Under 19 League Round-up

Jack Keaney Sligo Rovers

Week three of the Under 19 league has seen Sligo Rovers take the lead in the Northern Elite Division, while in the Southern Elite Division its a tie at the top as both UCD and Cobh Ramblers are top on seven points.

Sligo boss Brian Dorrian, “Delighted to get our first away win of the season. It was a good start to the game as we put pressure on from minute one, and took the lead after 20 mins from a set piece which Shay Doherty converted. Jack Keaney then had us two up after 26 min from an effort from all of 25 yards. Shay Doherty put us 3-0 up when he shot home from a corner. Drogheda did have their chances too but our keeper saved very well.”

“Then directly after half-time Drogheda were awarded a soft penalty in my eyes which they converted. We then had John Mahon sent off to a second yellow on 56 min and had to play out the remainder with 10 men. Drogheda put us under serious pressure and we cut out a pass and Keaney ran the length of the pitch and crossed a ball into the box which Martin Walsh converted on the half volley.”

“Drogheda got their second goal on 76 mins when we failed to clear the ball. To be fair it was backs to the wall for us then. I thought our lads defended fantastically, and created a few more chances on the counter attack. It was an all-round good performance from us with the uner 17’s doing really well in Keaney, Mahon, Feeney, Higgins and Mcginty in goals also doing well.We move on now to next week with a home fixture against Cavan/Monaghan which will be equally as hard a game.”

Drogheda boss Derek Boyle told us, “Disappointed with the result but more importantly in how we started the game. We started very slow. Sligo were much better team in the first half. They played with very high intensity and won the every first ball and second ball. We were second best to them.”

“In the second half we started much better. James Carroll who is involved in the irish international schools team won a penalty, which Stephen Meaney converted. Stephen scored a great 2nd goal, rolling the centre back and slotting passed the goal-keeper. That’s 4 goals in 3 games and he has really impressed since coming in this season.”

“Sligo scored a cracking 4th goal to put an end to any come back. Overall a. disappointing first half, much better second half from ourselves which we have to bring into the start of the game against dundalk next week.”

UCD and Limerick played out a thrilling 3-3 draw in Belfield. The students had a 1-0 lead at halftime courtesy of a Barry Cotter own-goal. It was 2-0 straight after the re-start with a strike from former Limerick striker Yousef Mahdy.

However Limerick struck back with goals from the aforementioned Cotter and Aaron Fitzgerald. Mahdy again had the students in front just minutes later, but a penalty from Ger Barry levelled things up just twelve minutes from the end as the game ended all-square.

Here’s Barry Cotter’s goal;


Limerick’s manager Tommy Barrett told us, “Yeah, a decent game, an even first half. I thought UCD had a couple of half chances as did we, and they scored when one of our centre-backs headed off the back of one of there lads. I travelled with an injury depleted squad and made two enforced changes at half–time bringing on two U-17’s. Our former striker Yo Yo Mahdy scored 1 minute into second half with a decent team goal.”

“We worked our way into it again and Barry Cotter got a very good header from a Ger Barry corner. Aaron Fitzgerald equalised with a 30 yard screamer. UCD got another before we then got a penalty when our full-back Sammy Ogundare drove into the box and got upended. Ger Barry put it away I was happy with the performance, as we ended the game with three U-17s on the pitch, and only two lads in there final season at U-19 level, so a very inexperienced side out. It was a real good team performance with Aaron Fitzgerald really impressing with his willingness to defend as well as his bravery when in possession.”

UCD boss Maciej Tarnogrodzki thought his side could have won the game saying, “After the match, it felt like we dropped 2 points especially when we were leading 2-0 at the beginning of the 2nd half and controlling the most part of the match.”

“First 20-25 mins of the match were quite even from both teams, but after that we started to dominate and created a couple of clear cut chances from which we should have scored the goals. Limerick created one good chance during the first half but our goal-keeper Sean Prenter and centre-back Joe Manley did well to prevent a goal. We were leading 1-0 at half time and based on the performance I think that it was the least that we deserved.”

“We didn’t have our two U-19 goal-keepers available for selection (Conor Kearns with 1st team and Finn McGowan out sick) but U-17 keeper Sean Prenter was very good during the whole match.”

“At the beginning of 2nd half we scored a brilliant goal, through great link up play between Conor Crowley and Yoyo Mahdy who finished very well. Limerick was mostly direct throughout the game with long diagonal balls from their centre-backs for wide players or the striker, and they were always dangerous on the counter but our defenders defended very well in these situations. We conceded their 1st goal from a corner and unfortunately straight after that the Limerick player scored an unstoppable goal from 25 yards into the top corner.”

“After that we created a. couple of clear cut chances before we got the third goal through Yoyo Mahdy again. I thought we were going to finish the game off or possible add another goal as we were always creating in the final third. Unfortunately, we made a couple of mistakes and gave a penalty away.”

