Forget about Cork versus Kerry, the John Kerins U11 blitz is football at its purest

Forget about Cork versus Kerry, the John Kerins U11 blitz is football at its purest
Fionn O'Sullivan in action for Douglas against Nicks. Picture: Larry Cummins

HOW many times have we heard that football is boring to watch? Or give me a good hurling game any day over football.

The negative image of football isn't just at inter-county level, but also at club level. Too often we see and hear people talking about blanket defences and teams having 13 or 14 players behind the ball. 

For many the main aim now seems to be to stop their opponents scoring and then hoping to sneak a few scores themselves to win by a tight margin.

Of course, good defensive play is a huge part of the game and you need to be able to defend properly to win, but you also need to be able to attack.

Anyone who watches the Cork senior ladies football team on a regular basis will be well aware of this.

They are superb in defence, but then at pace they break forward and before their opponents know what hits them the ball is over the bar or in the back of the net.

You can't compare inter-county action with club but what you can do is take the basics of the game and apply them.

Take last Saturday and anyone who was lucky enough to be at the John Kerins Tournament would have enjoyed some superb underage football.

Yes, this is an U11 tournament, but more senior teams could learn a lot from these young players.

They had to defend, but their first thought was to attack and with that came come brilliant games of football and ones that were a joy to watch.

The shield final was one, as Crosshaven took on Passage, with the former winning for the first time having been in the final four times.

Callum Griffin in action for Passage against Crosshaven. Picture: Larry Cummins.
Callum Griffin in action for Passage against Crosshaven. Picture: Larry Cummins.

It was virtually score-for-score for the entire game with Crosshaven taking an early lead and Passage coming back at them. At half-time a score from Oisin Buckley saw Crosshaven a point up, 3-3 to 3-2, which was great scoring considering that games are 15 minutes-a-half in finals (12 minutes-a-half up to then).

The second-half followed a similar pattern and at the end of play, there was only a point between them, with Crosshaven winning by 5-4 to 5-3.

As good as this game was, without doubt, the best game on the day was the cup semi-final between St Nicholas and Glenville.

It took extra-time to separate the sides and again there was no more than one kick of a ball between the two sides at the end of that, with Nick's winning 5-3 to 4-3.

That game had everything you could ask for, with some great scores, great goalkeeping and great defending.

Glenville took an early lead and Nick's came back at them and it looked like Nick's had it won but a late Glenville point saw it go to extra-time. Adam Mannix got the crucial goal for Nick's in extra-time.

Douglas against Killeagh in the other cup semi-final was another quality game and like many others, there was little in it for long periods, with the latter a point up at half-time.

But a goal from Darragh O'Sullivan saw Douglas come out on top and go on to win the cup.

So for sceptics of football, if you are free next June, when the finals will be on next year, go along and watch the matches, you won't be disappointed and it may help restore your faith in football.

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