Under-19 year ends on losing note
Wexford Youths slumped to a disappointing three-goal defeat to Cobh Ramblers in their final SSE Airtricity Under-19 league game at Ferrycarrig Park on Saturday.
With the midfield dominant through the 90 minutes, Cobh enjoyed the lion's share of possession, and but for some fine goalkeeping from the home side's Dylan Furlong, coupled with a couple of dreadful misses, their winning margin would have been far greater.
The frustration in the Youths' play was evident. They found it difficult to settle on the ball, with the result that they gave away far too much possession. They resembled a side which had known its league fate before the game, as they did not offer even one direct shot on goal through the course of the 90 minutes.
Cobh Ramblers pulled the strings from the opening minutes. Having built some promising attacks down both flanks, they came close to opening the scoring when Chiedozie Oghere had a fine left-footed effort saved down at the left-hand post by 'keeper Furlong.
But it was an indication of what was to follow, with the Youths confined to quick counter-attacks and only midfielder Paul Brennan threatening in some driving runs through the centre, leading to one effort from 20 metres going over the top.
There was no doubting that Cobh were the better side but they were finding it increasingly difficult to breakdown the home side's back four where first team regular Ryan Delaney was a commanding figure. While both Denzel Fernandez and Garvan Mackey came close with efforts, the sides still went in scoreless at the break.
But the Cobh boys increased the tempo of their game on the resumption, taking complete command. Within three minutes of the re-start they broke the deadlock.
Having dealt decisively with a Youths corner kick, they broke quickly down the right, leading to George Gill playing a great ball into the path of Pierce Phillips who raced through the centre of defence to plant a low right-footed shot beyond the reach of Furlong into the corner of the net. That made it 1-0, a deserved lead for the visitors.
Paul Brennan of Youths was unlucky not to find the target minutes later but his header from a Darryl Power cross went just over the top. Both Conor McCarthy and Aaron Drinan should have done better with headers from a few metres out, having got on the end of well-directed Garvan Manley free kicks, but they increased their lead in the 68th minute from a Conor Ellis penalty.
Eight minutes later they made sure of the points when Aaron Dinan stayed just onside before drilling a low right-footed shot to the net to make it 3-0.
Wexford Youths: Dylan Furlong, Neil Murphy, Conor Sutton, Ryan Delaney, Darren Dempsey, Seamus Casey, Conor Maher, Paul Brennan, Eoin Donnelly (Adam Doyle, 70), Darryl Power, Dean George (Davy Doyle, 78). Also: Glen Pullen, Adam Barnes, Eoin McDonald, Andy Wall.
Cobh Ramblers: David Coffey (inj., Adam Mylod 45), Kevin Taylor, Garvan Murphy, Conor McCarthy, Cian Coleman, George Gill, Denzel Fernandez (Conor Ellis, 68), Pierce Cullen, William Phillips (Craig Donnellan, 69), Aaron Drinan (inj., Eli Khadi-Harrington, 82), Chiedozie Oglene (Ross Welly, 69). Also: Alex O'Brien, Daire O'Riordan.
Referee: Brian Fenlon (Wexford).
UNDER-19 SECTION 1 FINAL LEAGUE TABLE