Rangers grab point they need for glory
Draw in Gorey derby secures league
Gorey Rangers secured the Wexford and District Schoolboys Under-12 Division 3A title by getting the point they needed against a spirited Gorey Celtic in Ramstown on Saturday.
Gorey Rangers B 0 Gorey Celtic B 0
The hosts, leading the league by two points, needed just a draw against their town rivals to claim the silverware but knew that, should Celtic take full points, then the trophy would head across town to Mullanfin.
With the title so finely poised, it was no surprise at all that the first 15 minutes were sheepish, tight and devoid of any serious chances. Playing against the breeze, Celtic set up to contain their hosts and did it with minimal fuss.
Rangers had more of the ball in the opening quarter but struggled to break down the visitors. However, when the first chance of note did come, in the 16th minute, it was no surprise that the boys in red and black created it.
It came from very little, just great strength and determination from Cormac Ryan to fight his way past two defenders. In on Celtic stopper Matt Majeji, the Rangers attacker fired powerfully across goal but narrowly wide.
Good defending stopped Neil Shaughnessy from getting through three minutes later. Then, with the game becoming slightly more open, Jack Nolan volleyed over the crossbar from a left wing Reece Price corner.
Substitute Bradley James hared away at the other end, eight minutes before the break, but Grego Bakcsi came off his line to stop the striker's shot. Moments later, Celtic went even closer when Ben Rothwell's shot cannoned off the inside of the post and away to safety.
Level pegging was probably a fair reflection on an enthralling first 30 minutes, and the second-half promised even more excitement. It didn't take long to ignite, as Ryan Mulligan drilled narrowly over the bar within seconds of the re-start.
Rangers continued to press and had the ball in the net when Alex Cousins got in on Shaughnessy's pass, but the goal was correctly ruled out for offside. The close call did seem to shake Celtic into life.
Ben Rothwell sent Cormac Goodwin away down the left in the 37th minute. He crossed for Artemy Pershenkov to shoot but the striker's effort clipped the crossbar on the way over. Goodwin himself broke through on goal as the third quarter came to an end but again Bajcsi was alert and out to make an impressive stop.
Eventually, Celtic tired from all the pressing and the final quarter passed much like the first, fairly uneventful. Full-time did bring joyous celebrations from the home crowd as the club bagged their first schoolboys title of the season.
Gorey Rangers: Gergo Bajcsi; Adam O'Brien, Jack Nolan, Barry Fitzgerald; Jack Preston, Reece O'Donnell (capt.); Reece Price; Neil Shaughnessy, Cormac Ryan. Subs. (rolling) - Luke Fitzgerald, Ryan Mulligan, Alex Cousins, Vilius Palulis, Conor Reed, Keenan Fitzpatrick, Charlie O'Sullivan.
Gorey Celtic: Matt Majeji; Adam Christensen, Dara Kelly, Brion Doyle; Ben Rothwell (capt.), George Tutty, Oisín Synnott, Paddy Higgins; Nathan Gallagher. Subs. (rolling) - Bradley James, Artemy Pershenkov, Frankie Switon, Cormac Goodwin, Darragh Hayes, Liam Burns.
Referee: Karol Farnyik.