Easter 2013 – U14 Blackpool Trip

After leaving The Hill at 4am on Friday morning, the bus journey to Dublin was full of chatter as the lads were obviously buzzing about the weekend ahead. The novelty of travelling on a ferry was enough to keep the lads happy on the journey over but they had a great time playing cards on the way over aswell.

After docking in Hollyhead around midday, we travelled down through Wales and on to Deepdale Stadium, the home of Preston North End FC, to take in the evening game between Preston and Portsmouth. Portsmouth took an early lead on the 3 minute mark after a deflected effort went through the legs of Preston Keeper Declan Rudd, who had just made a great save minutes earlier.

Although it was not the best of games, the atmosphere in the Town End of Deepdale was electric, with the lads joining in with the chants of the hardcore home support. Preston's Joe Garner and Jack King both hit the woodwork before Irishman Keith Keane scored a spectacular 20-yard volley to level things up with 10 minutes to go. The game ended 1-1 but the lads were happy to see a soccer match in England and had great banter with the home fans.

The following morning saw an early start for breakfast, before the lads went off shopping for an hour or two in the local shops. After the shopping, we headed to Pleasure Beach in the centre of the town. Everybody - both players and coaches - had a ball here and it really is a great place to go. The lads went on The Big Dipper and a few other rides before leaving for the soccer tournament.

The first game against FC Tilleur Saint Gilles of Belgium was a very close game with Watergrasshill leading 1-0 at the break. However, a mistake from the match official led to the Belgians getting the equaliser and although the lads kept plugging away they went down 4-1 in the end.

Before the next game, the lads challenged the coaches to a training match, which was very close and featured some brilliant skillful moves from both sides. Both Gavin and Kieran were fantastic in goal, with even Derry making one or two crucial tackles and setting up a goal or two.

The next game against Kildare Town was a tough game. The lads, tired from the days events, took a few minutes to get going and found themselves 3-0 down at half-time. The second half was a much better contest from our point of view with the lads limiting the Kildare attacks and carving out one or two half-decent chances. As luck would have it, Kildare caught us on the break and killed the game off totally with another goal, bringing the final score to 4-0.

After dinner back at the Melville Hotel, we headed down to the Amusements Centre on the waterfront. The lads had a fantastic time here playing pool compeitions, Deal or No Deal and helping Kieran cash in the 500 tickets he won on the Big Wheel.

The following morning saw us return to Pleasure Beach, where the lads had a chance to go on the rides they missed out on the previous day. After leaving Pleasure Beach, we headed to the soccer tournament for the second set of matches. The first game againts locals Fleetwood was our best display of the season so far. The lads did absolutely everything right, with some unbelievable play at times. We did everything but score in this game - with several attempts trickling just wide and hitting the woodwork a few times. However, lady luck was absent again as we were not awarded a throw-in and Fleetwood capitalised with a winner with the last kick of the game.

The boys were extremely disappointed with the result but were thrilled with their dominant display. The disappointment didn't last long though as they had unfinished business to settle with the coaches from the day before. Again, the training match was full of brilliant play and fantastic goals and everybody had a great time taking part in an end-to-end game.

The final game against Scottish opponents Cleleand was a chance for the lads to go out and have a laugh and they certainly did that. The lads tried all the skillful moves and had a blast in their final match in Blackpool. Despite losing 2-0, the lads thoroughly enjoyed their final day in Blackpool and ended their participation in the Blackpool Cup on a high. It was particularly difficult to pick one Player of the Tournament but all coaches agreed that James was deserving of the honour and he was greeted with cheers from his team-mates when presented with the trophy by Pips after the game.

The lads returned to the Melville on a high and had dinner before commencing the night of karaoke and more pool competitions. The highlight of the night came when the Karaoke Kings, consisting of Chris, Darren, James, Greg, Daniel,Adam, Andrew & Kieran took to the stage to give a thrilling rendition of a song about a girl named Alice!!!

The lads were absolutely wrecked on the journey home but the spirits remained high as they sang a few songs here and there and started a few match chants aswell. The lads arrived back in The Hill at 9pm with all the parents waiting outside the church.

Everybody at Watergrasshill United would like to thank all the players and parents for their participation in this trip and especially to leaders Derry, Pips, Chris, Gavin D, Gavin C and John for their supervision over the course of the weekend. A special thanks must go to Derry aswell for co-ordinating a fantastic trip that was enjoyed by all.

The attention of the U14 squad now returns to the remaining fixtures in Division 2 and the two cup competitions still up for grabs. The U14's face Everton in Togher on Wednesday night, leaving WGH at 5.45pm, before the rescheduled local cup game against Riverstown at home on Saturday morning(10.30am KO) and a home fixture against Passage West on the 11th April if we beat Riverstown in the cup.

Blackpool Squad: Kieran McGrath, Connor Crowley, Luke McCarthy, Andrew Desmond, Thomas Dinan, Darren Healy, Seamus Curtain, Pearse Moloney, Adam O' Sullivan, Greg Magner, James Gowen, Daniel McCarthy & Chris Healy(Trip Captain).

Leaders: Derry Desmond, Pips, Chris Sheehan, Gavin Daly, Gavin Cronin & John Magner.

Once again, thanks to everybody involved for a memorable trip from all at Watergrasshill United.


Filed under: Club News, Community, Event, u14