By Cúan Nugent (U13 Player)
Our Cuala u13 boys headed to Kerry to play in a tournament in Austin Stacks this weekend.They played their hearts out and got to a semi-final of the shield. As one Austin Stacks mentors said to both teams at the final whistle “That was the best game of football I’ve seen yet in this tournament”. It was a thriller to play in, a cracker to watch, but a disappointment to lose.
Cuala took an early lead in the semi-final and went into half time a goal up. Yet the heads dropped when, in a flash, Nemo Rangers, one of the top teams in Cork, struck back with two early goals. The second half was end to end football, both points and goals being scored at will. With time nearly up and the score heading towards a devastating 1 point defeat for Cuala, full-forward Peter Duffy darted down the right hand side of the pitch and slotted home a point to take the match to extra-time. Cuala went into extra-time with their heads held high but struggling with a couple of injuries. With only a point going Cuala’s way, Nemo Rangers got the benefit of the match with the end score finishing Cuala 3-07 Nemo Rangers 3-15.
Before the semi-final, Cuala had come out of their group in second place, beating Legion and Churchill, both teams from Kerry and losing their opening match to Salthill from Galway by six points. Salthill went on to win the cup after finishing top of the group. Cuala played Legion in their second match and it proved to be a tough match with the score ending 1-03 to 0-05 in Cuala’s favour. Their third match, against Churchill, would decide whether Cuala would play in the shield or the plate.
With Cuala looking to be heading to plate, full-forward Hugo Mac Aodha slotted in goal that would take them to the semi-final of the shield.
A fantastic trip was had by everyone. From the train ride down to the waterpark and everything in between, the squad really got together as a team. I know all the lads would want to thank Kevina, Gar, Derek and Peter, but a special thanks to Lorraine Hayes.