FAI Youth Inter-League Cup
WEST WATERFORD/EAST CORK 1
The TSDL secured their opening points in the FAI Youth Inter-League Cup with a confidence boosting victory against West Waterford/East Cork at Celtic Park, Clonmel last Saturday.
Following the TSDL’s 7-0 defeat in the opening game away to Waterford, manager Peter Sullivan was hoping his charges would produce the goods against a West Waterford/East Cork side and from kick-off took the game to the visitors.
However, WWEC had an inspired ‘keeper in Brian Aherne producing a string of saves throughout the ninety minutes, which prevented the TSDL from repeating the 11-0 hammering inflicted last season.
As early as the second minute the WWEC ‘keeper was called into action punching away from a John Carew centre into the area. Then Carew, supporting winger Michael Connolly, combined to set-up Luke Trimble who had his shot turned around the post by Aherne for the opening corner-kick in the 8th minute. Carew again with one of his over-lapping runs centred for Ashley Laslett but Aherne knocked out his half volley for yet another corner-kick in the 15th minute. The WWEC net-minder then punched clear efforts from Aidan Croke and Darren McGrath as the half-hour mark passed.
However, the valiant efforts of the ‘keeper couldn’t help the WWEC in the 37th minute when the TSDL eventually broke the deadlock. A long clearance from Luke Trimble found Ashley Laslett and he showed determination and close ball control as he avoided three despairing tackles before beating the ‘keeper from a very acute angle.
Two minutes later, an out-swinging corner-kick by Darren McGrath saw WWEC defence under pressure to clear and the ball broke to Rory Maher who drilled it low into the corner of the goal through a crowd of players to give the TSDL a 2-0 interval lead.
Expectations were high in the TSDL camp that the floodgates might open after the changeover as they tried to improve their negative goal-difference in the Group, but it was not the case. WWEC keeper Aherne continued where he left off in the opening half producing reflex saves in the opening five minutes of the half from Aidan Croke and Rory Maher. Then it was the turn of Harry O’Connor who skipped past two tackles as he ran into the box but his cut-back was cleared by both defender and keeper as Darren McGrath was about to pull the trigger.
The TSDL continued to press but were knocked back on their heels when conceding a needless free-kick, bringing down one of the WWEC better players Pedro Enrique on the edge of the penalty area in the 67th minute. The resultant set piece by David Williams saw TSDL ‘keeper Liam Lanigan, a mere spectator the majority of this game, misjudge the flight of the ball as it came down off the underside of the crossbar and was bundled over the line.
That was a wake-up call for the TSDL, who quickly regained their composure and that two-goal advantage in the 72nd minute. From a Darren McGrath strike from 20 yards, Brian Aherne produced a brilliant diving save pushing the ball around the post for yet another corner-kick and from an Ashley Laslett in-swinger, John Carew saw his shot stopped by Aherne but an alert Darren McGrath was on hand to finish from close range.
With the TSDL pilling on the pressure they made it 4-1 in the 84th minute. Michael Connolly was fouled in the penalty area and from the resultant spot-kick, John Carew coolly sent the ‘keeper the wrong way. Over the final minutes, the inspired WWEC net-minder went on to produce further saves from Ashley Laslett, Sean Breen, and David Finnane denying the TSDL improving their goal-difference. With the Kilkenny League drawing with Waterford, only victory against the Cats will do, if the TSDL are going to progress the knockout stages.
P W D L G/D Pts
Waterford 2 1 1 0 + 6 4
Kilkenny 2 1 1 0 + 3 4
TSDL 2 1 0 1 - 4 3
WWEC 2 0 0 2 - 4 0
TSDL: Liam Lanigan, John Carew, Harry O’Connor, Luke Trimble, John O’Connor, James Casey, Aidan Croke, Rory Maher, Darren McGrath, Ashley Laslett, Michael Connolly
Subs: Michael Nugent, Sean Breen, David Finnane, Danny Hogan, Graham Kelly, John Keating (GK)
WWEC: Brian Aherne, Owen Sweeney, Jamie Keating, Andy O’Riordan, Jordan Sherlock, Pedro Enrique, Gerry McCarthy, Jason McCarthy, David Williams, Jake O’Dwyer, Shane O’Riordan
Subs: Brian Sheehan, Joe Johnston, David Toomey, Sean Toomey, Jason Flynn, Tom Power, Matthew Darcy (GK)
Officials: J. Maguire, T. Maher, M. Freiberg (all Tipperary)