Week 6 of the League of Ireland’s Under 17 league has concluded and Finn Harps have joined St Patrick’s Athletic at the top of the Northern Elite Division, while Cork City moved into second place in the Southern Elite Division just behind Shamrock Rovers.
Northern Elite Division
Finn Harps recorded an excellent 1-0 win over Dundalk in Ballybofey thanks to a first -half goal from Niall McGinley. It was a big result for Declan Boyle’s side who travel to play league leaders St. Patrick’s Athletic next weekend. After a nervous start Harps settled well creating a number of good chances during the game.
The only goal came just after the half-hour mark when McGinley got his head to a Corrie-Lee Bogan free-kick at the river end of the Finn Park ground. The win has Harps joint top of the table with 12 points, but St Pats do have a game in hand.
Sligo and Bohemians drew 2-2 with Sligo boss Danny O’Leary telling us, “Our game against Bohs was a great game, end to end, with loads of chances.”
“We had the better of the chances in the first half but didnt take any of them, and allowed Bohs to take probably their only chance in the first half.”
“The second half was quite the opposite of the first half with Bohs having more chances than ourselves. They scored from a rebound after a good free kick.”
“We got back into the game from a free kick which was scored by Mark Byrne. We were then awarded a penalty which Liam Kerrigan scored.”
“After this the game was end to end with both teams going for the win and was a great game to watch.”
“A draw in the end was probably a fair result, but we spoke to the boys after the game and they knew it could have been a different scoreline, if we would have taken our chances in the first half.”
“Bohs had some very good players today particularly the forward players 9 and 10. Overall we’re pleased with coming up to Dublin the last two games and getting two draws. This will give the boys more confidence going forward.”
Derry City were 2-0 winners over Drogheda United as the Candystripes recorded their first League win of the season. Caolan Mc’Laughlin and Eddie O’Reilly were the goalscorers.
Derry manager Gary Duffy said, “Overall we controlled the game as Drogheda had only one shot from long range which our goalkeeper delt with.”
“Their number 9 was best for them as he caused some problems, but it was a great team performance by us.”
“For the first goal goal Caolan volleyed home from 8 yards out to the bottom corner of the net from a cross by Mikey Sweeney.”
“Caolan set Eddie up for our second goal when he beat two players on the right-hand side and slipped the ball across the edge of the box eddie smashed it into the bottom corner.”
Shelbourne also got their first win of the season with a 2-1 win over Athlone, however Shels have only lost once this season and that was to an impressive St Pats side.
Athlone Town welcomed Shelbourne to Lisseywollen Stadium on saturday hoping to improve on last weeks dismal showing in Longford.
However,although the performance was slightly better they could not break down Stephen Finn’s well organised Shelbourne outfit.
Shelbourne started brightly and their impressive left back was causing Athlone problems when getting forward but the Town held solid and as the half wore on they came back into the game.
Athlone’s Brian McCormack said, “We started slowly and allowed Shels dictate the pace of the game, which to be fair they were quite good at. But as we settled our wide players Peter Gillooly and Patrick Gantly were getting some joy down the flanks and created 3 or 4 good chances which we failed to take.”
“We are not taking our half chances and this is something we need to work on.”
Shelbourne took the lead midway through the half as their midfielder was allowed to push forward into the box very easily.
A foolish tackle gave away a definite penalty which was expertly put away to put Shels one up.
“A terrible goal to give up and just when we had a good hold on the game and were pressing forward,” said Brian.
Athlone started the second half well and were soon level. Excellent play in midfield by Brendan Berry put Peter Gillooly through down the left with a superb pass. Peter took it to the byline and his great cross was met by Callum McKelvey whose attempted effort was deflected past his own keeper by the center half for an own goal.
However Shels quickly regained the lead when from a needlessly given away corner. The impressive Shels center back powerfully headed home to score what proved to be the winner.
“We are conceding too many soft goals which could be prevented and need to work on this.”
“It is a huge step up to National League level for some of our young lads, and while their attitude and committment to training cannot be faulted, we need to work on bringing this into real game situations and work harder for each other all over the pitch.”
“It was good for us having Tom O’Carroll back today as he is a very important player for us. We as a club have great confidence in this group of players and will work on improving results”
Southern Elite Division
Cork City came from 2-1 down late in the game to beat Limerick 3-2 and move second in the table. Cian Murphy, Brian Lynch and Cian Bargary were the scorers for Cork.
Limerick’s Derek McCarthy was naturally disappointed saying, “Despite losing the game from a position of leading 2-1 with only 15 minutes remaining there was a lot of positives to take from the game.”
“I thought we played some really good football at times and a bravery to get on the ball under pressure.”
“Having gone behind early on, Keith Ryan got the equaliser from a great cross by Bradley McNamara. Darragh Lowth put us in front with a well taken goal with 15 minutes left, which looked to have got us our first win of the season.”
“However Cork pressed hard and scored two late goals to snatch the win. Dropping points from a leading position is always disappointing and hopefully something the players will learn from.”
Cork manager Brendan O’Sullivan was glad to get the three points, “After a disappointing result and performance in our last game versus Galway, it was important that we picked ourselves back up again for this game and I felt we did that.”
“We made a few changes to the team, as we always do, as getting game time for all under age players is a crucial part of their development.”
“Brian Lynch and Conor Bowdren both came into the team as did Deniel Djomo, all of whom did very well, particularly in the first half when we very much dominated possession and continually hit Limerick on the counter attack.”
