The school football team were hoping for a good start to their season this year, and with the local derby game against Deele College the opening fixture, the team were set on redeeming last year’s Cup loss.
In a close fought game, both teams were unfortunate not to see some of their best efforts rewarded with a goal. Both came close to victory, but in the end it was the Royal boys who held on to their lead and went on to win the game 2-1. Goals from Eoin Mc Auley and Adam Devenney. Fine performances from Ryan McGee, Lee Smyth, Adam Devenney, Eddie Boyce, Graeme Alcorn and Joel Cromie.
Our next game was against PCC Falcarragh, the former All-Ireland champions. However, with confidence running high from their last victory, the Royal team had other plans.
The game proved to be a Cup classic with both teams exchanging exciting and well worked chances. With the Royal team down by a goal fifteen minutes from time, the game looked set to go Falcarragh’s way, but the Royal scored two goals in quick succession. The team held on to their lead and went on to win the game 3-2. Goals from Adam Devenney, Eddie Boyce and John Mc Clintock. Fine performances from Ryan McGee, Adam Devenney and David Stuart.
After Christmas we continued our campaign in both the League and the Cup and were given the tough task of facing Abbey Vocational in the next round of the Cup. Despite some very promising attacks and good chances we eventually slumped to a heavy 4-0 defeat. Although we exited the Cup earlier than we had hoped we still felt we had a good chance of success in the League, after opening with a good win.
We travelled to play Milford and although they had threatened early in the game, we soon managed to assume full control and led 2-0 at the break. In the second half we found ourselves facing a stiff breeze. However, we managed to add two late goals from Adam Devenney and Joel Cromie, to run out comprehensive winners in the end.
We now have two good wins under our belts and with a 100% success rate in the League still retain a good chance of progressing to the knockout stages.
The team would like to thank Mr Mc Dowell for all his hard work and commitment over the last number of years.
Under 16s Football
The first match of Raphoe’s U-16 League campaign was at home against Crana College. There was a whiff of optimism in the air but it was short lived, as Crana undeservedly went in at half-time with a healthy lead (2-0). But after a spirited team talk from Mr. O’Boyle, we came out after the interval ardent for glory.
Early in the second half Eric Moore popped up with a brilliant touch and soon after Paul Murphy got the equaliser. We continued to pile on the pressure but the match ended in a draw (2-2).
Our first Cup match was against Errigal College, in Letterkenny. From the start we took the game by the scruff of the neck and took the lead through Gavin Reilly, but Errigal equalised, making it 1-1 at half-time. In the second-half we raised our game and nudged ahead with a goal from Happymore. Gavin Reilly then doubled our lead and the match ended in a 3-1 win.
Our second league match took us to Buncrana to face Scoil Mhuire. There was little to choose between the two teams in the first half. Raphoe went ahead when a goal kick went straight through to Gavin Reilly, but Scoil Mhuire then equalised to make it 1-1 at half-time. In the second half Scoil Mhuire went ahead with a controversial goal, but Raphoe soon equalised through a well hit free kick by
Ryan Magee. Unfortunately, we were caught by a Scoil Mhuire counter attack late on in the match and went down 2-3 at the final whistle.
Our next fixture was a second round Cup match at home to St. Columba’s. We started well and took the lead early on, with a goal from Gavin Reilly. We battled hard throughout the match but it wasn’t enough, and finally lost 1-3 to a very good team.
In our next match at home against Carndonagh, we worked hard throughout the game but it was simply not our day and we went down with an eventual score of 0-3.
Under 16 Football ( Raphoe v Moville )
Our final league match of the 2008/2009 season was away to Moville in a must win game for both sides.
The game began well for Raphoe after Gavin reilly finished well following a period of exciting ene to end football. We continued to pile on the pressure and were rewarded with a second goal late in the first half, scored by Ryan Lonergan.
A confident Raphoe side took the field in the second half with the two goal cushion, but we let the game become too open and Moville scored following a goalmouth scramble.
A through ball put Moville through, despite appeals for offside and a second goal resulted. A short time later we had the ball in the net but it was ruled out for offside.
The match was now very much in the balance until a late penalty saw the home side snatch a 3-3 victory.
Our rollercoaster season may have come to an abrupt end but the squad had given a tremendous effort all through.
Thanks must be given to Mr. O’ Boyle for his dynamic coaching and the giving up of his time to train us, as well as to Mr. West and all the teachers for allowing us to particiapte. Many thanks from the Under 16 squad!