Forth show class
Under-11 crown wrapped up in style
Forth Celtic wrapped up the Wexford and District Schoolboys League Under-11 Division 1A trophy with a classy performance against St. Cormac's in Boolavogue on Saturday.
Forth Celtic 7 - St Cormac's 1
The Murrintown boys required a victory in either of their last two games to clinch the silverware but they only needed the one opportunity as a brace apiece from Sam Norval, Lewis Martin and Liam Donoghue set them on their way to glory.
St. Cormac's have shown real improvement as the season has gone on, picking up a handful of draws since the turn of the year. It was easy to see that in the opening exchanges as the visitors struggled to get the better of their hosts.
With Sophie Kirwan, Fionn Walsh, Ben Rossiter and Byron Keane energetic in the middle of the park in support of Jason Carolan, and the trio at the back of Eanna Swords, Tristan Whelan-Byrne and James Donnelly looking solid, St. Cormac's repelled several attacks.
Rossiter brilliantly headed off the line from Jack Mullan's shot, Luc Farrell hit the post from Lewis Martin's pass with the goal gaping, and Sam Tyrell made several solid stops between the sticks.
There was nothing the home goalkeeper could do in the tenth minute when Nathan Murphy, Norval and Martin all combined is a slick move that ended with Norval flicking a deft shot to the rigging.
Donnelly somehow hooked Martin's shot off the goal-line five minutes later but it was two moments after when Norval's cross deflected to the net off Tristan Whelan-Byrne. Jack Mullen intercepted a kick-out and raced away to make it 3-0 just before the interval as Celtic stormed clear.
It took just a minute of the second-half for Martin to get his second goal after Liam Donoghue's initial shot was blocked. The disappointment didn't last long for substitute Donoghue who finished a move involving Murphy and Martin seconds later.
Five became six-nil nine minutes into the period when Martin went around Tyrell and found the net. Yet, the longer the game went on the more the St. Cormac's confidence grew.
The visiting defensive trio of Oisín Kehoe, Luke Denny and Joe Mernagh were absolutely outstanding and gave up nothing in a superb first-half. However, a moment of magic, which came when Fionn Walsh crossed for Sophie Kirwan to volley in, ended their bid for a clean sheet eleven minutes after the change-around.
Harry Quirke made good saves from Walsh and Byron Keane to prevent St. Cormac's from notching a second. There was a final goal to come; the cherry on the cake was placed by Liam Donoghue in the final minute when he netted from long range to wrap up a fantastic season for Forth Celtic.
Star man - Nathan Murphy (Forth Celtic): unlucky not to get in on the scoring act himself but was excellent as provider and helped his side dominate the middle of the park.
Forth Celtic: Harry Quirke; Oisín Kehoe, Luke Denny (capt.), Joe Mernagh; Nathan Murphy, Luc Farrell, Jack Mullan, Sam Norval; Lewis Martin. Subs. (rolling) - Aodhán Collins, Thomas Connick, Cillian Gondard, Eoin Ormond, Josh Whitty, Liam Donoghue.
St. Cormac's: Sam Tyrell; James Donnelly, Tristan Whelan-Byrne (capt.), Eanna Swords; Fionn Walsh, Sophie Kirwan, Ben Rossiter, Byron Keane; Jason Carolan. Sub. (rolling) - Callum Whelan-Byrne.
Referee: Ger Cleary.