It was a bright Autumn day and the stage had been set for one of the biggest football games of the year. The teams had been picked and it was time to go. The match in question was of course the annual Holy Trinity pupils versus teachers game. After struggling in last year’s game the teachers landed some big summer signings including Ms. O’Reilly and Mr. O’Grady. It was hoped Mr. O’Grady would give extra protection to their poor defence, while Ms. O’Reilly would add flair and fire-power to their attack. The afternoon was sunny it was a perfect day for football at Grogan Park. After all the arguing throughout the week this would settle who would own the bragging rights. All of Holy Trinity’s students came out to watch as Zach and Layla were on commentary. The teams lined up with Conor Kelly and Ms Free leading the lines. They walked out onto the pitch to hear the crowd cheering and the Champions League Anthem in their ears.
The game kicked off with Rhys Curley passing it back to Conor Kelly. The first few minutes were a stalemate with both teams finding their feet and trying to feel out the other team. The game sparked to life when Sean Bridgeman tackled Mr O Grady and bombed down the left hand side. He cut inside and slotted home. 1-0 to the kids, game on. It didn’t take long for the teachers to bounce back. Mr O’Neill picked a loose ball up in the middle and ran 30 yards before slicing the defence open with a through ball. The ball ended up at the feet of Holy Trinity`s version of Cristiano Ronaldo; Mr. Kevin Doyle. He slotted coolly home past Joseph in goal. Now it really was game on, it was 1-1. The kids started again with swift attack that came to nothing. The ball ended up being played back to Ms O Neill in goal and she bafflingly tried to do some keepy-uppys which ended up with her heading the ball into the back of her own net. It was now 2-1. The teachers were growing frustrated and this could be seen in their play, especially just before the half-time break when Mr. O’Grady lost his cool and put in some rash challenges. He was deservedly shown a yellow card by referee Mr. D. Henry. The whistle was blown and the teams headed into the break with the kids 2-1 up.
After motivational team talks for both teams by managers Paddy Behan and Ms. Monaghan the two teams were back out for the second half. The second half started with the teachers tipping-off. Another rapid attack by the teachers showed off their pace and they won a corner when Joseph in goal pushed a shot wide. The corner was whipped in by Mr. C. Henry and floated over every kids head with Mr. Kevin Doyle rising up and heading home. This brought his tally to two goals in this game and stretched his lead as the tournaments all time top scorer. The game was in the balance with the score line at 2-2 and it was time for a hero to step up. There was 7 minutes to go and the teachers weren’t finished as they launched a fast attack down the middle which ended up with a hefty challenge by Tyler Harvey on Ms O’Reilly, bringing her down in the box. The referee pointed to spot and called for a penalty. Ms O’Reilly stepped up to take it. She sent it to the left but Joseph in goal was ready and stuck out a foot to knock it away and deny the teachers new star signing her debut goal. The teachers continued their onslaught on the pupils goal and attacked down the right hand side. The ball ended up with Mr Fitzgibbon cutting inside and whipping the ball into the top corner past Lana Farrell in the goal. When interviewed after the match Mr. Fitz maintained that he had meant to score a goal but question marks remain whether it was really a shot or a cross. The answer to those questions matter little however as either way it was still a goal and the teachers still led 3-2 with 3 minutes to go. The pupils needed to pull off a miracle to get an equalizer. However with the teachers pushing on and looking for a 4th goal that didn’t look likely.
The pupils were thrown a lifeline in the dying minutes as a Jessica Keogh clearance broke to Sean Bridgeman who was tackled Mr. C. Henry with a leg breaking challenge. Mr. D. Henry had seen enough of his dirty play and showed him a second yellow card. He was sent off and he stormed off with frustration. The free-kick was cleared with the ball landing at Jack Lawlor’s feet. The teachers did a great job to force him out wide and expected him to do nothing. But Jack had other ideas as he chopped inside and smashed it home with his right foot into the bottom left corner. It was an outstanding goal and the teachers thoughts of having bragging rights had gone out the window. The teachers started again tipping-off but there was no time left and the referee blew the whistle and it was over. The final score was 3-3. The Corn na Tríonóide was presented as Conor Kelly and Mr. O’Neill lifted the trophy together after an epic match. The kids did a lap of the pitch and celebrated with the crowd and the trophy. It was a great game and everyone enjoyed it. I would like to say thanks to Ms. Monaghan for making it happen and to everyone that took part. Everybody truly enjoyed it and are looking forward to the next game.
By Rhys Curley.
Pupils: Ellie Murphy, Ella Landy, Sean Bridgeman, Conor Kelly, Ella McKeown, Joseph Lukelu, Lana Farrell, Alex Vilemhov, James Long, Rhys Curley, Ben Corcoran, Mikayla Abbott, Pria Lynch, Tyler Harvey, Sean Kinsella, Jack Lawlor, Jessica Keogh. Bainisteoir: Ms. Monaghan.
Teachers: Ms. L. O’Neill, Ms. N. O’Neill, Mr. Doyle, Mr. Keely, Mr. O’Grady, Mr. C. Henry, Ms. Keating, Ms. Free, Ms. Baker, Mr. O’Neill, Ms. Woods, Ms. O’Reilly, Mr. Downes, Mr. Ryan, Mr. Fitzgibbon. Bainisteoir: Paddy Behan
Referee: Mr. D. Henry