Bohs rise in style
Sweet success after big leap in class
They might have been improbable victors but that makes taking the Wexford Soccer League Youth Division 1 title all the sweeter for champions Wexford Bohemians.
The Drinagh-based side struggled to third from bottom of Division 3 last year and were still moved up two levels to Division 1. Manager Davy Byrne might have been a little worried about the leap in class for his side but he needn't have fretted.
With the additions of David Clarke and Stephen Lyne from Glynn Barntown, Bohs were stronger, meatier opponents for their rivals and they set about showing it right away. In their opening game they came away from a good Duncannon side with a draw despite missing a few regulars.
From that point on Bohs won all nine league games but there were some epic battles along the way.
They led Shamrock Rovers 4-0, only for the Fr Murphy Park boys to pull it all the way back to 4-4 before the champions grabbed a winning fifth goal.
They also played two tight games against runners-up Oylegate.
The first, a 4-2 win, was closer than the score suggests while Bohs needed just a point from their final game against their title rivals and scraped a 1-0 victory to claim the silverware in style.
On the field Shane McGrath led from the front as captain and top scorer.
Seán Grayson was immense and took the club's 'youths player of the year' title while Ryan Byrne, as the youngster of the first eleven, shone bright with a string of great performances.
Aaron Lambert, who initially only came in from Crossabeg to join the second team, ended up playing a starring role for the firsts.
A special mention for that 'B' team which came a very creditable second in Division 4.
The crown of winners will sit particularly pretty considering the poor season that their adult first team suffered after losing 17 of their 20 Premier Division ties on their way to relegation.
Squad: Aaron Goodison, Aaron Lambert, Aaron Roche, Adam Buckley, Alex Bergin, Alex Brady, Alex Lohier, Ben Walsh, Cian O'Keeffe, Conor Bolger, Conor Walsh, Cormac Jones, Craig Kelly, Darragh Goodison, David Clarke, Jack Redmond, Jarlath Molloy, John Lacey, Jonathan Conway, Lee Dryburgh, Luke Browne, Matthew Creane, Paul Bailie, Paul McManus, Ryan Byrne, Seán Grayson, Seán Hopkins, Seán O'Brien, Shane McGrath, Stephen Kearney, Stephen Lyne, Tom Matthews.
Managers/coaches: Davy Byrne (A), Stephen Flood (A), Leighton Walsh (B), Kenny Ruttledge (B).