INNISHVILLA U16s claimed the Cork Schoolboys League First Division title in some style following a comprehensive 5-0 victory over local rivals Bandon at an impeccable Jake O’Donoghue Park in Innishannon recently.
Innishvilla were determined not to let the club’s opportunity of winning this prestigious title for the first time slip and were superior side right from kick off.
Centre forward Tom Madden continued his good form by improvising well to volley the home side ahead after just six minutes following a well-placed cross from Charlie Lyons on the left.
Busy midfielder Sean Barry added a second in the tenth minute when he fired in a Charlie Lyons knock-down from an excellent cross by flying right back Darragh O’Shea.
Winger Stan Russell then added a third just two minutes later when he finished superbly from the edge of the box following another lay back by Charlie Lyons.
Villa had a let-off in the 21st minute when a fine Niall Lawton save from a Bandon free-kick was hacked to safety by a brave and alert Shane Lynch, who dived in to block what looked to be a certain Bandon score.
Just three minutes later the hard-working Dan Lordan put Cork U16 player Charlie Lyons through with a deft overhead kick and he made no mistake in coolly firing low to the keepers left.
Villa didn’t let up in the second half and continued to dominate and played some excellent football, but a combination of a resilient Bandon defence and some near misses ensured that the score remained the same until the 72nd minute. Darragh Keane then pounced when he anticipated a loose ball from a fine save by the ever busy Bandon goalkeeper, before expertly slotting home a well-deserved score.
Villa saw out the remainder of the match comfortably, ensuring that the U16 First Division league cup would make its way west of Cork for the very first time.
Bandon, hampered no doubt by a number of absentees on the day, tried hard and defended superbly at times, but with more at stake for Innishvilla they were just the sharper on the day.
In truth it was no less than what a very talented and dedicated bunch of Innishvilla U16 players deserved. The fact that this Villa team were unbeaten in a very competitive league all season, winning 13 from 14 – lashing in 54 goals while conceding just five – tells its own story.
For a West Cork-based team to dominate their more traditional city cousins, such as Rockmount, Carrigaline, St Mary’s, Avondale, etc., shows that the hard work being done at underage level by the Innishannon club is now beginning to reap rewards.