Our U18s started the new year in style in Mounthawk Park, Tralee with a very tricky fixture vs the Park. We played them in our first game of the season in Fenit in the Munster Youth Cup and even though we led going into the last quarter of that game we were reeled in and lost it at the death. Accordingly it was set to be a close contest and that’s how it turned out. Over the course we probably had the better of it, possession-wise and chances-wise but the Park were well in it right to the end. The game started at a helter-skelter pace with great endeavour being shown by both sets of players. In the first quarter, both teams pretty much cancelled each other out but we were gradually getting more of the ball. Our 2 wide players of Oisin O Brien and Dara O’Connor were dangerous with Oisin eventually breaking the deadlock with a fantastic volley from outside the box on the left which cannoned in off the far post. We pushed on for a second and created a few good chances but did not capitulate. The Park in contrast were playing a counter attcking game and caught us twice in the last 5 minutes before half time with 2 well taken goals and unfortunately for us we were down 2-1 at the half. The players at the break resolved to keep passing and pressing and this eventually determined the final result. For 25 minutes we kept the tempo going and created another few chances but the Park defended very well with their keeper in particular pulling off a number of unbelieveable saves from Sean Higgins, Conor Lowe, Luke Moynihan and Oisin. Eventually the dam had to burst and from a well taken free by Cormac O’Brien into their box Conor got on the end of it to equalise. Christopher Murphy when introduced with 20 to go gave us great energy both offensively and defensively which was a great help especially in the final phase of the game. Our tails were up now with Bobby O Regan, Thomas Lenihan and Luke setting up attacks for us. With 12 minutes left Oisin again popped up with a goal which would prove to be the winner. For the last 12 minutes plus 4 minutes injury time the game was turned on it’s head as the Park threw caution to the wind and we were pinned back into our box. Our defenders at different times were Brian O’Regan, Darren Chester, Antoin Stanton, Sean Donnellan, Cormac O Brien and Ossie Clifford. It was their fantastic defending that kept it at 3-2 despite huge pressure. A big well done to to both sets of players for serving such an enjoyable game. Finally, a Happy New Year to all our players, their families and to everyone who supports us throughout the year.