THE West Cork Schoolboys and Schoolgirls League lost 2-1 to the Cork Schoolboys League in the SFAI Kennedy Cup in Lyre last Sunday.
The WCSSL achieved a third-placed finish in Group E of the revamped SFAI Kennedy Cup despite a gutsy showing at home to Cork.
Amid extremely difficult weather conditions, a tight first half remained scoreless until Cork grabbed the lead just seconds before the interval. West Cork rallied but the visitors continued to look threatening and made it 2-0 after ten minutes of the second half.
Creditably, the WCSSL kept pressing forward and were rewarded with a goal five minutes from the end. Skibbereen’s Adam O’Donovan made no mistake from the penalty spot to halve the deficit. There wasn’t enough time to grab a late equaliser however, and Cork ran out 2-1 winners. O’Donovan, along with Lyre’s Jack Hennigan and Skibbereen’s Paddy Collins stood out for the home side.
That outcome and a third-place group finish behind Cork and Clare, but ahead of West Waterford East Cork, sees West Cork went into the hat for the SFAI Kennedy Shield competition - and they will face Dundalk next.
‘I think the lads did really well considering the conditions,’ West Cork coach Áine O’Donovan stated.
‘Credit to Lyre Rovers for such a good pitch, too. The lads were up for the occasion and knew what was at stake in a local derby. They did West Cork, their clubs and themselves proud and should hold their heads up high.
‘One of the biggest positives we took from the Cork performance was the attitude of our players. They put in a performance and did West Cork proud. We have played this Cork team many times in the past and were defeated by much wider margins. So, the gap (in quality) is getting smaller each time and the lads are looking forward to the Kennedy Shield now.’
The West Cork squad included Jack Hennigan (captain, Lyre Rovers), Donnacha Hennigan (Dunmanway Town), Jack Coomey (Castlelack), Adam Sexton (Clonakilty AFC), Adam O’Donovan (Skibbereen), Dylan Heaton-Jones (Skibbereen), Luke Murphy (Clonakilty AFC), Paddy Collins (Skibbereen), Mike Crowley (Lyre Rovers), Fintan O’Brien (Bunratty United), Mark McCarthy (Drinagh Rangers), Alex Coughlan (Drinagh Rangers), Olan Murphy (Lyre Rovers), Jamie Dullea (Dunmanway Town), Rory McCarthy (Lyre Rovers), Jason Murray (Lyre Rovers), Eoin Keohane (Riverside Athletic), Euan Lehane (Dunmanway Town), Gearoid Coughlan (Bunratty United) and Matthew Daly (Riverside Athletic).