Under-17 side denied place in knockouts
Wexford Youths' SSE Airtricity Under-17 League campaign ended in disappointment as they were outclassed by talented table-toppers Cork City in Bishopstown on Saturday.
With two games to go the Youths were still in with a shout of qualifying for the quarter-finals, but successive defeats against Waterford United two weeks ago and Cork City in this final tie of the group put paid to their last eight hopes.
However, they will look back on their slow start rather than their recent losses as the main reason that they fell just short of lining out in the knockout stages, earning just one point from their first four games, before going on an incredible run of eight games unbeaten, chalking up six wins and two draws in that impressive period.
On Saturday the Slaneysiders fell behind to a Cian Leonard goal early on but responded positively when Danny Doyle hit the back of the net to level matters moments later.
The Rebels came agonisingly close to restoring their advantage in the 40th minute when Cian Murphy outpaced the Wexford defence but saw his effort come back off the post.
City did get their noses back in front just short of the hour mark when substitute William Armshaw made an instant impact by going on a penetrating run before setting up Cian Murphy to fire home.
On 64 minutes Cian Leonard gave the home side some breathing space when his brilliant first-time volley from a James Fitzgerald cross found the back of the net.
Substitute Douwe Van Sinderen added their fourth in the 83rd minute when he slotted the ball to the net from close range after it fell to his feet following a corner, and Eoin Davis completed the scoring deep into injury time with Cork City's fifth.
Cork City: Conor Hogan, Gordon Walker, Ronan Hurley, Mark Brosnan, James McSweeney, Brian Mulcahy, Ronan Hennessy, James Fitzgerald, Alec Byrne, Cian Murphy, Cian Leonard. Subs. - Ian Giltinan, Dylan Scott, Eoin Davis, John Browne, Reuben Henry, Douwe Van Sinderen, William Armshaw.
Wexford Youths: Adam Dunbar, Michael Molloy, Jack Bates, Michael Carroll, Cian Larkin, Ronan Devereux, Kieran Murphy, Stephen Hempenstall, Ronan O'Kelly, Danny Doyle, Ivan Meegan. Subs. - Conor McGrath, Vinny Quinlan, Martin O'Connor, Cormac Kehoe, Adam Rochford, Ryan Hollick, Adam Dempsey.
UNDER-17 SECTION 1 FINAL LEAGUE TABLE