By Mairéad Breen
THE Community Games winter break is well and truly over and 16 teams excitedly descended on Ballon Community Centre to contest the U13 indoor soccer championship. Nine areas were represented in the boys competition while seven turned battled for the 2020 girls county title.
Every match proved to be a very close encounter though surprisingly no game went to extra time.
First up were the boys and Bennenkerry/Tinryland had a preliminary draw against Ballon/Rathoe. This was always going to be a tight affair with two well-coached teams squaring up but Ballon/Rathoe had the edge. Next up was Tullow/Grange versus Rathvilly and again it was tit for tat but Rathvilly finished with a goal in hand when the final whistle blew. Ballon/Rathoe faced Graiguecullen in their quarter-final and for the second time on Sunday Ballon/Rathoe recorded a win. There were wins also for Borris/St Mullins over St Lazerian’s and Hacketstown over Askea.
In the first of the boys semi-finals, Ballon/Rathoe showed no signs of fatigue after already playing an extra game. Or perhaps it was the extra time on the court which gave them the edge over Rathvilly as they recorded their third win. Hacketstown proved too strong for Borris/St Mullins and they earned the other final spot.
In the girls competition, St Lazarians recorded the first win of the afternoon over Ballon/Rathoe. Bennekerry/Tinryland were up next against Graiguecullen with Graiguecullen edging the game. Borris/St Mullins’ girls had the edge on Hacketstown in their tie.
In the first of the girls semi-finals goals by Ella Matthews and Ashling Smith gave Graiguecullen the win over St Lazerian’s. Tullow/Grange entered the girls competition on a bye at this point but they were no match for the might of Borris/St Mullins.
The girls final between Graiguecullen and Borris/St Mullins will be played on a date to be confirmed