one goal ruled offside. However, with only 3 minutes left on the clock, Jamie made a break and played a lovely ball to Mark. Mark controlled brilliantly and, with ice cool nerve, passed the ball in to the net beyond the despairing dive of the home keeper. For the next 5 minutes, including additional, Carrick defended like their lives depended on it. At the final whistle the Carrick players celebrated wildly and jumped for joy after an exciting victory...their first “A” medal, the first of many we are sure for this talented bunch of stars. It was great to see Joey joining in...we wish him a speedy recovery from injury- he had an outstanding season this year. Captain for the day, Zach, lifted the cup aloft and the boys managed to find the energy for a lap of honour! Well done to all!!!
Thanks to all who travelled to support the boys and to Tramore whose set up made the occasion more memorable.