RATHFRILAND U7s played Annalong in the IFA Games Development Centre and after a battling performance came away with the win
This was a close encounter from the first whistle to the last with only an impressive piece of football breaking the deadlock. Aaron Monaghan broke with the ball and made his way passed two players to the left hand side of the pitch before squaring the ball to Callum Travers to slot home.
Annalong however reacted instantly from the resulting centre and raced forward only to be denied by a fantastic double save from Jake Gracey diving full stretch to his right before getting straight to his feet to block the second shot with his knees. This seemed to spur Rathfriland on and Callum Weir burst forward to score his first goal for Rathfriland after some outstanding defensive performances in the last few weeks.
The introduction of Luke Rooney produced the third goal after he burst forward before the ball broke to Callum Travers to slot the ball home. Annalong then came alive and scored two goals in quick succession before the break to reduce the deficit.
The second period saw the introduction of Alfie McConville into midfield to add a bit of steel and he did so with some strong challenges to hand Rathfriland back the advantage. Callum Travers took the game by the scruff of the neck and scored two goals in quick succession by forcing his way through a tight defence before beating the keeper. Annalong got a free kick close to goal which when through a crowd of players before nestling in the bottom corner, from the resulting centre Annalong retained position and broke forward to score.
ronan McGivern was introduced up front to add a bit of pace and this caused confusion in the Annalong defence resulting in an own goal, Before Aaron Monaghan gave Rathfriland breathing space with an excellent individual run and finish.
Annalong scored two goals in quick succession to once again bring the game within a goal but Rathfriland held out for a well deserved win.
Team: Jake Gracey, Alfie McConville, Callum Weir, Ronan McGivern, Callum Travers, Ethan Walsh, Aaron Monaghan Luke Rooney
Man of the Match: Callum Travers