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Aquinas head for European adventure in top form

By Staff Reporter
Aquinas 4 -- St Theresa's 1

There was quite a buzz around Black’s Road on Saturday morning as the excitement builds towards the Blue ’n’ Blacks’ European adventure over the Easter weekend.

First though, there was the matter of a tricky league encounter against a talented St Teresa’s team who have proven to be a match for anybody in the league this season.

Aquinas had the better of the opening exchanges with Thomas Cafolla and Martin Beeton looking a real threat on the left hand side.

Conor O’Doherty led the line superbly throughout and it was from his endeavours that Aquinas went ahead after 11 minutes. His strength won Aquinas a free-kick in a dangerous position on the right which skipper Matt Carson floated superbly on to the trusty forehead of Conor Flynn who bulleted into the bottom corner.

The goal helped Aquinas settle into a nice rhythm as they enjoyed considerable territorial advantage for large chunks of the half.

Peter Morgan gave a masterly display of the art of attacking from right back whilst also providing great cover for the centre backs.

Just before the interval though, Aquinas were shaken when they conceded a soft goal.

The tempo was visibly upped at the start of the second half as Aquinas set their stall out for victory.

Niall McCourt ventured forward and fired in a wicked cross with his left foot which Beeton just failed to connect with.

However, it took just six minutes for the lead to be re-established when Matt Hughes weaved his way into the box with the ball stuck to his toe and he was upended, enabling Carson to expertly fire home from the spot.

Things were nip and tuck for the next 15 minutes with Aquinas relying on Caolan Lynch’s fine positional play at centre back and a great reaction save from Kevin McGovern to keep their lead intact.

Nerves were settled 14 minutes from the end when Flynn turned provider for fox in the box Conor Toner, who nodded home at the far post.

Joe Cunnane almost added a fourth, firing just wide after a strong run from dynamic midfielder Cormac O’Hanlon.

It was prolific striker Tom Maguire who grabbed the fourth, volleying home after Paddy O’Boyle deftly flicked on a Dan Rainey corner.

A well earned victory then for this fine young Blue ’n’ Blacks team who now have a once in a lifetime opportunity to test themselves on a completely different stage.

On Thursday they travel to Barcelona for a tournament where the draw has pitted them against teams from the Basque region and unbelievably a soccer academy from Nairobi. Will it be a case of viva Aquinas?



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