CASTLELACK won the 2021 SuperValu West Cork Schoolboys and Schoolgirls U13 Premier Group 3 title on the final day of their league campaign.
The race to become U13 Premier Group 3 champions in a reduced WCSSL summer season saw Castlelack outlast Beara United, Bantry Bay Sparta and Togher Celtic in a round-robin competition.
A tightly-fought group began with Castlelack registering a hard-earned 3-2 win away to Togher Celtic. Naoise Leahy and Bryan Gash were amongst the goals that afternoon with an own goal completing the visitors total.
Another away trip, this time to Castletownbere, saw Beara United inflict a 2-1 defeat of the eventual Group 3 champions. Bryan Gash was on the scoresheet for the second successive game but Liam Steele and Rory O’Neill strikes put Beara firmly in the title picture.
Bantry Bay Sparta travelled to Lauragh in early July but were unable to prevent the hosts from recording a deserved 3-1 triumph. Naoise Leahy twice found the net in a game Bryan Gash continued his excellent individual season. Jak Petrov replied for Sparta.
Castlelack reaffirmed top spot in the U13 Premier League group courtesy of a 4-0 win at home to Togher on July 24th. Top scorer Bryan Gash continued his hot streak by netting a brace with Naoise Leahy and Donncha O’Mahony completing the winners’ total.
The U13 Premier League Group 3’s most important fixture took place in Lauragh in early August with the visit of second placed Beara United. Both teams contributed to an outstanding match in which Bryan Gash underlined his importance to the home team by scoring all three goals in a 3-2 win. Rory O’Neill and Odhran Minihane were on target for a battling United. That result meant Castlelack needed to avoid defeat in their final group game away to Bantry Bay Sparta to become champions recently.
Credit to the Kealkill club for putting in a commendable effort and leading 1-0 at half-time thanks to a Christopher O’Shea goal. Things were looking bleak for Castlelack until that man Bryan Gash headed home in the final minute to earn his side a 1-1 draw. A point was enough to take Castlelack’s season total to 13 from a possible 18 points and top spot in a competitive U13 Premier Group 3.
The newly-crowned champions must now turn their attention towards the upcoming SuperValu U13 Cup. Castlelack has every chance of causing a shock or two in what is a wide-open knockout competition.
The title-winning 2021 Castlelack U13 squad includes Rory Curtin, Jack McCarthy, Mark Kelleher, Petru Oprea, Michael Manning, Patrick Clancy, Donncha O’Mahony, Sean Platt, Naoise Leahy, Jack Chambers, Bryan Gash, Eoin Sexton, Hugh Perrott, Matthew O’Neill, Joe Hayes, Sam Long, Aidan O’Keeffe, Isabel Cahalane and Fionn Collins.