On Tuesday night (01/09/15) our U16s came out on top to become U16 Co. Armagh Div 2 Champions.
Despite a lightning start to the game where Keady scored 1-02 in the opening minutes without reply, this turned out to be a really tight game of football. Early on it looked like we were going to open up a big lead but Granemore scored a goal and this settled them into the game. A point followed for Granemore, despite our early dominance we only lead by a point. Keady got another 3 points on the board midway through the half to lead by 4. A defensive mistake cost us another goal and our lead was reduced to the minimum as the half time whistle drew near. With the last kick of the half, Granemore scored their third goal of the game. In a half where we were mostly on top, unbelievably, we were going in 2 points down. HT Score Keady 1-05 to Granemore 3-01.
We learned many times throughout the season of the character of our U16 team so there was no panicking in the stands. We have come from much farther behind than 3 points to win in this years Championship so we were confident we could again. Our confidence proved well directed. The second half got off to a scrappy start with both teams trading points apiece. Keady then took control of the game. We looked more visibly assured on the ball, and the scores started to arrive. We went on a run of scoring 1-07 to no reply to open up an 8 point lead. Granemore got their first score of the half before Keady scored another 2 unanswered points. The gap was now an unassailable 9 points.
With the clock ticking down and both teams visibly tiring, Granemore tried to up the ante by going long into the Keady box. They had a couple of chances to score a goal, including one which resulted in a fantastic save from our keeper. Our boys held their nerve under this bombardment and although Granemore scored another 3 points in the dying minutes it was never going to be enough. The final whistle went and we were well deserved winners and county Champions. FT score KEADY 2-14 to 3-05 Granemore.
Commiserations to Granemore who put in a fantastic effort, especially in the first half, to make this a very entertaining and competitive game, on this occasion it wasn't to be.
From early on in this seasons championship it seemed like the script was written for Keady to win it, for this our management and players deserve all the credit in the world and then some.
In the first round we had a comfortable victory over Clan Na Gael but that's where our comfort ended. In the Quarter-Final v St Pauls, we were getting well beaten and it seemed like we were going out, but we refused to be beaten, we scored a couple of fortunate goals and came back in the second half to blow St Paul's away.
The same spirit and character was shown in the Semi-Final against Cullyhanna when we went 10 points down in the first half, many teams would've thrown in the towel but our boys were full of self belief. Again, we came back and marched through to book our place in the final.
Last night a similar story, under pressure but belief never wavered, but to only talk of character and spirit would be unjust, we have bags of skill and talent to back up our character. This was very much on display last night, especially in the second half, fantastic football was played when we settled into our rhythm, as in many games this season when we got going our opponents couldn't contain us.
The team and management have done their families, our supporters and the club very proud all year and for that we cannot thank you enough. The future is looking bright for our club with such a talented group coming up through the ranks, and it is with great excitement we look to the future as this team continues to grow and develop.
Congratulations and thanks to all for a night to remember.