No Sinners after Saint’s Clash:
National Cup u16’s Final: St Brendan’s Park 0-2 St Kevin’s Boys:
As expected when two teams with the word Saint in their names the song ‘When the Saints go marching in’ got an airing after the game. Sadly from a Kerry point of view it was the Saints from Kevin’s that marched to victory past the Saints of Brendan’s Park!
But not before the Kerry side ran the Dubs very close and on another day and with a bit of luck this game could have gone the other way. Played on the excellent Wayside Celtic grounds in Dublin there was a huge Park support to cheer on the history making squad who were the first from the League to make it to a National Cup final.
And it was The Park that opened brightly and began harrying their Dublin counterparts all over the field. Gearoid Savage and Emmanuel Abubaker were doing well in midfield and following a good movement involving these two and Fergal Ryan it led to Luke Moynihan shooting just wide.
However, when St Kevin’s got into their stride they showed how dangerous they can be. Ross Nally was the first to go close. Then Nally crossed for Neville Keegan whose volley was well saved by Conor Hurley in the Park goal.
This began a personal battle between these two. In the 20th minute the Park defence dithered on the ball and Jamie Gray picked out Neville who looked odds on to score but Hurley did very well to push the ball away. This led to a succession of corners but the Park defence stood firm.
With limited possession Jesse Stafford Lacey was showing his class in midfield and he almost played Ferdia O’Brien in but Tracey was quick off his line. Ryan again went close after Karl Mullins set him up.
However in the 30th minute St Brendan’s Park’s hopes suffered a big blow. Eoghan Morgan had gone forward from the back for a corner and when the Park didn’t clear quickly enough he robbed the defender and crossed for Keegan. The striker did very well volleying overhead. Hurley flung himself full length to his left and got a strong hand on the ball but was very unlucky to see the ball rebound off the post and into the net.
The Park went about wiping out the lead before the break and came close when a Stafford Lacey free kick looked like it was going get over the St Joseph’s wall but it just clipped the last player.
The second half was again played at a hectic pace and both sides were creating half chances. Karl Mullins and Fergal Ryan were trying hard to get in behind the St Kevin’s defence but this was a well drilled back four.
The Park’s back four were also standing strong with Jamie Clifford and Stefan Okunbor both outstanding while Gearoid Savage was letting nothing pass while also looking to be creative going forward.
As the game ticked on The Park brought on Andrew Philips, Kieran Carmody and Sam Tarrant and the latter almost made an instant impact but pushed the ball just too far ahead and the chance was gone.
St Kevin’s were being pushed back and Okubor beat a number of defenders and could have shot but opted to pass and the ball was cleared. As The Park pushed for an equaliser they were caught in the first minute of injury time when Trevor Clarke pounced on a loose ball and shot home to wrap up the Cup for St Kevin’s.
The Park and their management were devastated but speaking to Graham O’Sullivan and David Magee afterwards they were fiercely proud of their charges. “The boys have been brilliant all year and did everything we asked of them. Yes we came up a step short but we showed we can live with the biggest and best clubs and the future for these players is bright. Roll on the U17 National Cup next season!!”
Park: Conor Hurley, Stefan Okunbor, Gearoid Savage, Ferdia O’Brien (Andrew Philips 74 mins), Jamie Clifford, Segun Duylie, Luke Moynihan (Kieran Carmody 64 mins), Emmanuel Abubaker (Sam Tarrant 60 mins), Fergal Ryan, Jesse Stafford Lacey, Karl Mullins.
Subs not used: Sean Collins, Alan McElligott, Gary Howard, Simon Lonergan.

WFAI 16’s Cup 1st Round:
Killarney Celtic 5-2 Tulla:
Killarney Celtic’s u16 girls are into Round 2 of the WFAI Cup following a hard fought 5-2 win over Tulla from Clare. The home side were 2-1 down at half time but the girls put in a big performance in the second half to get through. Fiadhna Tagney scored twice, with Kate Stack, Lauren Rintoul and Hannah O’Donoghue netting one each.
Showing how dangerous Tulla were Celtic keeper Carmel Looney was in outstanding form to keep her side in the game and the Hoops defender Christine Cooper was one of the players of the game.