Bantry Bay and Riverside celebrate league victories
BANTRY Bay Rovers and Riverside Athletic wrapped up the 2018 SuperValu West Cork Schoolboys League U14 Premier and Division 1 League titles following an elongated season.
The Kealkil side hosted second placed Bunratty United in a midweek U14 Premier League fixture where Rovers needed to avoid defeat to capture the trophy. In-form Bunratty began brightly until the concession of a contentious penalty presented Bantry Bay with an early opportunity to break the deadlock.
Eoghan O’Sullivan has enjoyed a terrific season in Rovers’ colours and took responsibility for the spot kick, finding the bottom corner to edge Bantry Bay 1-0 in front. Despite travelling with only available 12 players and five of those U13, United pushed forward in search of a leveller but the score remained unchanged at the half time whistle.
The second period saw a more settled Bantry Bay build on their lead with Eoghan O’Sullivan netting his second of the evening to make it 2-0. O’Sullivan put the seal on a standout individual display with his and Bantry Bay’s third to wrap up the title.
Best for Bunratty United included Finian Hogan, Lorcan O’Brien, Conor Brosnan and Darragh O’Reilly while Eoghan O’Sullivan, Robert Cronin, Alan Kelleher and Gearoid Cronin were the pick of the newly crowned U14 Premier League champions’ best players.
The Bantry Bay Rovers U14 panel includes Sean Power, Ben Horgan, Alan Kelleher, Rob Cronin, Darren Harrington, Cillian O’Brien, Eoghan O’Sullivan, Paddy Cronin, Gearoid Cronin, Eoin O’Neill, Joey O’Sullivan, Sean Cronin, Ronan O’Sullivan, Soni Gaffney, Dan Andrews, John Bryden O’Connell, Ciarán O’Sullivan and Kyle O’Leary.
Both Riverside Athletic and Dunmanway Town finished joint-top of the 2018 SuperValu U14 Division 1 League table on identical records of seven wins, one draw, one defeat and 22 points. A play-off was required to decide the championship as goal difference does not come into account in the WCSL.
Two evenly matched squads faced off against one another in the neutral venue of Canon Crowley Park last Saturday evening where extra-time and penalties would be utilised if required. A superb game saw Riverside and Dunmanway produce plenty of attacking endeavour during a scoreless first half before the floodgates opened shortly after half time.
Dunmanway’s Aaron Mannix produced a superb save to deny Cian Kennefick from the penalty spot but Olan Corcoran reacted quickest to the rebound and edged Riverside 1-0 ahead. Athletic doubled their advantage 20 minutes into the second period when Eoghan Mangan turned the ball in from a corner.
Creditably, Dunmanway Town pulled a goal back when Gavin Farr saw a goal bound free-kick saved and Aaron O’Connor tapped in from close range to halve the deficit. Despite applying plenty of pressure, the Mohona side were unable to breach Riverside’s back four and the Castletownkenneigh-based club held on for a 2-1 win.
The Riverside Athletic U14 squad includes Eoghan Collins, Brian Crowley, Ian O’Donovan, Conor O’Sullivan, Jack Hilliard, Eoin Cullinane, Olan Corcoran, Stephen O’Connell, Eoghan Mangan, William Hennigan, Cian Kennefick, Patrick Collins, Patrick O’Driscoll, Colm Sexton, Darragh Ryan, Joshua Ross and Harry Ross.