Rangers hold out
U-16 Cup secured despite dismissal
Ten-man Gorey Rangers added the Wexford and District Schoolboys Soccer Under-16 Cup to the Under-15 trophy they won last season with victory over Forth Celtic in Curracloe on Saturday.
Gorey Rangers 2 Forth Celtic 0
The Ramstown boys were leading 1-0 courtesy of Cillian Gilligan's goal when Jordan Redmond was given a straight red card for striking out at Celtic substitute Michael Codd. Yet, despite a few nervy moments, they kept their composure and eventually added a second through Clive Keenan to secure the Eddie Tennant Memorial Trophy.
For long spells the Murrintown side matched their high-flying opponents and they were particularly unfortunate to go in at the interval trailing.
Indeed, had Eoin O'Leary's close-range shot from Ben Maddock's cross skimmed under the crossbar rather than over just before half-time the result, and destination of the trophy, could have been different.
Kyle Firman cut in from he left and forced Darragh Brookes into a smart save in the early stages before Dan O'Brien flashed a shot over the crossbar as Forth Celtic started with the bit between their teeth.
In fact, it was with Gorey's first real chance in the 28th minute that they took the lead. An inch-pefect through ball by Yaw Aboagye spilt the Celtic defence down the middle, allowing Cillian Gilligan to nip in and coolly slot his shot past David Murray.
Keith Crosbie's strike was blocked as Rangers looked to make it two but O'Leary's effort was even closer to levelling matters five minutes from half-time. Gorey were thwarted again just before the break when Aboagye nipped in after good work by Gilligan and his shot was smothered by an in-from Murray.
If Forth Celtic felt hard done by when trailing at half-time, they didn't show it in their attitude on the field and started the second period brightly.
A lovely move down the right involving Kyle Firman and Jake Devereux ended with Ben Maddock flashing an effort narrowly wide of Brookes' right post.
Redmond's sending-off 13 minutes into the half gave the underdogs renewed hope. Adam McLoughlin's rocket from outside the penalty area was well held by Brookes and Michael Codd's strike was blocked as Celtic pressed.
However, Gorey slowly settled with ten and looked the more likely scorers, with Murray making impressive saves from Aboagye and Ciarán Murphy before Adam Cantwell cleared off the line from Gilligan.
The pressure finally told with nine minutes remaining when Vincent Quinlan slipped Clive Keenan in on the right and he kept his cool to fire Rangers to cup glory.
Star man - Vincent Quinlan (Gorey Rangers): bossed the midfield from the centre in the second-half and set up the clinching goal for Keenan with nine minutes left.
Gorey Rangers: Darragh Brookes; Eoghan O'Neill, Eoin Cullen, Michael Molloy, Rory Heffernan; Keith Crosbie, Vincent Quinlan, Ciarán Murphy (capt.), Jordan Redmond; Yaw Aboagye, Cillian Gilligan. Subs. - Niall Murphy for Crosbie (67), Clive Keenan for Aboagye (67), also Dylan Fleming, Craig Fox.
Forth Celtic: David Murray; Rory Cullen, Adam Cantwell, Philip Dempsey (capt.), Adam McLoughlin; Daniel O'Brien, Ben Maddock; Andrew Kennedy, Kyle Firman, Eoin O'Leary; Jack Devereux. Subs. - Michael Codd for Cullan (41), Alex Gondard for McLoughlin (68), also Paddy O'Toole, Cristóir Reville, Páraic Reville, Scott Keating.
Referee: John Diskin.