On Thursday June 11th Coolrea once again provided the setting for the seventh instalment of the Duffry Rovers Primary School Blitz and, once more, the rain stayed away and a great day was had by all from the five participating schools of Caim, Ballindaggin, Kiltealy, Donard and Courtnacuddy
Courtnacuddy arrived as defending champions and they set about the task of retaining their title with a real vigour as they chalked up a 100% record in the round-robin section to see them safely through to the ‘A’ Final. It was much less clear who would join them, however, as the other four schools all took points off each other before the dust finally settled and it was determined that Kiltealy would face Donard in the ‘B’ Final while Caim and Ballindaggin would battle it out in the play-off.
Kiltealy, always a strong side, were clearly hurting to have missed out on the top three and their frustration was vented on Donard in the ‘B’ Final as they comprehensively claimed the secondary prize. Donard came to the tournament with a particularly young squad (only three of whom were sixth class students) so it was always going to be an uphill task for them but they battled gamely all day long and went home with their heads held high.
The play-off was to prove a much tighter game as Caim and Ballindaggin could not be separated after normal time so two quick periods of extra-time were called for. The stalemate continued, however, and the administrators were being forced to think about the unthinkable notion of a penalty shoot-out before Caim finally stepped up and rattled in two quick goals with extra-time nearly over to finally settle the tie in their favour and banish all thoughts of the dreaded shoot-out. Ballindaggin’s efforts fell just short but they did not leave empty-handed as there was the consolation of the bronze medals.
For Caim, however, the prize of winning was perhaps a dubious one as they immediately had to pick up tired bodies and take on Courtnacuddy – the only unbeaten team in the tournament. Caim again gave it their all and were well in the tie at the half-time break but their efforts against Ballindaggin had clearly taken a toll and, thus, Courtnacuddy were able to push on and successfully defend their crown in style.
The laurels of victory went to Courtnacuddy but there were smiles all round when the students noticed that inter-county star Ben Brosnan had dropped by for a quick chat and to present all the teams with their medals and so everyone went home happy at the conclusion of yet another fantastic day of football action. Thanks, as ever, go to all the teachers involved, to Duffry Rovers for the use of their facilities, to the County Board for providing the referees and to Ben Brosnan for being so generous with his time.
Roll on 2016!