“But for the Limerick keeper we could have been out of sight in first half. As it was we had only the one goal to show for our efforts. Another goal from the in-form Cian Murphy who notched his 7th of the season already with a beautiful turn and finish after 10 minutes.”
“In the second half we pushed a bit higher and this perhaps left a bit more room in behind us, with Limerick exploiting this and scoring two quick fire goals at the beginning of the second half.”
“We immediately made a few changes, which had a positive effect on the game. We brought on Rory Doyle, Douwe van Sinderen and Dale Holland, who put us on the front foot straight away by playing forward balls, and getting up to support the front players and get shots away.”
“It was one such shot from Doyle which was deflected home via the head of van Sinderen for 2-2. Centre back Jack O’Sullivan reacted quickest to steer home a loose ball in the box to clinch the points.”
“Overall it was important to pick up the 3 points, however the performance in the first half and the way we responded by coming from behind to winning the game was particularly pleasing.”
“Jack O’Sullivan and Jamie O’Sullivan were excellent at the back while Cian Murphy was once again always a threat and unlucky not score a few more on the day.”
Cobh gained revenge on the Kerry League, after the Cup defeat in midweek, by winning 2-1. Jaze Kabia with the winning goal.
Cobh’s Damien Rowe said, “Yeah good result in the end. Conceded again against the run of play in the first half, but a great reaction against a Kerry side who made it a physical battle today, which thankfully we matched.”
“We pushed on in the second half and an early goal from Connor O’Leary gave us a good platform to push on and make our possession count.”
“We limited Kerry to few chances even though a last ditch tackle from Conor Drinan stopped them from a certain equaliser.”
“I’m happy with the whole squads response to Wednesday’s cup disappointment, but best on day for us were Arthur Nguegou, Conor Walsh, Conor Drinan and Jaze Kabia.”
Kerry’s Darren Aherne said, “Everyone is disappointed with the league defeat to Cobh. I suppose to put it in context, Wednesday was this groups first win away from home at this level, and to ask for two wins away from home against the same opposition in 5 days was always going to be a big ask.”
When asked if revenge was on the minds of the Cobh players Aherne said, “There was always going to be an element of revenge for the team that lost Wednesday night’s cup game, and despite taking the lead Cobh displayed great team spirit to come back and take the points.”
“We had a great chance at 1-0 up and another at 1-1, so again it shows the players at this level it’s all about fine margins, and being clinical in front of goals when those chances are created.”
“Dillon Robinson again got our goal, and he is an excellent finisher and has been working really hard at his game since the start of the season, so hopefully we will continue to create the chances for him to finish.”
“We have Limerick at home on Sunday and the lads are really looking forward to this one and playing in front of the home support again.”
“So we will plan for Sundays game at training this week and welcome Limerick to Mounthawk Park at 2pm on Sunday.”
UCD and Waterford played out a 2-2 draw.
Oisin Knox and Ciaran Brennan had the blues 2-0 up but Luke Hannigan and Daniel Bruce levelled things up for the students. Promise Omochere was sent off for UCD.
Speaking after the match Waterford manager John Furlong said told Waterfordfc.ie “It was definitely a case of two points dropped and feels like a defeat to me to be honest. Hopefully the lads will have learnt their lesson today.”
“We got ourselves 2-0 up and probably should have been three or four in front. We were in total control of the game before giving a sloppy goal away just before half time.
“If we had got into the break at 2-0 it was game over. The goal was sloppy but we’ve been conceding sloppy goals and normally what has got us out of games is that our finishing has been good.”
“We seen it today, we could have been three or four up by half time having created plenty of chances. You can’t keep wasting them opportunities, good teams will come back to punish you and whilst they didn’t have many chances they took the ones that came their way.”
Furlong continued, “We didn’t really show an ability to manage the game. I thought second half was even enough, they had a player sent off which you thought would have made it easier for us but our game management was poor. We couldn’t keep the ball and we weren’t clever enough to keep UCD at bay.”
“What disappointed me more was at 2-1, they were piling on the pressure, we looked a bit leggy and tired, but as soon as they equalised we got a new lease of life so I’ve put the question to them – where do we get that from?”
“If we had shown that energy at 2-1 we probably would have seen the game out. It was a very warm day today and we had played three games in a week but I think I’m making excuses really. It’s probably inexperience but they should have seen the game out.”
“Our lads have to learn that in this league you have to keep going right to the end and take your chances, because even just before they equalised we had a fantastic chance to go 3-1 up and that would have been it, but you get punished when you don’t take your chances.”
Wexford had an excellent 3-1 win over Bray Wanderers.
Wexford’s Derek O’Brien said, “Delighted with the win today. 3-1 is probably a bit flattering as Bray made life very difficult.”
“We got off to a great start with Liam Berry scoring from an Adham Masood cross after only 4 minutes. Bray struck the inside of the post before we had a penalty turned down for hand ball.”
“Second half again was close but we managed to increase our lead with a ball into the back post from Adham for Kyle Kennedy to score. Bray got one back after a deflection off one of our defenders beat the GK. But within 5 minutes we had a two goal cushin again with a third assist from Adham for Caellum Travers Devlin heading home at the back post from a corner.”
“The game was close throughout with chances both ends so credit to both sets of players for a cracking game in very hot conditions. I was delighted with how the lads responded after losing in the cup midweek. This gives us two wins in a row in the league so hopefully things are starting to click.”
Stephen Burke (Bohemians)
Finn Harps FC
Cobh Ramblers FC