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Castlegar U10 Autumn League Team with mentors Rossi Flaherty, Phelim Conway, Tom Pollard (Manager) and Tony Neary {Missing from picture Tomas O’Connell, Oisin Flaherty and Josh Thornton}

Game 3: Castlegar 5-10 Kilnadeemna Leitrim 0-1

Castlegar had beaten Kilconieron & Crughwell in the early round of the Autumn Hurling League. In their third game Castlegar took on Kilnadeemna Leitrim on Tuesday 21st September in our own pitch. The Castlegar pitch looked splendid, after a recent cut of grass. Compliments to the club management in the major strides taken in improving the playing surface this year. Castlegar defence had the upper hand throughout. Rory Tummon played very solid at fullback, using his strength in winning possession around the small square. Ethan Connolly in goal had a quite afternoon, but handled with ease everything that came his way. Daniel Keenan and Cian Hynes played nice first time hurling to quickly get the ball out of danger when required. Gearoid Pollard & James Smyth are settling in well to wing back. Their reading of play was excellent, making many timely interceptions.

The midfield diamond of Mark Gill, Dylan Carroll, Sean Neary and Aaron Connolly were a joy to watch, with high catching, clearances off left & right and spreading ball wide to the Castlegar forwards. Mark Gill & Aaron Connolly pointed three early frees, before Andrew King challenged for a ball on the edge of the Kilnadeema Leitrim square, resulting in the full back deflecting the ball into his own net. Up to that point Kilnadeema Leitrim had actually the majority of possession, but after conceding the goal their head went down. Castlegar took full advantage. In a five-minute spell immediately after the goal, Aaron Connolly and Fergus Ruane added two well-taken points, and Mark Pollard, Adam Walsh and new full forward Caoimhin Conway weighed in with a goal apiece. Mark Gill started the 2nd half, putting a 65 straight over the bar.Joshua Keane, Dylan Coen & Evan Kelly came on in the 2nd half, with each providing the final supporting pass to set up Aaron Connolly for a goal and Mark Gill for a further two points. Castlegar had a goal disallowed for unfair tackle on the keeper.

Thanks to parents for large support. Remember to encourage the boys to take the hurl out as often as possible at home, as this is the key to success. Next up is Athenry. Athenry had the upper hand in a challenge played earlier in the year, so it will be interesting to see have the boys made up ground over the year.

Game 4: Castlegar 2-2 Athenry 2-5 Thurs 30 Sep Athenry are setting the standard in U10 hurling, playing a fast and intensive game. They hunt in packs are all fine strikers of the ball. Athenry went in at half time leading 1-1 to no score and within five minutes of second half had doubled that score, before Castlegar stirred into lift. Eight mins into second half an Aaron Connolly free was kept in play by Adam Walsh standing on the endline. Without catching the ball Adam controlled the sliotar and flicked it into the danger area, where the onrushing Joshua Keane crashed the ball to the net. A minute later, Mark Gill sent a low ball into the corner, which was again crossed into the square by Adam Walsh. This time Caoimhin Conway was on hand to finish the ball to the net In a tight finish, Castlegar added further points from Caoimhin Conway & Mark Gill (free), but Athenry put the game beyond reach with three well taken scores. Castlegar can be happy with performance against a very strong Athenry team. Best for Castlegar on the day were Rory Tummon, Cian Hynes, and Dylan Carroll. Gearoid Pollard had a strong first half but faded somewhat in the second half.

Game 5: Carnmore 1-0 Castlegar 4-2 Mon 04 Oct Although the result suggests Castlegar had a comfortable victory, as the Castlegar players struggled in many of the individual battles across the field. The exception and the difference between the two teams was Aaron Connolly, accounting directly for 2-1, worked hard to ensure the forwards had a plentiful supply of ball, while also excelling in his defensive duties. The two Marks (Gill & Pollard) supplied the other two goals, while Caoimhin Conway completed the scoring with a well taken point. Some positional switches helped Castlegar to take control of the game. Dylan Coen was introduced at centre forward, immediately quenching the Carnmore centre-back’s early dominance. Sean Neary enjoyed the freedom of wing forward. Through his high work rate and skill level, Sean always delivers a big performance for Castlegar. Andrew King has been somewhat quite when played as a forward in earlier games, but against Carnmore he produced his best performance from wing back. Carnmore have some fine hurlers, but their diamond would appear to be Conor Flaherty who was outstanding in goals. Conor was the “talk of the sidelines” in his natural display of goalkeeping skills. Well done to all the boys for qualifying for the Autumn League Cup to be held in Kilconieron on

The U10 Autum League is the brainchild of Turloughmore’s John Costello. For full update on the Autumn league check http://www.turloughmore.galway.gaa.ie  And scroll down to U10 Autumn League Information Sheet. The finals of the Autumn League to be held Sat / Sun 16/17 Oct (to be confirmed) in Kilconieron. Challenge for full U10 panel against Skehana provisionally fixed for 5.30 Sat 9 October in Castlegar pitch.