Sweeney strike sends West Cork U15s into All-Ireland National Schoolboys Trophy final

May 12th, 2023 6:30 PM

By Ger McCarthy

The West Cork Academy U15 schoolboys team that defeated Inishowen 1-0 to secure an SFAI All-Ireland National Trophy final appearance against Carlow next Saturday.

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TIM Sweeney’s winning goal secured the West Cork Academy’s place in this Saturday’s SFAI All-Ireland National U15 Schoolboys Trophy final.

David Hall’s side made the long trek to Buncrana in Donegal for an U15 Schoolboys Trophy semi-final last Sunday.

The Inishowen Schoolboys League were West Cork’s opponents in an SFAI last-four encounter following the latter’s recent quarter-final triumph away to Wexford. 

Tim Sweeney (2), Joe McCarthy and Jack Browne strikes cemented a superb 4-0 win at the expense of Wexford last April. That win set up a meeting with Inishowen and an even longer trek up north as West Cork went in search of an SFAI Trophy final berth. 

As expected, there was little between the sides during the majority of a semi-final that was goalless at the break. 

The tie’s opening goal would prove crucial and the visitors netted it with sevem minutes to go. Jerry O’Leary and Tim Sweeney exchanged passes before Kilmichael Rovers striker Sweeney fired home from the edge of the penalty area.

Inishowen hadn’t enough time to muster a response and West Cork ran out deserving 1-0 winners on a day Ronan Hayes, Shane Hallihan and William Doyle impressed. 

All roads lead to Evergreen Park in Kilkenny on Saturday where the West Cork Academy will face an in-form Carlow Schoolboys League side in the SFAI All-Ireland National Trophy decider (3.45pm kick off). Carlow should prove difficult opponents considering the Leinster side defeated Wicklow 6-0 and Midlands Blue 5-0 en route to the final.

‘The team literally travelled the length of Ireland to grind out an important win and book our place in an SFAI All-Ireland final,’ West Cork Academy U15 Schoolboys manager David Hall said.

‘In a very tense affair Inishowen stifled us for large periods by packing the midfield. The introduction of Shane Hallihan from Skibbereen proved a decisive change for us. Things began to open up allowing us to venture more into the Inishowen half.’

West Cork Academy U15 Schoolboys: William Doyle, Ronan White, Finn O’Mahony, Ronan Collins, Jack Browne, Conor Vassallo, To Whooley, James Maguire, Padraic Hegarty, Tim Sweeney, Adam Barry, Ryan O’Boy, Conor O’Brien, Shane Hallihan, Eric Hicks, Joe McCarthy, Aaron White, Jerry O’Leary.

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