A RATHFRILAND U8 team faced up to Damolly in what turned out to be a thrilling encounter at the IFA Games Development Centre in Newry.
A slow start saw the lads from Iveagh Park go a goal down when the Damolly striker burst through the defence to fire home the opener.
This stung the lads into action and they were soon on level terms when top marksman Eoghan Travers curled in a beautiful equaliser. The goal seemed to settle the team and some good play from Eoin Grant and Ronan Burns on the left released Aaron Baxter who hit a crisp shot into the bottom corner to take the lead.
The lead was soon extended when and delightful lob from the classy Eion Gribben found the back of the Damolly net.
The second half was to be a very robust encounter with Damolly getting back on level terms despite the efforts of the excellent Ronan Burns in goal. However, it was Aaron Baxter who popped up at the back post to put Rathfriland’s noses in front again and score his second of the game. Not to be outdone Damolly just kept fighting and soon hit back to equalise again. Rathfriland then turned on the style with Travers banging in his second of the game and a cheeky lob from Dawid Slovak seemingly wrapping up the points with only minutes left on the clock.
As had been the case all day, Damolly just would not lie down and two late goals secured a draw in what was a fantastic end to end game of football in which all the lads played their part.
Coach Marty Burns said after the final whistle “I’m delighted with the players and their attitude throughout the game. Aaron Baxer’s energy in midfield is a real asset to the team.”
Team: Ronan Burns, Dawid Slovak, Eoin Gribben, Eoaghan Travers, Eoin Grant, Aaron Baxter
Man of the Match: Eoin Gribben