Abbey Rovers U17 team rounded off a magnificent season with a 2-1 victory over Castlepollard Celtic to clinch the Longford and District League Division 1 title in Abbey Carton recently.
Rovers went behind after ten minutes to a Castlepollard goal and the signs were ominous. The Rovers rallied and a good interchange of passing between Connaughton and Murphy saw Connaughton play an excellent through ball to Gaffney who rifled to the net to bring the Rovers level on 20 minutes. Top goal scorer in the league Ryan O’Rourke came into the game and showed his deadly accuracy with an excellent finish just before half time.
The second half saw Castlepollard camped in the rovers half for long periods but Dean McGovern was up to the task and made two great saves. Reynolds and Dolan were imperious at centre backs while Leyden and McCaffrey sniffed out any danger on the wings. Niall McGovern provided a useful outlet to relieve the pressure.
Castlepollard to their credit tried hard but the Rovers defended shut up shop and O’Rourke threaten on occasions to extend the lead with breakaway runs. After a shaky start to the season with two losses Rovers went on a thirteen match unbeaten run to storm to the title.
The Rovers squad is made up of players from Ballinamore, Aughawillan, Aughnasheelin, Drumreilly, Templeport and Mohill played an attractive brand of football throughout the season and their superior fitness and aggression shone through in the end.
Team: Dean McGovern, Oisin McCaffrey, Peter Reynolds, Philip Dolan, Brian Leyden, Donal Feely, Conor Gaffney, Luke Murphy, Paddy Connaughton, Ryan O’Rourke, Niall McGovern, Subs: Tony Simms, Nathan O’Rourke, James Hamill, Kyle Doonan, Mark Plunkett, Mark O’Reilly, Patrick McDonagh, Mark Reilly. Mentors: Patsy Connaughton, Shane O’Rourke and Joe Feely.