Under 17 League – Northern Elite Division 

Finn Harps FC U-17's
Finn Harps U-17’s

Finn Harps and Dundalk closed the gap slightly to St Patrick’s Athletic, who were inactive, at the top of the Northern Elite Division after wins over Monaghan/Cavan and Derry City respectively at the weekend. 

Harps won 3-1 away from home, however it took a very late goal from substitute Adam Duffy to seal the points for Declan Boyle’s side.

Boyle said, “Delighted to get three points on a very hot and sunny day in Monaghan. We started very well and created a few chances and our first goal came after six minutes. A good move down our left side with our over-lapping left back Darragh Ellison putting in an excellent cross to the back post and Corrie Lee Bogan volleyed the ball home for our first goal.”

“The second goal was a defensive error by a Monaghan defender, who left his back pass short to their goalkeeper and Jamie Brown ran on to it and calmly slotted it home pass the advancing keeper.”

“Monaghan scored a very good goal in the Harps box with a good touch and finish by their centre forward. We created a few more chances without taking them, with Ryan Cunnigham our left winger causing a lot of problems down the left and also Monaghan’s keeper making some good saves as well.”

“Our third goal was a good team move which started down our left side and came across to our wide right, who got to the end line and passed it across the Monaghan goal and Adam Duffy, making his debut scored with his right foot. It was a good finish and made the final score Mon/Cavan 1 – Finn Harps 3.”

“Some of our play was very good and some not so good, but we have a free week next week, so it gives us opportunity to work and improve on our general play for our next match at home in 2 weeks time.”

Monaghan’s Paul Smyth said, “We started the game very poorly to be honest and it was only a matter of time before Harps took the lead.”

“Not long after that another defensive error left us 2 down at half time. We rallied a bit in the second half and Kamil Stachura rifled home his 3rd goal in 3 games to give us some hope.”

“We threatened on occasion without really having any clear cut chances until Harps killed he game off with a 3rd goal.”

“We were below the recent level of performance today so finding consistency is now our challenge. Finn Harps are also a good side, they work hard for each other and I think it’s a good achievement for a regional team to be challenging for top spot in the section.”

Match action from Dundalk v Derry

Dundalk beat Derry City by two goals to nil, and they now sit third in the table. The Dundalk goals were scored by Luke Gorham (who’s now scored 5 goals in his last 5 games) and Mark Traynor.

In the highest scoring game if the weekend Sligo Rovers came out on top in an 8-goal thriller at the Showgrounds
Sligo’s Danny O’Leary told us, “‪Very entertaining game against Shelbourne. Both teams play open attacking football. We got ourselves in front after only two minutes, but a deflected strike got Shels back in the game.”‬

‪”We scored two more goals before half time from set pieces to make it 3-1 at half time. We played ok in the first half and were probably in control of the game after taking our chances really well.”‬

Action from Sligo Rovers and Shelbourne

‪”In the second half Shels came right back into it, when ten minutes in a good finish from Shels winger made it 3-2. Shels kept attacking and we were unlucky on a couple of occasions, but we scored on the break to make it 4-2 with 30 minutes left.”‬

‪”We scored a fifth from another break away with 5 minutes remaining but Shels came back again to score their 3rd with a couple of minutes to go.”‬

‪”It really was an end to end game and credit to Shels they never gave up with Jordan Carroll playing very well in midfield. We play again in a couple of weeks in the cup quarter final, and if this game was anything to go by that will be a cracker.”‬

‪”It was a good week for our lads with 3 wins from 3 games so we’re very happy.”‬
‪Shelbourne’s Stephen Finn said, “It was a very good game and obviously by the score-line it was very open and both sides may have wanted to be a bit tighter defensively.”‬

‪”Sligo always start very well and this game was no exception. They took an early lead but once we settled down I was happy with how we were shaping up.”‬

‪”Kian Delaney equalised with a shot from distance that took a deflection but was well deserved. Jordan Adeyemo then hit the crossbar with a chance that could have put us in front. Unfortunately they scored from a close range free-kick then scored from a corner which is annoying as we’ve been very good at defending from set-pieces this season.”‬

‪”The second half we really got at Sligo and pulled one back when Kian Delaney scored a brilliant finish on the turn but Sligo then hit us on a very good counter which ended with a headed goal to make it 4-2.”‬

‪”Sonny Conway was denied by their keeper Lorcan O’Callaghan, who I’d consider one of the best in the country at this age, and if that had gone in it would have been 4-3.”‬

‪”We were creating a lot of trouble with Adam Maher impressing on his debut but unfortunately we then got undone by a very frustrating goal when momentum was strongly with us.”‬

‪”Jordan Adeyemo pulled another back towards the end to make it 5-3. Overall whenever we play Sligo they are always very even games, they are well-coached with excellent players. We will travel down there in the cup later this month and I can only imagine it’ll be another very good game.”‬

In the midlands ‘El Clasico’ Athlone Town and Longford played out a 2-2 draw.
Longford’s James Dermody said, “Lads started really well and easily could have been 3 to 4-0 up inside the first 20 minutes.”

“Debutant Dylan Steward made a fantastic run down the left wing and beat two defenders before delivering a perfect pass for Dragos Mamaliga to put us 1-0 up.”

“Poor Defending allowed Athlone back into the game and through two errors Athlone took a undeserved lead. Two more errors could have punished us further but thankfully it didn’t.”

“Three players made their League of Ireland debuts yesterday, Ciaran Barry, Dylan Steward and Daniel Luczynski and all played really well, Daniel Luczynski scored the equaliser.”

“Overall I would have taken a point before the game as it’s our first away point this season, but on the overall performance and dominance of this game I’m a little disappointed with the draw.”

“Over the last 3 weeks we have missed 4 of our key players through holidays and injuries and my squad stepped up and performed really well. Only having 14 players a game hasn’t helped but players have gained valuable minutes which will only help their development. Thankfully 4 players are back this week and that will only help support the defensive unit going forward”

Athlone’s Brian McCormack said, “We played very well in midweek against Sligo in a game of high quality but knew today would be a different sort of game, and it turned out that way with very little in terms of quality from both sides. A lot of energy and passion as you would expect from a local derby but only patches of tidy football.”

“Longford took an early lead when good pace and control by Dylan Stewart set up Mamaliga who finished well with the help of some awful defending from us.”

“We equalised mid way through the half when the ever lively Alan Freebourne finished well.”

“We then took the lead early in the second half when TJ Cox evades a few weak challenges to set up Patrick Gantly who scored following a deflection.”

“Longford equalised when a long throw by Wiechec caused havoc and a complete fresh air by our defender allowed Luczynski in to score.”

“Some awful defending from both sides for the goals and equally some awfully strange decisions by the match officials sums up todays game for me. I was happy with our effort and how we battled but after playing some great football in midweek against Sligo Rovers it was very disappointing not to carry it into todays game. A draw, I think was a fair reflection on the game.”

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