Under 17 League Round-Up (Northern Elite Division)

St Patrick's Athletic U-17's
St Patrick’s Athletic U-17’s

St Patrick’s Athletic bounced back from their mid-week cup defeat to Waterford with a comfortable 4-1 win over Athlone Town as they continue to set the pace at the top of the Northern Elite Division of the Under 17 league. 

Anto Purdy continued his hot goalscoring form as he struck twice, while a Keith Carter effort from all of the 30 yards out followed by a Jake Walker goal gave Pats all three points. They now sit nine points clear of Finn Harps in second.

St Pats boss Jamie Moore was delighted after the win, “We are really happy with another good performance and some really good goals. We created enough chances in both halves to win by more and we’ll need to tidy up our finishing around the box as the season progresses.”

“Saying that, our goalkeeper Jack Kelly made two outstanding saves at 0-0 early in the match which proved to be very important on his first start having joined us from Cabinteely in the break.”

“Anto Purdy scored twice, a great one on one finish and an excellent header, while defender Keith Carter scored an absolute worldie from about 25 yards into the top corner to make it 2-0. Jake Walker got the 4th.”

St Patrick's Athletic goalscorers
Goalscorers Anto Purdy, Jake Walker and Keith Carter

“We were disappointed to concede in injury time, having played so well, I hate giving away sloppy goals.”

“But overall a very good performance to bounce back from our first defeat of the season in the cup against Waterford and we’ll prepare now for Drogheda away in 2 weeks.”

Finn Harps thrashed Longford Town by six goals to one at the City Calling Stadium, after having been 1-0 down to a Joe Hakan goal early in the game.

Finn Harps manager Declan Boyle said, The score flattered us a bit on the day. The score-line at half time was 1-0 to Longford. The first half was very even, with both teams creating chances and both teams struggling to adjust to the very wet and fast conditions of the excellent pitch.”

“Longford scored their opening goal, which was a bad mistake by our centre-back, who was looking to play out from the back. After receiving a pass from our goalkeeper he lost possession and Longford scored from 8 yards out with a good finish.”

“Finn Harps made the break through after 10 minutes in the second half, a good delivery from a corner, allowed Darragh Ellison to attack the cross at the near post and finish it off the cross bar and into the net.”

“Our second was scored by Ryan Cunningham, after good work down our right side, and a good cross into the box and coolly slotted home by our left winger Ryan Cunningham.”

“The third came from another corner and Jamie Brown, from a second phase ball headed over the goalkeeper and into an empty net.”

“The fourth was another headed goal at the back post by Niall McGinley and the fifth was an own-goal from a Longford town defender. Our last was a good move down our left hand side, a great delivery and finished well by Jack O’Donnell at the near post.”

“Longford played well in the first half and worked extremely hard and deserved their lead at half time but we played well in the second half, created and scored six goals and deservedly won the game.”

Goalscorers for Finn Harps U-17's
Finn Harps goalscorers

Longford’s James Dermody, “It was a game of two halves, we played really well in the first half and took a deserved lead, had a couple of chances to get a second and didn’t take them”

“Around the 60th minute mark Finn Harps made two substitutions and that changed the game. They wanted it more than us and that proved the case, we didn’t show up and to be honest for the first time this season we quit and as bad as the result was the team quitting was harder to take”

“I don’t believe for a second the score line matches the game, Finn Harps deserved to win, but by this margin I really don’t think so, the 6th goal was a freak OG.”

“We will regroup on Tuesday and start our build up our next game”

“Declan has done a great job with his squad and I think they have a great opportunity this season of going all the way. The didn’t give up and they had the ability to change up the gears when needed”

Dundalk we’re comfortable 4-0 winners over local rivals Drogheda United. Their goals coming from Peter Shields, Mark Traynor, and Kevin Kelly with two.

Drogheda’s Barry Sanfey said, “Obviously we’re disappointed with the result but there were a lot of positives to take from the game.”

“It’s been a difficult period for the lads, losing a manager mid-season wasn’t ideal and having someone new come in is going to take some time to adjust to. To be fair though the lads have been great and their dedication has been fantastic.”

You can watch all the goals from Dundalk’s 4-0 win here;

“We started the game really well and created a number of chances which we should’ve taken at least one of. I felt the opening goal came against the run of play a bit and it was always going to be a battle to get back into the game. In the end I think Dundalk were just that bit more clinical in front of goal and we didn’t take our chances when they arrived.”

“We had some great performances around the park and were able to have a couple of lads returning from long term injuries back in the squad. We’ll dust ourselves down and continue to build on the positives going forward.”

Derry City had a huge 5-1 over a Shelbourne side who recently lost some players to their Under 19 side. The defeat was a blow to Shels chances of making the end of season playoffs

Shelbourne manager Stephen Finn said, “We’ve moved six up to the U-19’s full-time now. Talented striker Jordan Adeyemo was also with them on Saturday. We had three lads making debuts plus first starts for two more. These players will be eligible next season too so will have learned a lot from this game.”

“Derry have strengthened in my view and had an excellent run in the Foyle Cup so are full of confidence and will give the Mark Farren Cup a real crack.”

“We were ok at 1-1 then let in two poor goals before half-time. The second half saw us start really well but as usual not getting the goals our work should be reflecting. Derry got a good fourth goal then hit us on the break for a fifth so a tough day at the office but we’ll learn from it.”

Sligo Rovers stayed in the mix for the final playoff spot with a 5-0 win over the Monaghan/Cavan Partnership. 15 year-old Jack O’Connor scored a hat-trick while Luke O’Reilly and tough defender Thierry Baba also scored for Danny O’Leary’s side.

Sligo manager O’Leary said, “A good result against a hard working Monaghan/Cavan team. We played some good football at times but looked tired after the busy schedule recently.”

“Luke O’Reilly scored an excellent goal half way through the first half, Thierry Baba added a second a couple of minutes later and then 15 year old Jack O’Connor got his first of the game with a good team goal.”

“In the second half Monaghan/Cavan came into the game a bit more, had a couple of breaks and threatened to score but Jack O’Connor scored 2 more goals with 2 excellent finishes.”

“Credit to Paul Smyth and the Monaghan/Cavan players as they had a long journey over to us and are improving, getting stronger and they will give teams tough games this season. All in all happy with the result and we move on to the cup semi final next week.”

Monaghan/Cavan’s Paul Smyth said, “We were well beaten today by an impressive young Sligo side. We were two down after 19 minutes and it’s difficult from then on.”

“I had said before about how we had improved, but in recent weeks we have dropped our levels and in this league especially against the better sides you will be punished if your levels are below par.”

“We said to the lads after the game that they are very brave to step up to this level and I’ve no doubt the nature of this season will stand to every one of them as they move forward on whatever football path they take. We approach the latter end of the season now and we have to believe we can pick up another couple of wins before we finish.”