The U21's qualified for the North Board final on Saturday last (Feb 19th) after defeating Oranmore.Maree in Tuam stadium on a scoreline of 0.11 to 2.03. Caltra played with a relatively stong breeze in the first half but took a while to settle into the game. Oranmore were 1-01 to 0-01 to the good after ten minutes and it could have been more only for two super saves from Caltra Keeper James Birch. Caltra soon settled soon after and hit a purple patch in the last fifteen of the first half where they hit 0-06 points to a single Oranmore point. The spread of scores was notable for caltra with Padraic, Brendan, Michael, Conor, Cathal and Luke all getting on the score sheet in this period. Cathal Mannion was unlucky not to have a goal also when his rasping shot came back off the crossbar just before the break. Wing back and Captain Cian O'Ceallaigh saw red after 25 minutes when he was sent off after a second bookable offence that looked like a harsh decsion by the referee.
Playing with 14 men and against a stiff breeze in the second half Caltra started the better with Cathal Mannion and Mike Kelly both pointing frees. It was a measure of the workrate of this team that they managed to keep Oranmore scoreless until the 23rd minute of the half when they pointed through a free, this was depite both their numerical advantage and aid of the breeze. The teams again swapped points from frees before Oranmore pounced for a goal near the death. James Birch again came to his sides rescue with another outstanding stop 2 minutes from time and this ultimately allowed his team to hold on for victory.
Caltra Team: James Birch, Eric Conway, John Finnerty, Kevin Kitt, Cian O'Ceallaigh, Tomas Higgins, Stephan Nolan, Colm Rafftery, Padraic Mannion(0-01), Stephen Smyth, Luke Cosgrove(0-01), Brendan McLoughlin(0-01), Conor Nolan(0-01), Michael Kelly(0-05), Cathal Mannion (0-02) Subs: Peter Birch, Fergal Mulryan.
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