“Overall, I’m very happy with how our team performed. The way we play require lots of composure and skills and I’m proud of our players and how quickly they learn and bring things from training into matches. The way we kept the ball, building up actions from the keeper, centre-backs into the middle and arriving into final third, plus creating plenty of chances to win probably two games. It was very encouraging to see even when the opposition tried to press us high up the pitch, we still kept our composure and possession of the ball. We did make couple of mistakes that we need to correct but I think we deserved to win that match based on our performance  but in football that is not always the case and also we need to give credit to Limerick for coming back from behind.”

“We have a great group of players who compete and push each other and through hard work together with the staff we’ll get stronger as the season goes along.”

Here’s Aaron Fitzgerald cracking strike for Limerick;

Longford manager Graham Kane was delighted to beat Monaghan/Cavan 2-1 saying, “Happy to get the 3 points. I felt we controlled large periods of the game but credit to Monaghan they made it difficult for us in the 1st half.”

“They were setup well and were a danger on the break which they scored from. We adapted slightly in 2nd half with changes and controlled the game, and got an early equaliser through Sean Bragazzi from a set piece.”

“We got a foot-hold in the game and the 2nd goal came from good anticipation from Jerry Idahor who tapped in the rebound. We worked hard in the 2nd half and felt overall we deseved the 3 points.

“Stand out players for us on the day were Sean Bragazzi who played at centre-back in the 1st half and who we moved to left back in the 2nd half and he was a threat going forward for us. Aodh Dervin another standplayer for us. Very good in possession and kept us ticking from midfield, but also his desire to encourage the team through the game. He covers a lot of ground in games breaking up play and also starting attacks for us.”

The Monaghan/Cavan coaching staff said, “Yeah very disappointed not to get something from the game. We created a lot of chances in the first half but only went in 1-0 up at half time and should have been further ahead. Longford were stronger in the second half and we let them back into it.”

“We made some simple Mistakes and didn’t take our chances which cost us. Nonso Nzewi and Dylan Mulligan  and Michael Junaid were excellent for us. All of them were in the first half but a couple of injuries cost us.”

St Patrick’s Athletic side that lost to Shelbourne

Shelbourne beat St Patrick’s Athletic 1-0 with a goal from Brandon McCann.

St Pats boss Garrett Dodrill told us, “Yeah a poor performance all round from us. We didn’t move the ball quick enough and players made poor decisions all over the pitch. Shels worked hard and deserved their win scoring from a super strike from Brandon.”

“We have a lot of lads who stepped up from our successful U-17s team last season who are learning the hard way that the U-19s level is much tougher and they need to sharpen up quickly.”

“Cian McMullen was our most attacking player on the day but could have done better with his final ball at times. Aaron Molloy was excellent at centre-back for Shels, as he won his headers and tackles when needed.”

Shelbourne boss Wayne Groves was very pleased with the win, “To be fair everyone played very well. We were very good in the first half, created some really good chances, while St Pats were very dangerous on the break.”

“Ross Coyle and James Browne were very good on our right hand side. It was a very high intensity game with lots of pressure from both teams.”

“In the second half Pats kept us penned in our own half with us sitting deeper and counter attacking. We had some great chances on the break, with Josh Scully, Dean longhi, Brandon McCann and Jordan Kelly breaking at pace which lead to our goal.”

“After some great passing down our left with josh Scully then putting in a great cross for Brandon McCann to finish. From that moment on Pats came at us with everything. From free- kicks and corners our goal keeper Ryan O’Neill pulled of some great saves. We held on for what was a very good win against a very good pats team.”

Finn Harps beat Bohemians 3-0 in a pulsating encounter in The Curragh. However the score-line does not reflect how tight the match was throughout.

Harps got of to a great start after 5 minutes with a cracking strike from Ryan Finn. Neilis and McCroary combined down the left to set up Finn, whose showed his qualities with a fine strike.

Harps dominated the remainder of the first half with Finn, Ryan and Doherty controlling the middle of the field. Good chances fell to McGroary and Carolan.

Bohs also created a couple of chances, through fine build up play and good possession forcing Lee McCarron into a number of fine saves, including a quality a free-kick from Nolan.

The impressive Bohs attack of Fay (who scored 4 goals last week) Kavanagh and Nolan were held at bay by the under pressure defence of Brolly, Kelly, McCready and the tenacious Nelis.

Bohs opened the second half in determined fashion and pressed hard for the opening 20 minutes in the second half until BJ Banda doubled the lead after good wing play by Nelis.

Harps regained the initiative following the second goal with Doherty hitting the woodwork twice with substitute Odhran McConnell creating a tap in for Liam Walsh to make it 3-0.

Bohs continued to press and Harps can thank Mc Carron and the post for not conceding.

The match was a great advertisement for the U-19 league with both teams delivering high quality football and no shortage excitement.

Bohs boss Graham Lawlor told us after, “A very dissapointing performance and result from Bohemians today. Finn Harps well deserved the 3 points.”

