EMOTIONS RAN high on Wednesday night when Aaron O’Donnell stepped forward to take the tenth penalty in the Michael Cullen Under-14 Cup final for Kildrum Tigers.
O’Donnell made no mistake, smashing the ball to the net to hand the Tigers a 4-3 shoot-out win over Trojans at the Brandywell.
That O’Donnell proved to be Kildrum’s match-winner felt like a touch of fate.[adrotate group=”80″]
As the young Tigers huddled before the shoot-out in the driving Brandywell rain, O’Donnell told his team-mates: ‘Win it for my Daddy’.
And they did just that.
Declan Dolan, the Kildrum goalkeeper, saved from Aaron McClafferty and David Donnelly shot over the crossbar to set it up for a Kildrum win. The stars soon aligned for the Shane Porter-managed side.[adrotate group=”85″]
The tears flowed when O’Donnell struck gold, firing superbly to the net at the Showgrounds End, sparking joyous celebrations – just two months after he lost his father, Damien.
In September, Damien O’Donnell passed away in Dublin’s Mater Hospital following a battle with a kidney condition. The death of the popular electrician, from Station Road in Carrigans, left a void in the border village, where a touching tribute was paid as the Christmas lights – which Damien wired each year – were erected earlier than usual.
On Wednesday night, left-back Aaron turned in a solid performance and capped off the emotional night as he drilled home the winning penalty as Kildrum finally beat Trojans – the first time in three seasons they’ve got the measure of the Derry side.
Kildrum captain Shane Coyle and vice-captain CJ Clarke showed maturity beyond their own tender years, passing the captain’s armband to match-winner O’Donnell, who took receipt of the Cup for his team.Tags: