Cumann Pheadair Naofa: All of the effort and hard work put in by the U16 footballers since January is beginning to pay off as on Thursday evening they returned to the clubrooms with the U16 League Division 1 trophy.
It has been quite a league campaign for this group, played seven won seven and such was the competitiveness of this league that with two games to go any one of four teams could still have got their name on the trophy.
For the last, must win, match of the campaign the boys were on their travels and it was off down the coast to An Riocht, who were themselves still in the hunt for Division one honours or who at the very least could influence who the eventual winner would be.
A large support had travelled from Warrenpoint and they would have had reason for concern in the first 10 minutes of the match as it looked like the ‘point lads had left their ambition and shooting boots at home. It was also evident that despite missing a couple of their key players the An Riocht management had set up their team very well.
Warrenpoints first score, a point, came from Lorcan Ruane and this went some way to steady the ship. An Riocht were defending well and were strong in the middle but they continued to miss the target and Warrenpoint thankfully began to settle into a more familiar style.
The half time score was 2.10 to 0.02 in favour of Warrenpoint, the goals coming from JJ Ucar and Cian McLoughlin and the points from Jack Howlett (3) JJ Ucar (2) and 1 each from Lorcan Ruane, Shea Magee, Shoggy McNulty and Pierce Daly.
The Second half started a lot better for the ‘point lads than the first had, the first two scores being goals (Cian McLoughlin and JJ Ucar) followed by an An Riocht point. This pattern continued with 3 more Warrenpoint goals (Robert Barnett, Luke Kelly and Lorcan Ruane) interspersed with an Riocht points. The final score was 7.13 to 1.04 in favour of Warrenpoint.
As the League progressed the growing aptitude and improvement of every player in the U16 panel from defenders to forwards has been evident. The U16s return to action in the South Down championship, where we are in the same group as Mayobridge and Saval.