Week 5 of the Under 17 League threw up some interesting results, with Galway United beating Cork, Bohemians beating Drogheda, Derry holding Dundalk, Cobh and Limerick drawing 2-2 and UCD holding Shamrock Rovers to a 0-0- draw.
Galway United had the returning Cillian Doyle to thank for their 1-0 win over Cork City.
Galway’s Alan Murphy, “Today’s game was a real test for our squad against a fine Cork side full of quality and endeavour.”
“Cork were well organised and carried a real threat goimg forward. Conditions were difficult on the day with a strong breeze blowing throughout. I’m delighted with the win but more importantly the performance of the players.”
Goalscorer Cillian Doyle came back into the team after suspension and had an excellent performance which was capped off with getting the vital goal.”
Liam Og Horkan came in to make his first start and didn’t look out of place. Dean Murphy worked tirelessly all day and is maturing with every game he plays at this level.”
Attention now changes to the Mark Farren Cup midweek which will give us an opportunity to assess our squad strength and physical conditioning.”
Cork’s Brendan O’Sullivan said, “It was a very frustrating game from our point of view. Galway were strong and we knew that they would set up to be hard to beat.”
“What was frustrating for us is that the game could have been put to bed early, however we squandered numerous very good chances before Galway even settled into the game.”
“We had very strong words with the lads at half time as we felt that we were not showing the desire and commitment we expect in any performance from a Cork City team,” said a disappointed O’Sullivan.
“It was a real lesson for some of the boys that talent and skill isn’t enough on its own, and without hard work and determination we felt Galway out fought us in a couple of areas.”
“Overall it was another poor game, not helped by very strong wind, lacking in any real quality. Either team in the end could have scored 2/3 goals, which again is an indication that it was sloppy and untidy overall, which is most disappointing.”
“We have trained well since the game on Saturday however and the lads are determined to learn from this experience and to continue to improve, and we are hoping for a better performance against Limerick this weekend. ”
Wexford got their first win of the campaign after a 2-1 win over Athlone Town.
Wexford manager Derek O’Brien said, “We are obviously delighted to get our first win of the season, we had been waiting a while for it.”
“We lost to a very strong Shamrock Rovers team last week but we felt that we could have won two of our first three games, so it was important to finally get the win.”
“Our opening goal came from Adham Masood in his first start of the year following injury, so that was great for him.”
“Unfortunately a mistake lead to Cabinteely getting one back before half time. Oscar Smith scored our second after setting up Adham for the first.”
“Cabinteely threw everything at us for the ten remaining minutes but we held firm to see out the victory. ”
Cian Foley was immense for us today, both in defence and also when he moved up into midfield. Although as yet we have not had full squad due to injuries, it is great that all players have now started two of the first four games showing the depth and strength we have. We now look forward to a big game on Wednesday night against local rivals Waterford FC in the cup.”
Bray Wanderers and Waterford played out a 1-1 draw as both sides remain near the top of the Southern Elite Division
Limerick let a two-goal lead slip to draw 2-2 with Cobh Ramblers. Limerick are still winless this season.
Limerick’s Derek McCarthy said, “A frustrating day at the office. Its never enjoyable to see your team lose a lead twice in a game. It’s even more difficult when, in particular the first half, the game should have been out of sight of Cobh.”
“But as expected Cobh battled hard and capitalised on our poor defending.”
“This league is about the development of players and part of that development is game management. Conceding immediately after going 2-1 up late in the game is something hopefully this group will learn from.”
“It was a solid enough performance with no real stand outs. It was nice to see young Jack Joyce get a goal. He has worked very hard in training since his come in and as he begins to develop physically we will no doubt become one of our top performers.”
Cobh’s Damien Rowe said, “I thought a draw was fair result in the end as it was a game of two halves.”
“Limerick were the better of the two sides in the first half with a strong wind behind them.”
“It was a sloppy goal to give away from a ball over top, as our two centre-halves didn’t deal with it and their number 9 held off Sean Hayes, who in turn brought him down for a penalty.”
“We upped the tempo in the second half and our persistance paid off with Dylan Walls scoring after a number of good chances.”
“Dylan was one of a triple subsitution with Luke Quinn and Ross Slevin impacting the game when replacing Conor O’Leary, Cameron Harlson and Loic Nguefang.”
“Our fourth sub Conor Drinan was combining well down the left with Kyle Murphy, and after we failed to clear a simple ball they closed us down in our box and retook the lead with a 1 on 1 inside our box.”
“We responded well two minutes later with the impressive Jaze Kabia finding the back of net after a great move down the left. Jaze went on to hit the crossbar and post but we failed to find the winner.”
“Best on day Jaze Kabia Arthur Nguaou and Dylan Walls.”
Shamrock Rovers, who were missing some players due to International call-ups were here to a scoreless draw by UCD. Rovers weren’t hampered too much, as they still lead the Southern Elite Division by four points.
Finn Harps moved into the top half of the Northern Elite Division after a 3-0 victory over Monaghan/Cavan.
Harps boss Declan Boyle said, “Obviously delighted to get three points and another clean sheet against a stubborn Monaghan/Cavan team.”
