The Naenae College 1st XI had a challenging season this year, having moved up three divisions after winning division 6 last year.
After totally dominating our grading games, which then saw us raised to Division 3, we started off the season strongly with a comfortable 6-2 win over St Pat’s Silverstream. Things started to get tougher from that point on though, and we ended up drawing four of the next seven games, losing the other three. Our final placing, I felt, really didn’t reflect on how well we had played over the season and how much effort the boys had put into both trainings and the games themselves. This year was a much more competitive and intense season than last year, having won the grade relatively unchallenged. I think the lads enjoyed going into the season knowing we would have to put in 100% every game in order to win the grade. Saying that, everyone stepped up and played exceptionally throughout the season, but overall, hats off to Benny Shafe who outdid everyone to secure the title of top goal scorer, with a total of seven goals.
The highlight of the season came remarkably in the last game of the season, where we proceeded to hold off a very strong, top of the table, Rathkeale team for a 2-0 win. Sadly our previous encounter with Rathkeale hadn’t ended well. With the game being abandoned after a collision with our goalkeeper, Shaun Ellis, and their striker, resulting in Shaun receiving a concussion and their player needing to be taken to hospital with a much more serious head injury. The game was rescheduled for a later date, in which Rathkeale proceeded to win 4-2.
Overall it was a challenging but successful season and the team should be very pleased with our efforts.