Salthill Devon Under 16s March On
Focus, Focus, Focus was the talk leading up to this last 16 SFAI game played in Drom Soccer Park on Saturday 12th April 2014. When a team from the West claim the scalp of a top three DDSL side, it is very possible for the focus to drop and allow complacency to set in. The plan this week was not to allow this to happen for the Salthill Devon Under 16s. Easter Holidays and discos were the obstacles this week but there are tangible signs of a maturing squad.
Training went according to plan the night before kick off and the only issue on match day was a blustery wind that decided to play havoc in the 120 minutes from 2 pm to 4 pm last Saturday. Abbeyleix Athletic were a physical side and started the game brightly but the cross wind didn’t allow the game to gather any fluency. In saying that, the home side looked to be that bit brighter. The opening goal was just reward for relentless Salthill Devon pressure as Ben Cahill manipulated the ball to deceive the keeper and manage to get the ball up and down to make it one-nil. Devon were having a lot of Joy down the right flank and Abbeyleix just couldn’t deal with this threat. At the break, although it was only one-nil to the home side, there was an air of expectancy.
Strong words echoed from the dressing room at half-time and a slight change of tactics enabled Salthill Devon to get on the ball and begin to create space in behind the Abbeyleix defence. An unusual goal made it two-nil with a hint of luck but Ciaran Nugent would be justified to believe that his endeavour earned him the goal. A mazy dribble with a weakened shot trickled under the keeper into the net to make it two-nil.
Salthill Devon introduced Davy Patton shortly afterwards and what an impact he made. His contribution from a corner helped the ball to Finian O’Laoi who was quickest to react to make it three-nil and very comfortable. Shane Kelly was introduced at this stage and his accurate delivery enabled Patton to get in behind to outpace the defense and nudge the ball past the keeper to finish cooly to the net. Patton made some impact on his introduction. Bryan Ndego, Jack Browne & Paddy Donohoe all contributed in the final 12 minutes of the game. All in all, it was a comfortable victory for the home side and the two scouts frantically scribbling notes for use in preparation, must be wondering what way Salthill Devon will approach the next game with three of their regulars back and available for selection.
The question is, will they make the team?