SKIBBEREEN overcame Togher Celtic to win the West Cork U15 Schoolboys Cup in Togher.
Horrendous weather conditions, complete with hailstone showers, couldn’t prevent Skibbereen from completing an U15 Schoolboys Premier League and Cup double.
Last weekend’s rearranged cup decider took place on Togher’s home ground following a coin toss to decide the venue for the end-of-season clash.
Both teams entered the clash in decent form having impressed in the earlier rounds.
Skibb defeated Clonakilty AFC 4-2 in the last eight ahead of a memorable cup semi-final with Drinagh Rangers. The U15 Premier League champions were pushed to the limit by the Canon Crowley Park side before emerging 5-4 winners.
Celtic’s path to the final proved equally treacherous. Ardfield took Togher to extra-time (1-1) in a closely-fought quarter-final before the latter booked their semi-final berth after a penalty shootout (4-1) triumph. Celtic started as underdogs against Kilmichael Rovers in the penultimate round but registered a deserved 2-1 win to set up Saturday’s showdown with Skibb.
Both teams deserve credit for producing such an entertaining final despite nasty weather conditions. A scoreless opening half preceded a second period in which Skibbereen got to grips with the occasion and scored three times without reply.
Dylan Heaton-Jones, Adam O’Donovan and Luke O’Sullivan got their names on the scoresheet to cement a 3-0 Skibbereen cup final success.
Despite the defeat, Matthew Hurley, Conor Horgan, Daniel O’Sullivan and Shane O’Sullivan played superbly for a Togher team that performed admirably throughout. Shane McCarthy, Aaron Buckley, Aaron Dempsey and JJ O’Brien were the pick of Skibbereen’s top performers.
Last Saturday’s U15 cup final victory put the seal on a superb season for the Baltimore Road club. Skibb claimed the 2022 Premier League trophy following a year-long battle with Kilmichael Rovers, Ardfield and Drinagh Rangers. A mere three points separated the top four ranked clubs in the final league standings. The champions’ record of five wins, two draws and a solitary loss was enough for Skibb to edge Kilmichael by a single point for the title.
Adam O’Donovan finished the season as Skibb’s top scorer with 18 goals in all competitions. Donagh Courtney, Dylan-Heaton Jones, Tadgh Garrett and Conor O’Brien also weighed in with some important strikes for the U15 age-grade’s double-winners.
Skibbereen: Ciarán Bohane, Jamie Byrne, Byron Daly, Conor Hurley, Shane McCarthy, Paddy Collins, JJ O’Brien, Aaron Buckley, Aaron Dempsey, Dylan Heaton Jones (co-captain), Luke O’Sullivan, Tadgh Garrett, Ronan Collins, Eoin Whooley, Donagh Courtney, Jack Heaton Jones, Danny O’Donovan, Adam O’Donovan (co-captain), Conor O’Brien, Sean McCarthy, Odhran Herlihy, Rory Foley.
Togher Celtic: Shane O’Sullivan, Matthew Hurley, Callum Murray, Eamon Crowley, Brian O’Sullivan, Daniel O’Sullivan, Niall Owens, Conor Horgan (captain), Conor McCarthy, Euan Lehane, Ryan O’Leary, Cillian McCarthy, Killian Collins, Connie Noonan, Jason McCarthy, Jack Smith, Ogie Walsh, Matthew O’Neill, Ethan Hurley.