Solar Cup ,Liverpool
Competition : Solar Travel Holiday World Cup 2008
Venue : Liverpool University
The journey started last October when the team was asked if they wanted to take part in the Solar Cup in Liverpool this Easter. From that point, the fund raising for the trip started and after many events and bag packs the team was ready to travel.
The group that travelled consisted of fifteen team members, the manager, the coach and seven of the parents. The group travelled from Cork to Birmingham with coach transfer to Liverpool. The excitement and expectation was great for the whole group.
On arrival in Liverpool we found there were twelve teams from Ireland, England and Norway involved in the U12 cup. The competition was broken into three groups of four teams each having to play each other once. At the end of the group sessions, there were three further competitions, the cup, the plate and the bowl.
For the group stage Corinthians were drawn against Raheny Boys from the DSL, Swords Manor from the DSL and Warner from Liverpool.
On Friday night, after dinner the boys took part in a bonding session which built up the spirit of the team for the full weekend. This was a taste of what was to come for the full weekend.
The teams first game on the Saturday morning was against Raheny Boys. The game was two halves of 30 minutes each. Corinthians played against the hill and a strong wind in the first half and finished the half one nil down. The team was competing exceptionally against their Dublin rivals. Denis Desmond had made a number of exceptional saves in the first half.
Soon after the start of the second half, Sean Keating scored the equaliser into the top corner of the net. From that point on, Corinthian attacked the Raheny goal. Sean Keating had a ball taken off the line, another shot from Don O Mahony hit the post and went wide. A third ball went under the goalkeeper and went the wrong side of the post. After multiple Corinthian attacks, Raheny got one break away attach and scored what proved to be the winner. This was an exceptional performance from Corinthians who were extremely unlucky to loose 2-1 to the eventual winners of the cup.
On the Saturday afternoon, the group went to the Reebok Stadium in Bolton to see Bolton play Manchester City. The Reebok Stadium was very impressive. The build up to the game was great but the game itself could have been better.
On Saturday night, after dinner, the boys took part in a further bonding session which helped the spirit of the team for the two games on Sunday. The pool games where the parents and sons played against each other proved to raise the biggest points of contention over the weekend.
The next two pool games were set for Sunday morning. Both games had two halves of 25 minutes each. The first game on the Sunday morning was against Swords Manor. Again Corinthians played against the hill and a strong wind in the first half and at half time, the match was all square at Nil – Nil after some great defending from Corinthians. Special mention to Denis Desmond who made two exceptional saves in the first half.
In the second half, Corinthians began to attach more and the game was flowing from end to end. A flowing Corinthians move ended in Jack Kenny turning in the box and scoring a great goal into the bottom left hand corner.
The game continued to flow from end of end and in the end Corinthians were victorious. This was a great match, probably the best in the tournament for Corinthians and the victory was fully deserved.
The referee made it a point to come and congratulate the Corinthians players and he made the point that this was the best game he had seen at the competition for a long time.
After an hours break, preparation for the third pool game started against Warner from Liverpool. The confidence of the team was extremely high at this point.
Corinthians started the game very strongly and were three nil up at half time thanks to two goals from Sean Keating and one from Don O Mahony.
Corinthians built on the confidence from the first half to score seven more goals in the second half to complete a ten nil victory.
Goal scorers in the secong half included three more goals from Don O Mahony, one from Jack Kenny, one from Denis Desmond, one from Jack Maloney and a great goal with the last shot of the game from Gary O Donovan. This goal proved to be a very important goal in the course of the competition.
The structure of the competition meant that the three winners from the three groups along with the best second placed team from the three groups would go forward to the Cup semi finals. Corinthians finished second in group three with six points and a goal difference of plus 10. This proved to be good enough to get the last Cup semi final spot beating St. Kevin Boys from Dublin by plus one goal difference. Beyond all expectations, Corinthians were in the Cup semi finals on Monday morning.
Corinthians were drawn to play against Simon McKie from Liverpool in the semi finals.
On Sunday afternoon, the group headed to Anfield for a tour of Anfield and a visit to the Liverpool museum. Having visited the dressing rooms, the press areas and dug outs and the Kop, the group toured the museum which included the opportunity to see the Champions League cup won by Liverpool in Istanbul.
On the Sunday night, the group went Bowling where the spirit of the weekend re-appeared and the competition and banter was great. Special mention to Chris Kelleher who had the highest score of the 24 people involved.
Monday morning brought with it the Cup semi final against Simon McKie.
This proved to be a very physical and brusing game where little protection was given to the Corinthian players. Corinthians played against the hill and the wind and were one nil down at half time. Again there was some great defence against a very physical team.
Very early in the second half, Corinthians were two down with a great goal from 25 yards. At two down, it was going to very difficult. However Corinthians fought to the very end. Two further goals were scored by McKie in the last five minutes meant that Corinthians lost the semi final four nil. The score flattered the winning team.
The physical nature of this game will stand to the Corinthians team for the future.
Each of the Corinthian team members were presented with medals after the game.
In the final, McKie went on to play Raheny boys and Raheny ran out six two winners.
On the Monday afternoon, the group travelled to Speke Trading Park where some great bargins were found. After this was the return coach trip to Birmingham and the flight home to Cork where the team returned to a heros welcome in Cork Airport.
Corinthians team : Denis Desmond, Darragh O Leary, Chris Kelleher, Ronan Heelan, Frank Byrne, Buster Holland, Evan Healy, Jack Kenny, Jack Maloney, Eric O Neill, Gary O Donovan, Kevin O Sullivan, David Nolan, Sean Keating and Don O Mahony.
Captain for the tournament was Buster Holland.
Team Manager was John Byrne
Team Coach was John O Neill
Official Linesman was Dave Maloney
Official Photographer was Bart Kenny
Supporters were John O Sullivan, Cathy O Mahony, Lyn Kenyon, Padraig Keating & Mick Kelleher.