UCD and Sligo Rovers continue to set the pace in the League of Ireland Under 19 league after the fourth series of games over the weekend.
Sligo Rovers beat Monaghan/Cavan 5-0 with two goals apiece from both Mark Hannon and Shane McCallion.
Sligo’s manager Brian Dorrian said, “A good victory for us today. Monaghan/Cavan set up real defensively in the first half and it took us a while to get on top of them.”
“We scored our first on 37 minutes, it was started by Mark Hannon who played the ball wide to Martin Walsh, who then beat two players and fired in a cross in which Hannon converted after continuing his run into the box.”
“Directly after half-time Martin Walsh got the ball out wide and cut inside, and unleashed a shot from 25 yards which gave the keeper no chance. Then five minutes later Hannon got his second with a great finish into the top corner from edge of the box.”
“At that stage I felt the game was over but to be fair Monaghan/Cavan pressed us higher looking for opportunities, but we defended well. Our last two goals were scored by our centre half Shane McCallion both from corners, two headers which capped of a good performance from us. We now look forward to the Harps match in two weeks time.”
UCD had an injury-time wonder-strike from goalkeeper Conor Kearns to stay unbeaten this season, as they came from a goal down to draw with Cork City.
UCD’s manager Maciej Tarnogrodzki said, “Very good point in Cork, it felt like a win because of the way the match ended. Big credit must go to the players who played till the last whistle and pushed to get a result.”
On Conor’s wonder strike in added time Tarnagrodzki said, “It was the 93rd minute and I thought it was our last chance when we won a corner kick. Our goalkeeper Conor Kearns went to help the lads into penalty box and after scrambles and a couple of attempts the ball went up and Conor finished with an overhead kick.”
“We all win or lose matches sometimes in the last kick of the match but this was a special moment with our keeper scoring a winner in that fashion. It was great to be part of it, all the players and parents who travelled to watch the match in Cork were very excited afterwards. You need to enjoy this moments and that’s why football is a great sport.”
Check out Conor’s goal here;
“On the match itself, I thought we started very brightly and we had a clear-cut chance through Yousef Mahdy but the keeper made a good save. First 20-25 minutes of the match were quite even but at the end of the first half Cork started to dominate, but there weren’t any big chances created before half time.”
“In the second half Cork had a good spell for around 20 minutes but our defence controlled by Joe Manley was very good. Unfortunately we conceded in the 66th minute and I think Cork deserved a goal at that point.”
“Our response was immediate when Sean Quinn got behind the defence and produced a very good strike but the goalkeeper again prevented us from scoring.”
“We finished the last 10-15 minutes of the match very strong and especially in the last stages of the match we pushed hard and got a reward with that unbelievable finish by Conor.”
“There are things we need to improve on and from Monday we’ll start thinking about our next game in two weeks’ time”.
“Conor Kearns was a hero today, he is a goalkeeper with very good technical skills and he used them in the match. The whole team showed tremendous character especially after we went behind. The players believed till the end and they were rewarded for that.”
Cork’s manager Stephen Bermingham said, “We performed a lot better than our opening two games, and we created lots of chances. We’re disappointed that we didn’t take another couple of the chances we did create..”
“We had good possession, especially in the second half. While we scored one, we should’ve scored another couple. And obviously UCD scored in the 93rd minute to equalise. Yeah, look it was an overhead kick by the goalkeeper from a corner.”
“While we were very disappointed to concede so late, we should have finished the game off before that. It was a great goal that Conor Kearns scored.”
On a very good UCD side Bermingham said, “UCD have been very strong the last couple of years. They won the U-19 league last year, and are good at U-17 level. The year before that they were challenging at U-19 level as well. UCD have always been one of the strongest teams in the league. We’ve always had great games between us. They’re a very good squad.”
On his own team this season, “We have a number of new players coming into our squad this year, from the U-17’s. Everyone is playing well and training well. We’ve a very good squad. We had a good U-17 team last year, and a lot of players have progressed from U-17’s to U-19’s. It’s a transitional time for most players at the moment, trying to adjust to the step up to the U-19’s. Not only our team, but every other team in the league. We’re very happy with the way training is going. We played better than we had been playing so it’s good.”
Finn Harps remain unbeaten, with three straight victories, after a 3-1 win over Longford Town. Gareth Doherty scored twice for the men from the North-West.
Finn Harps boss Joe Boyle said, “We are delighted to be coming back to Finn Park with 3 points. This victory was vital as it was another building block on the back of a very positive result against Bohemians last week.”
“Longford were very well prepared for the match and posed a lot of problems both in attack and in their defensive organisation.”
“It took two moments of quality from Gareth Doherty and Dylan McCroary to put us into a 2-0 lead at half time. We were delighted to be two up but were concerned about the potential of the Longford attack.”
“Longford started the second half well and got a goal back, but yet again Gareth Doherty added a second to make the game safe from a Harps point of view.”
