Our school soccer team exited their competition in heart-breaking fashion on Wednesday in Ringsend Park. In wet, windy and chilly conditions they incredibly forced their way back from the dead on two occasions before succumbing to defeat in the dreaded penalty shoot-out. The opposition from Mulhuddart were a physically imposing side and were much stronger and faster than our boys. They took the lead in the first half but Igor leveled matters with a blistering shot into the roof of the net from 30 metres. Ceilim then had a freekick goal harshly ruled out for offside before the interval. After half-time, Ringsend couldn’t get their passing game going and found themselves 3-1 down with barely a minute left to play. Then Dylan rifled in a shot which flew into the top corner of the goal and with the last kick of normal time Ceilim’s free-kick sailed into the net to level the game at 3-3. It was a remarkable comeback and showed the resilience and never-say-die attitude that the team has displayed all season. Mulhuddart’s pacey striker nudged them ahead in extra-time but in true ‘Roy of The Rovers’ fashion, our captain, Ceilim, bent in an amazing freekick into the top corner with the last kick of the game. What an unbelievable ending to an incredible match!

And so it was on to penalties. Both sides ended up taking 7 penalties each before finally Ringsend missed and Mulhuddart scored to progress to the final. The team should be saluted for their bravery, attitude, behaviour, sportsmanship and skill. The pain of losing will make them stronger for further challenges in the future. Over 20 different players played for the team this year. Only 6 of those are leaving the school this June so we should have a strong team here in Ringsend for years to come. Thanks to Ceilim, Cian, Dean, Craig, Scott and Joshua for their efforts this year. We look forward to seeing Igor, Dylan, Stephen, Cian T, Tymek, Rhys and others from 5th class playing again next year. From 4th we will see Jack, Jake, Lance, Aaron, Evan, Adam and others challenge for their place on next year’s team. We were the only team in the competition to field players from 3rd class. Evan and Paul will be back to help the team again next year. Special mention must go to Darragh, who despite his age, played in every game for the team this year. This is an incredible achievement for someone so young. We look forward to seeing him play again next season.