Monday 22 January 2018

Hayes heads Joey's to U-15 league title

Campile denied extra-time in play-off

Dean Goodison

St. Joseph's celebrate their play-off success in Fr Murphy Park on Wednesday
St. Joseph's celebrate their play-off success in Fr Murphy Park on Wednesday
Darragh Roche of Moyne Rangers puts pressure on Luke Greene (Gorey Rangers)

Substitue Shay Hayes headed St. Joseph's to Wexford and District Schoolboys Soccer Under-15 Division 3 title glory with 21 seconds of normal time remaining in Fr. Murphy Park on Wednesday.

St. Joseph's 2 Campile United 1

The play-off, needed after the Kilmuckridge side and Campile finished level in the table, looked to be heading for extra-time until Glenn McEvoy drove to the byline on the left and dinked a cross to the back post where Hayes was waiting to nod to the empty net.

The goal came at the culmination of a stunning final 14 minutes. Campile seemed reasonably comfortable until McEvoy hared away down the right and forced a powerful shot past unlucky United stopper Neil Ennis in the 66th minute.

The equaliser to Jim Wallace's first-half goal set off a period in which chances came freely at both ends. Campile went close when Darragh Kent's shot was deflected inches wide and even closer when Nathan O'Hanlon somehow scraped the ball off the line when Danny Nolan looked certain to score.

St. Joseph's weren't without opportunities themselves before Hayes claimed the winner. Eoin Murphy flew away on the right wing, got behind the defence and shot across goal and wide, while Callum O'Reilly thumped a rocket from the left into the side-netting. In the end those misses didn't matter.

The dramatic finish was at odds with a tight, tense opening 60-plus minutes. Defences were most definitely on top with both clubs sparring for long spells. It really was the quintessential clash of two very evenly-matched sides.

Campile had the better of the opening quarter but didn't really manage to test Ben Bunyan in the St. Joseph's goal.

That was until Darragh Kent released Wallace on the right in the 30th minute. The winger twisted and turned to make a yard of space and cross to Nigel Dunne-Sheriff whose header was clawed out of the top corner by the diving Bunyan.

Seconds later Wallace reacted quickest to a Nathan Dixon clearance that rebounded off a fellow defender, raced in on the Joseph's stopper and calmly slotted a right-foot finish to the net.

The champions probably shaded the game from that point on with Callum O'Reilly and Ryan Leacy going close before the late, late show won the game for St. Joseph's and left an unfortunate Campile despondent.

Star man - Glenn McEvoy (St. Joseph's): Just when his side needed a hero, McEvoy stood up to be counted with the equaliser and the assist for Hayes' winner.

St. Joseph's: Ben Bunyan; Adam Murphy, Nathan O'Hanlon (capt.), Ethan Freeman, Nathan Dixon; Eoin Murphy, Conor Larkin, Ross McGovern, Callum O'Reilly; Glenn McEvoy, Ryan Leacy. Subs. - Shay Hayes for Larkin (55), also Robert Foley, Pádraic Moran, Matt Curtin.

Campile United: Neil Ennis; Evan Lyng, Ben Cummins, Jordan Murphy-Parle, Barry Walshe-Howlin; Jim Wallace, Cathal Mernagh, Darragh Kent (capt.), Dean Roberts; Jack White, Nigel Dunne-Sheriff. Subs. - Joe O'Sullivan for Walshe-Howlin (55), Matthew Foley for White (60), Danny Nolan for Dunne-Sheriff (72), also Colm Dawkins.

Referee: Kieran Dunne.

Wexford People

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