“Gareth has started the season well and was on the bench for the first team in the League Cup game. If he continues in this form he will find himself in that position more often.”
Gareth himself told us afterwards, “I’m really enjoying my football at harps, with both the U-19’s and the first team. Hopefully we can push on with the U-19’s and go one better than the semi final last year, and hopefully the first team can keep picking up points in the premier division which is a very tough league.”
Longford’s Graham Kane said, “Overall really disappointed with the result. When we look back on the game we gifted Harps three goals from three defensive errors, and there was nothing in the game otherwise.”
“We started the 2nd half much better and got it back to 2-1 as we began to get a foothold in the game. We had the momentum and then we give away a needless free kick and conceded from it, and that killed us.”
“But we will use the game as part of the learning process for our players and move on once they learn from each game I will be happy.”
“Dan Beya was very good for us especially 2nd half. In one against one situations he caused Harps problems, also Jerry Idahor worked really hard and took his goal very well.”
“Credit to Harps they are a well organised team with each player knowing his role within the team. Making three errors to a team like Finn Harps they will punish you, so we will move on and prepare for Bohs away on the 22nd.”
Longford’s Dan Beya said, “We weren’t good enough against Finn harps, we didn’t do the basics and our individual errors cost us both against Finn Harps and Drogheda.”
“We have to keep working, as we have a very good squad with very good players. The likes of Aodh Dervin, who has been one of our best players so far, and Jerry Idahor who is currently our top goal scorer. Our manager Graham Kane and our coaches James Toner, Dylan Mcgeoy and Darren Mcgarry are helping us to improve week in and week out.”
“Personally, everything is going good for me since the start of pre season. I enjoyed the last two months of training and playing matches with the first team during pre-season. I’ve learn a lot from them. I’ve still a year left with the under 19’s so hopefully I can keep up being consistent and help the team win games.”
Shelbourne also remain unbeaten after they beat Derry City 3-0..
Shelbourne boss Wayne Groves said, We are delighted with the result as every player worked so hard.”
“The first half was very even and Derry were a real threat. They caused us a lot of problems but the players stuck to the task and as the half went on we became a real threat.”
“Gabi Aghinita was causing all types of problems and eventually opened the scoring with a beautiful header. Derry upped their game again creating some good chances.”
“In the second half I thought we were much better, our back four were all excellent. In midfield Doyler, Sean Croinn and Adam O’Connell started to take real control.”
“Our second goal was just a ball over the top and again Gabi raced and put it away nicely.
Here is that goal;
“Our third followed quickly after with josh Scully going on a great run down the left followed by a great cross and Jordan Kelly busted a gut to beat the defender to score to end a great day.”
Shamrock Rovers continued their improvement as they won 3-1 against Wexford in Tallaght.
Wexford manager Thomas O’Connor said, “We played well, took an early lead through Dean George, a team goal with a great finish.”
“We had nice passages of play in the next 15 minutes, but to be fair Rovers then showed very good movement and slick passing and for 10 minutes they had us under serious pressure.”
“We committed players forward in an attack which broke down, and fell to their striker on half way who scored with a top class finish to level the game.”
“We had a couple of half chances in the remainder of the half but over all 1-1 at half-time was good reflection on the half.”
“In the second half we increased our tempo and kept the ball better than the first half. We worked tirelessly as a team and had a couple of chances to go a goal up. But with 25 minutes to go Rovers went 2-1 up.”
“We continued to stay relaxed on the ball to try create goal scoring opportunities. We had some good efforts but ultimately could not find the second goal and with 5 minutes to go we went 3-1 down with a good finish by rovers striker.”
“Overall we are disappointed to lose the game and feel we should have come away with what our performance deserved but the main difference was they took their chances very well on the day.”
“The team did well today with performance and energy levels on a scorching hot day in Tallaght. We couldn’t ask for more from them.”
“Eoin Donnelly and Vinny Quinlan today where excellent us as was Martin O’Connor. Danny Doyle was again a major threat going forward, and he made his competitive debut for the first team this week getting minutes in both the EA Cup vs Waterford and the League vs Longford.”
“Within our squad there are many players who are more than capable of making the step up to senior football.”
In the Louth Derby Dundalk were very impressive 5-1 winners over Drogheda United. Cian Flynn scored twice for Dundalk who actually were 1-0 down after 21 minutes. It took Dundalk until the 67th minute to equalise before scoring four goals in the final quarter.
Dundalk boss Martin Connolly was delighted afterwards saying, “Great to have the bragging rights for a while after today’s win. The first half was a really tight affair and both teams only separated by a Nathan Seerey free kick from the edge of the box which gave Drogheda the edge.”
“Dundalk’s cause wasn’t helped by the loss of skipper Dean Watters just before half-time from injury.”
