Cup joy for Joey's
St. Joseph's 2 North End United 1
St. Joseph's came back from a goal down to stun North End United and claim the Wexford and District Schoolboys Soccer Under-14 Cup in Bunclody on Saturday afternoon last.
The Kilmuckridge boys came into the game searching for the double, after wrapping up the Division 1A title weeks ago.
However, they were still underdogs against a North End side that went unbeaten in Division 1 of the league this season.
After the excitement and entertainment of the Under-11 final that preceded this one, the first ten minutes were pedestrian in comparison. In truth, it was two nervous teams, meeting for the first time this season, easing their way into the contest.
North End were first to hit their stride. They nearly created a great chance when Edward Harney hooked a searching Jack Foley cross away.
However, when Alan Mahoney's free-kick created havoc in the box, the ball eventually fell for Josh Howlin to smack home the opener from the edge of the area in the 13th minute.
Moments later Jason Gordon warmed Jack Redmond's hands with a crisp drive from almost thirty yards out. Quickly the tide turned. St Joseph's looked to hit Man of the Match Dylan McEvoy early and North End struggled to deal with his blistering pace.
He got in behind the Wexford town side's defence in the 15th minute and cracked the crossbar.
McEvoy then latched on to Harney's long-ball, was forced wide but still got his shot away and made Darragh Carley clear to safety from under his own crossbar.
The substitutes made a big impact for St Joseph's. When Harvey Warren sent in a dead-ball, after he was fouled on the left in the 34th minute, North End could only clear as far as Jason Wallace and he sent it flying back past Rory O'Brien to the net.
Level-pegging at the interval, St Joseph's came out and completely bossed the second half.
Within eleven seconds of the restart McEvoy forced O'Brien into a save, then Warren followed suit as the Kilmuckridge boys continued to press forward.
McEvoy got away and fired wide in the 41st minute before a fantastic defensive tackle stopped Warren when he looked set to break in on goal. Shortly after two Jamie McDonald efforts skimmed over the crossbar, St Joseph's did find their winner.
There was just fifteen minutes left when Cormac Hammel fought for a ball he had no right to win in the penalty area. His persistence popped the ball up in the air and he attacked it again with aggression, heading a fantastic individual goal over O'Brien to make it 2-1.
North End did have a few shots from distance and a handful of dangerous free-kicks, particularly in the last five minutes. However, they found the St Joseph's defence in resilient form and failed to find an equaliser.
They did, unfortunately end the game with ten men after Jason Gordon was given a straight red card for foul and abusive language towards an official.
It mattered little to a St Joseph's side that looks primed to challenge for the Division 1 title next season.
ST. JOSEPH'S: Jack Redmond; Edward Harney, Jack Twomey, Jason Wallace (capt.), Alan O'Connor; Adam Doyle, Eoin O'Meara; Jamie McDonald, Tomás Whelan, Conor Keane; Dylan McEvoy. Subs. (rolling) - Harvey Warren, Kevin O'Connor, Nikodem Czernik, John Burke, Cormac Hammel, also, Dylan Patel.
NORTH END: Rory O'Brien; Connor Foley, Darragh Carley (capt.), Callum Corcoran, Nathan Romaszewskyj; Alan Mahoney, Jason Gordon, Jack Foley, John Hore; Michael Mackey, Josh Howlin. Subs. (rolling) - Kuba Gowalaski, Barry Browne, Jack Fortune, Brad Walsh, Jack O'Brien, also, Khan Mohammad, Robert Hartigan, Edward Walsh, Killian Harper, Darragh Walsh, Jake McCarthy.
REFEREE: John Diskin.