West Cork SL 1
Clare SL 5
GER McCARTHY REPORTS
FOUR Eoin Duff goals secured Clare a deserved Subway SFAI Munster U16 Championship victory over West Cork at the Baltimore Road.
Group 2 was delicately poised ahead of kick-off with both West Cork and Clare level on a point apiece behind leaders South Tipperary. Victory for either team in their final group outing would confirm a semi-final berth making for a high-tempo start.
The hosts, with only six members of their original squad and including many U15s, found themselves under pressure in the opening minutes as a physically stronger Clare team made their attacking intentions clear.
West Cork goalkeeper Micheál Sheehy had to be quick off his line to deny Eoin Duff during the early exchanges but was powerless to prevent the Clare striker from flicking the ball into the net from a corner after nine minutes.
Duff had a terrific game and dribbled past three defenders before slipping the ball home on the quarter-hour mark. Only a brilliant Micheál Sheehy finger-tip save denied Joshua Williams a goal prior to Eoin Duff completing his hat-trick courtesy of a thunderous effort from outside the box on 27 minutes.
West Cork were much improved in the second half, enjoying longer spells of possession and going close to pulling a goal back before Clare’s Daniel Katsulyak unleashed a magnificent 25-yard effort into the top corner to make it 4-0 and put the result beyond doubt.
Creditably, the WCSL got the goal their second-half display warranted when Jack Kevane was brought down in the 18-yard box and James O’Neill converted the resulting penalty.
Micheál Sheehy produced a series of saves during the closing stages prior to Eoin Duff capitalising on a defensive lapse to net his fourth and Clare’s final goal of the afternoon.
A midweek SFAI meeting will decide what happens next it has since emerged that Clare and South Tipperary never played their scheduled Group 2 fixture earlier in the campaign. Should West Cork be promoted to second position in the group then they will face Cork in an SFAI U16 Championship semi-final or else Limerick Desmond in the last four of the SFAI U16 Shield.
West Cork Schoolboys League: Micheál Sheehy (Skibbereen), Matthew O’Donovan (Drinagh Rangers), Robert McCarthy (Castlelack), Darragh Kelly (captain, Togher Celtic), Jamie Hourihane (Skibbereen), Harry Oates (Ardfield), Aidan Rundel-Muller (Skibbereen), Peadar O’Rourke (Ardfield), Jack Kevane (Skibbereen), James Lynam (Lyre Rovers), Aaron O’Driscoll (Riverside Athletic).
Subs: Finn Moroney (Lyre Rovers), Ciarán Santry (Ardfield), Niall Keane (Ardfield), Isaac Harte (Skibbereen), James O’Neill (Skibbereen).
Clare Schoolboys League: Kyle McKiernan, Paddy Doherty, Jamie Stack, Harvey Cullinane (captain), Dylan Barry, Jamie Griffin, Lee Clohessy, Daniel Katsulyak, Johusa Williams, Eoin Duff, Fillip Ryzmek.
Subs: Seon Olanrewjo, Eoin Walsh, Joe Murphy.
Referee: David Hall.