“We really played on the front foot from the beginning of the second half and deservedly equalised when Jack O’Keeffe brilliantly set Cian Flynn in behind the Drogheda defence and he confidently finished. Five minutes later Adam Finnagan hit a scorcher from the edge of the box to put the home side in front and Aaron Townley extended the lead when he dispossessed the Drogheda defence at the edge of the box and finished to the net. The win was complete with further goals from Jack O’Keeffe and a second from Cian Flynn.”
“The second half performance was excellent when we pressed Drogheda high and won the ball back further up the pitch. It was a really good team performance and being honest 5-1 probably flattered us a bit but no doubt we did deserve the victory.”
“Cian Flynn, Adam Finnegan and Aaron Townley drove the side on in the second half but in all a terrific team performance.”
Drogheda’s manager Derek Boyle was understandably disappointed “Obviously really disappointed with how the game ended.”
“First half was a real derby with not much been given away by either side. We went 1 up from a direct free kick that Nathan Seery struck.”
Take a look at Nathan’s goal here;
“We then hit the bar twice and had other half chances. So could have been 3 up instead of one at half time.”
“Dylan had pulled off a great save low to his right which was the only chance they really had in the first half. We were playing good football and I felt we could extend the lead on the second half.”
“Dundalk went very direct in the second half which put us under pressure. But it wasn’t until the 64th min when they got their 1st goal, which in fairness was a great pass that took seven of our players out of the game and good finish.”
“They then got a quick second and we decided to go three at the back which unfortunately didn’t work.”
“To concede 5 goals in the last 25 minutes is very disappointing and Worrying.”
“Mark Doyle got his first start in the first team against shamrock rovers on Friday night and he got the extratime.ie man of the match. Which is brilliant but we badly missed him today.”
“James Carroll had played 70 mins for Ireland against scotland on Thursday and he showed a bit a fatigue.”
“Overall I felt we were the better team in the first half but didn’t take our chances and Dundalk were the best team in second half and took their chances.”
“With another tough game against St Pats in two weeks time we must pick the lads up and work hard on our defensive game, as we’ve let in 9 goals now in two games and that’s concerning. But on a positive note we have scored in every game.”
Galway United got their first victory of the season, after two straight draws, when they beat Cabinteely 3-0. Two goals from Mikey Lynch and one from Evan Coyne gave the Westerners all three points.
Galway boss Nigel Keady told us afterwards, “We were really pleased to get our first win of the season.”
“We took the lead mid-way through the first half following a mistake in the Cabinteely defence, and scored our second from a penalty just before half time.”
Here’s the penalty from Mikey Lynch;
“We were under a lot of pressure at times and credit to Cabinteely for maintaining their level of performance in the second half.”
“Evan Coyne scored a superb individual goal in the final minutes to get our third to give us a flattering 3-0 scoreline.”
“Michael Lynch is a new addition to our squad. Having stepped up from playing local league football with Ramblers FC he put in a performance of good decision making, endeavour and clinical finishing, scoring our first two goals.”
“Maintaining our unbeaten start to the season will be difficult in the weeks ahead but so far we are happy with our performances.”
Waterford and Bray Wanderers played out a 1-1 draw as both sides still wait for their first win of the season.
Bray boss Marc Kenny said, “I’m extremely disappointed for my players who were excellent yesterday.”
“We can see massive improvements on what we are trying to get across on the training ground, which is very satisfying for the staff.”
“We played some nice football and had the majority of possession, creating a lot of chances.”
“Ross Broderick, Connal Flood and Dylan O’Connor deserve special mention.”
St Patrick’s Athletic hammered Athlone Town by six goals to nil as they picked up their second win of the season.
St Pats Garrett Dodrill said, “After a slow start where we didn’t move the ball quick enough and missed a few half chances, a ten minute spell just before half time saw us score four goals.”
“Aidan Keena opened the scoring on 34 mins with a good strike following great build up play by Willo McAdams and Sean Quinn. Josh Hogan then made it 2-0 a minute later, firing in from 20 yards following a superb cross-field pass by Paul Cleary.”
“It was 3-0 After 37 minutes whenJosh Hogan won a 50-50 ball in midfield to put Willo through on goal. He showed a great turn of pace and clever finish to beat the keeper in a one on one.”
“Just before half-time Willo made it 4-0. A throw-in on the left was flicked on by Kerna before Willo jinked past a couple of defenders before firing into the bottom corner.”
“Two more goals in the second half by Jason Grouse and Luke Nolan, both capping off excellent individual performances on the day.”
“I was happy with the display on the day but it’s still a work in progress and we need to improve all over the pitch. Athlone could have scored near the end so we need to improve defensively.”
“I was delighted with Willo’s display on the day. He’s now starting to add goals to his game which is good to see. Technically he is one of the best players in the league and is improving all the time so hopefully he continues putting in the hard work along with the rest of the squad. They were all eager to improve following a very poor display against Shels last time out.
St Patrick’s Athletic
Robert Goggins (Shamrock Rovers)