“It was a tricky match, played in difficult conditions, with a strong breeze not helping either team.”
“Finn Harps had a few half chances in the first half but it was not until the second half that we made the breakthrough. Good combination play down our right side, and a excellent cross from advancing full back Keelan McGill resulted in James Carolan heading in at the back post to break the deadlock.”
“The second goal was a good move and well taken goal by Finn Harps captain Ryan Cunnigham, who played a good one two with Jamie Brown, with Ryan coolly passing it by the advancing Monaghan/Cavan keeper at the near post.”
“The third was a good finish by Jamie Brown, he was played in by James Carolan and at the second attempt, he blasted it to the net.”
“Monaghan/Cavan played well on the day, worked very hard and made life very difficult for the Finn Harps team.”
“Best for Finn Harps was James Carolan, Jamie Brown, Mark Walsh, and Ryan Cunnigham. A good team performance by Monaghan/Cavan.”
Monaghan’s Paul Smyth said, “We got ourselves into a great position at half time on Saturday, going in level and with the wind in the second half.”
Seven minutes into the half we switched off completely from a cross from the right hand side, and two young Harps players were unmarked in the box for a simple finish.”
“It was a tough blow after working so hard in the first half.”
“Harps are a direct side with a lively trio up top, and very much like their manager Declan Boyle as a player, gave nothing away cheap at the back.”
“We have not been totally outplayed by any side even though our results might suggest that.”
“Again we saw an improvement from last week and we look forward to Derry in two weeks time with confidence.”
Shelbourne drew 2-2 with Sligo Rovers, Ali Regina and Sonny Conway with the Shelbourne goals.
Bohemians had a 4-2 victory over a Drogheda United, with two goals from Sobe Nwaokolo plus strikes from Lido Lotefa and Aaron Lynch. The win puts Bohemians into second place in the Northern Elite Division, just one point behind leaders St Patrick’s Athletic.
Derry city surprised many by holding Dundalk to a scoreless draw.
Longford Town beat Athlone Town 2-1 in the youth El Classico with goals from Cian Cheevers and Dragos Mamaliga.
Longford boss James Dermody said, “We took a deserving lead in the 22nd minute after dominating the early exchanges. Most of the first 15 minutes was played in the Athlone third so we were really happy with our start.”
As the half progress Athlone had a period of 10 minutes before the half where they had all the possession but never really threatened our defensive unit.”
“Our compactness was excellent and kept Athlone in front of us for long periods without any real penetration of our lines.”
“The second half Athlone came out strong and pressed us really high with a front 3, this allowed Athlone to create a few opportunities and a deflected effect finally beat our keeper in the 71st min to equalise.”
“We shifted our shape from a 1-4-1-4-1 to a 1-4-2-3-1 and this really stopped any breaking of our lines.”
“We took the lead five minutes later with a set play, Conall McKeirnan sending in a cross that was finished off by Dragos Mamaliga. Athlone had a lot of possession after this but the didn’t penetrate our units.”
“Real scrappy game, typical local Derby with neither team wanting to lose. We showed great fighting spirit today and got what we deserved out of the game”
“First Half we controlled the possession marginally but in the second half Athlone had over 60% of the possession but really struggled to penetrate our units. We kept our shape and discipline well and worked extremely hard to gain a well deserved three points”
“Squad is growing and gelling really well together and continue to develop which is our ultimate goal. Although the win is nice it’s about overall performance and we need to learn to take our opportunities and kill games off when in control, we nearly threw away a game earlier in the season when dominating and again today we should have scored a few more in the first half and with a little bit more composure on the ball we would have”
“Athlone are a solid squad and showed that in the second half when a few subs added a instant impact to their game and really did take the game to us. When they equalised it was deserved. Thankfully we didn’t drop our heads instead we stood up and worked hard to regain the lead”
“Now we switch our focus to the cup match against Galway on Wednesday and look forward to the next experience”
Athlone’s Brian McCormack Having beaten Derry City away the previous weekend we travelled to the City Calling Stadium full of confidence in getting a result.”
“However, what followed was probably the worst performance this group of players have put in for quite a while,” said McCormack.
“We just did not perform at all which was most disappointing. Having watched Longford’s game v Finn Harps we knew what to expect and worked on it in training but sadly on the day we failed to deal with them and never got going ourselves.”
Longford took the lead midway through the first half when a long punt from the home keeper, with the aid of a strong wind, was allowed to bounce twice in the Athlone area and finished by the lone attacker in the box.
Athlone introduced Callum McKelvey at the break and soon after Callum equalised with a neat finish. That was as good as it got for Athlone as soon after another long ball into their box was not dealt with and resulted in another goal for Longford.
“I was really annoyed and disappointed with our performance and attitude in the game. Absolutely no positives from this game for us, maybe Callum getting off the mark for the season was a plus for us. We will work hard in training this week and be ready for Shelbourne next weekend, where hopefully we can get back on track”
Vinny O’Connor (Galway United)
Stephen Burke (Bohemians)
Longfird Town FC
Lumerick City FC (Instagram)