U12 Football League Final: Longwood 0-20 Moynalvey 0-8
The famine is over!
Anybody who was passing through Longwood at about 5.00 on Saturday evening must have wondered
what the hell is going on? as they were greeted with a convoy of cars, horns blaring and young lads hanging out of windows screaming with pure joy! Such is the effect of success; our young footballers finally reaching their personal Everest as they brought the U12 Football League trophy back to Longwood.
And richly deserved it was!
This team of young warriors, and remember their names as they will be representing Longwood for years to come, did what every team strives to do, they delivered their finest performance on the biggest of days.
The final was played in baking sunshine on an energy sapping 3G pitch but these were mere impediments and Longwood were simply not going to be denied. Not this time.
From the outset, Longwood took the game to Moynalvey, moving the ball quickly and accurately through the lines from half back to full forward. More often than not the ball would end up in the hands of Ben McLoughlin and he certainly used his new
magic boots to good effect, amassing a total of 8 points on the day. McLoughlin's first point arrived after just 4 minutes and it seemed to settle any early nerves. Longwood took a lead they would never relinquish.
Moynalvey showed courage and determination to stay in touch in the early stages and after 19 minutes the teams were level at 4 points each. However, the remaining six minutes of the half were to prove crucial with a series of scores from Malachy Fisher, Evan Palmer, Conor Dixon and two more from Ben McLoughlin giving the boys and girls in white a healthy lead to take to the break.
Halftime: Longwood 0-10 Moynalvey 0-5
The message at halftime was to keep the foot on the accelerator and press home the team's superiority. Indeed at halftime in last week's semi-final, Longwood had themselves trailed by 5 points at the interval only to storm back and win the second half by 10 to 0. The notion of giving Moynalvey a similar route back into the game was not to be entertained.
The players responded as they have all season, registering the opening 6 scores of the second half. The points kicked by Luke Brady, Evan Palmer and Brian Stagg among others were a joy to behold. Longwood were, by now, combining a high level of skill and interplay and their opponents, valiantly as they tried, simply had no answer. When Moynalvey did manage to make inroads up the field, they were stifled by the tenacious defending from Conor Dixon, as always leading from the front, and speedster Harry Leigh.
When the referee brought an end to proceedings, the scoreboard read Longwood 0-20 Moynalvey 0-8.
There was a beautiful symmetry in the score - in the last 3 halves of football played in the competition, when the pressure was at it's greatest, Longwood scored 10 points in each of these halves. Such a return will always be hard to beat.
The players deserve all the credit. They are an exceptional bunch of boys and girls and Longwood should be immensely proud of them. The team management certainly are!
Marketing students will be familiar with the 3 P's, well this team displayed their own version of the 3 P's over the past 12 months:
Patience: the team had a long wait since the heartbreak of last year's summer league final defeat. Tears of pain then, tears of joy today.
Perseverance: week after week they turned up for training, listening and learning and always looking to improve.
Performance: on the days that mattered, they delivered in style.
To all the players - congratulations on a job well done. It's a day that will live long in your memory. We include those players (Caragh King, Fionn Hannon and Fionn Hanna) who are away on holidays and couldn't make the final. And all other players who were involved during the league - a winners medal will be waiting for you all !
Thanks to our U14 Footballers - the U12 panel certainly benefitted from training with the older lads every week. We look forward with great excitement to Féile next weekend.
To the supporters - thank you so much. It was fantastic to see a Longwood crowd celebrating on the pitch after a final.
To our sponsors, Gordon Elliott Racing, thank you for your very kind support. They team looked fantastic in their jerseys and they played accordingly.
Captain Fantastic mentioned in his excellent speech, special thanks to the parents for all their support this year and in previous years.
Thanks to all the coaches who have played a part in yesterday's success from our GAA Nursery through to Go Games. As with everything, it was a massive team effort.
Maigh Dearmhaí abú !!
Final Score: Longwood 0-20 Moynalvey 0-8
Longwood: David Dixon, Adam Peacock, Cian O'Sullivan, Eve Mooney, Conor Dixon (Capt), Harry Leigh, Malachy Fisher (0-3), Brian Stagg (0-2), Conor M Dixon (0-2), Laoghaire Connolly (0-1), Evan Palmer (0-2), Ben McLoughlin (0-8), Luke Brady (0-2), Subs: Cian Colgan, Oisin Dalton, Zach O'Sullivan, Sarah Brogan, Roisin Harvey, Kyle Carney, Adam O'Donnell.