Quinlan inspires U-17s to their first win of campaign
Wexford Youths produced a scintillating second-half performance to earn their first win in the SSE Airtricity Under-17 League in a sunny Ferrycarrig Park on Sunday.
Wexford Youth 4 Cobh Ramblers 1
The skill and pace of Vinny Quinlan down the right wing caused all sorts of problem for the Ramblers defence and the Wexford attacker sugar-coated a superb second 45 minutes with two goals to help his side to a fully-merited triumph.
Conor McGrath also hit the back of the net for a rejuvenated Youths while substitute Ciarán Murphy put the icing on the cake with a wonderful curling effort from the edge of the area.
The hosts have been guilty of the odd defensive lapse in previous games and it looked like their old failings would come back to haunt them when they gifted Cobh the opening goal in the 38th minute.
However, they responded well to the setback and in the second-half produced the kind of display they have been threatening to since the season kicked off.
In truth the home side were unlucky to be behind at the interval because they had given as good as they got in the first-half as both sides struggled to create clear-cut chances.
Adam Rochford did have a sniff of a chance in the 13th minute when he raced on to a perfectly weighted through ball from Ronan Devereux but goalkeeper Dan Ruddy was out quickly to smother the shot.
Seconds later Ivan Meegan shot narrowly wide with a speculative long-range effort and he tried his luck again nine minutes later with a similar result.
Cobh's first real attempt of note came in the 36th minute when Rob Slevin tamely headed a Cameron Hendry free-kick straight at Youths goalkeeper Adam Dumbar, but two minutes later they were ahead.
There looked to be no danger but a self-inflicted wound from a dawdling Wexford defence saw the ball fall to Killian Murphy, who made no mistake from 12 yards.
It was a bitter blow for the Youths, having looked comfortable up to that point, but their spirited response was commendable and they came out after the break with a real fire in their bellies.
Five minutes in they came close to making the breakthrough when Adam Rochford headed a Vinny Quinlan cross wide.
The lift they needed came on 61 minutes when the ball fell kindly for Conor McGrath and he drove a left-footed strike to the corner of the net. Three minutes later the Youths were ahead and this time it was the superb Vinny Quinlan who did the needful.
After a McGrath free-kick came back off the wall it found its way to the feet of Quinlan and he blasted it to the back of the net to put the home side ahead.
Cobh Ramblers had no answer to the drive and passion of the home side and Quinlan put the game to bed in the 84th minute when he controlled a Ciarán Murphy cross and calmly found the back of the net.
Murphy got in on the scoring act himself four minutes later with the goal of the game, curling in a beauty with his right foot from the left-hand side of the area to cap a satisfactory afternoon's work.
Wexford Youths: Adam Dunbar, Michael Molloy, Martin O'Connor, Michael Carroll, Cian Larkin, Ronan Devereux, Vinny Quinlan, Conor McGrath, Adam Rochford, Ronan O'Kelly, Ivan Meegan. Subs. - Ryan Hollick for Larkin, Ciarán Murphy for Rochford, Michael Gardiner for O'Kelly, Steve Hempenstall for McGrath, Danny Doyle for Meegan.
Cobh Ramblers: Dan Ruddy, Steve Sharpe, Danny Lucey, Ciarán Couch, Cameron Hendry, Dylan Wentz, Killian Murphy, Matthew Lamb, Alex Smith, Killian Cooper, Rob Slevin. Subs. - Liam Milner for Slevin, Jamie Kent for Smith, Dan Maloney for Lamb, Colin Lemass for Steve Sharpe.
Referee: Brian Fenlon.