“I felt they adjusted better to the condition of the playing surface and their direct play was more effective in these conditions. It’s a really difficult place to go to and over the course of the season I think Harps will pick up a lot of points at home. For our young players today was a good learning experience”

Shamrock Rovers beat Bray Wanderers 2-1 in the Carlisle Grounds..
Bray boss Marc Kenny said, “Really happy with our performance today, as I honestly think we deserved something from the game.”

“We Scored a great goal that was disallowed and had more possession in the 2nd half creating lots of chances.”

“Having a team like Shamrock Rovers coming to the Carlisle Grounds wasting time in the corner flag is a huge compliment to our boys.”

“In saying that Rovers scored two really good goals. Special mention must go to Shane Heffernan, Dion Agbonze and Dylan O’Connor”

Cobh Ramblers U-19 side

Cobh beat Waterford 1-0 to remain unbeaten this season. Their manager Declan Coleman said, “I’m quite happy with the result, especially having has to grind it out in the second half. We controlled the first half and could have been a few more goals ahead.”

“Their keeper made some very good saves including a penalty save in the second half. In the second half we sat a bit deeper and invited pressure on to us, so we’re going to have to learn from that and try to keep our composure a bit more in future games as we probably panicked a little bit as the game wore on.”

“In saying that, we still created a couple of chances in the second half and apart from them hitting the post late on I can’t remember any other clear cut chances against us, so our defending was solid enough.”

“I was delighted for Eoin Davis to get his first goal of the season having battled back from injury and he really worked hard today. Keane Buckley, Gordon Walker and Ryan O’Regan had good games as well for us. We were unlucky to lose David Hurley in the first half to injury but it seems like it is only a knock and won’t keep him out of action for too long”

Dundalk were the weekend’s biggest winners, despite playing with 10-men for most of the game, with a 6-1 win over Athlone Town. Jack O’Keeffe with a superb 4-goal haul.

Dundalk manager Martin Connolly said, “Obviously we’re very pleased with the way we played and the result, especially after having a man dismissed so early in the game (Emmet Hughes sent off after 13 minutes). We defended strongly and took our chances when they appeared. In the last game against Shels we created plenty of chances and didnt convert any so it was pleasing that we finished them this week.”

On their aim for the season Connolly said, “Our aim as it always has been at this football club is to be as competitve as possible in every game and to develop these players as best as we can.”

“So far in the league we have been competitive in every game we have played and we have had some really good individual performances from Jack O’Keeffe (he scored 4 yesterday, 2 penalties), James Woods, Jake O’Connor, Dean Watters and more.”

“Even though we have 4 points from a possible 9 we are happy with our start as we can see in this league it is really tough and every team is capable of beating one another.”

Dundalk’s Jack O’Keeffe

On their 4-goal striker Jack O’Keeffe, “Jack is a technically gifted footballer. He is good at holding the ball up for us and bringing other people into the game. His first touch is great and normally helps him to get away from players.”

“He is a great reader of the game which helps him to be in the right place at the right time. Jack has benefitted from being involved with Stephen Kenny and the first team squad this season.”

“This is Jacks second year with us joining us last season from local rivals Drogheda.”

Athlone Town manager Michael Dolan said, “Obviously very disappointed to have lost the game by a 6-1 margin, given that Dundalks left back was red carded in the 15th minute for an off the ball offence.”

“Dundalk are a very good side with a strong balanced squad but we committed far too many basic errors in our own half in the first half while in possession and Dundalk capitalised fully on those errors to score 3 times before half time. I made 3 changes at half-time but we conceded 2 very stupid penalties early in the second half which were both converted. We got a goal back from a Kevin Fitzgerald penalty after a foul on Callum Brummell.”

“We have a very young squad with only 3 U-19s and 3 U-17s also and need to learn and adapt very quickly to compete at this level and will continue to work hard in training to improve our performances.”
Wexford lost 3-2 to Cabinteely after being 2-0 up early on.

Wexford manager Thomas O’Connor said,  “We started the game very well, Yaw Aboagye scoring with a beat finish on the back post after 5 minutes. We were in control of the game from here and scored again trough Jack Bates who finished off a well worked team goal.”

“We conceded off a little bit of sloppy defending against the run of play and Cabinteely got the bit between their teeth and went at us and scored again with a fantastic over head strike from the edge of the box, shortly after Cabinteely were reduced to ten men.”

“In the second half we struggled to break down a well organised defensive unit and while pushing for the winner we where again punished by a well worked free kick, and from there cabinteely continued to see out the game well.”

“Overall it was a poor result for us and a frustrating game for the players, with some strange decisions made which effected both teams.”

“We will learn a lot from today’s game and will not repeat the same team errors in the future, the lads know it was a game we should have won and they are hurting after it. Danny Doyle was a constant threat for us today and like the rest of the team learned some valuable lessons today.”

Galway United v Cork City was Postponed.

Photo Credits;

St Patrick’s Athletic

Cobh Ramblers

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