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Saturday 22 September 2018

North End on top in Donegal

One victory from three tough outings in S.F.A.I. Cups

It was a mixed bag for the Wexford and District Schoolboys Soccer League sides involved in S.F.A.I. Skechers Cup action last weekend, with one win and two losses in three last 16 encounters.

In the Under-12 tournament, Forth Celtic had the unenviable task of taking on St. Kevin's Boys. They gave it a good go and pulled the game back to 1-1 early in the second-half, but eventually the north Dublin side showed their quality, moving clear to win 4-1.

The Murrintown lads still have a South-East semi-final against Evergreen to look forward to in the coming weeks.

North End United Under-15s also played on Saturday, hosting Tipperary club Peake Villa in Curracloe. The Wexford club took the lead early and then, after two Villa goals, grabbed an equaliser before the break, but eventually fell 3-2 after extra-time.

North End will get a chance for revenge when the sides meet again in the regional semi-finals.

There was better news for the club's Under-16s. They made the long trip to Donegal for their last 16 tie but it proved a worthwhile excursion, with the Belvedere boys securing a 3-1 victory against Quigley's Point Swifts and with it a spot in the quarter-finals of the national competition.

Meanwhile, back in the Wexford cup, there was a back fixture to be played in the Under-11s. The victors were Shamrock Rovers, advancing 4-3 in an entertaining clash with All Blacks. They are the 16th and last side into the third round and they will host Oylegate.

The top two are starting to seperate themselves from the challengers after a fascinating weekend in Under-13 Division 1.

Moyne Rangers went to Kilmuckridge and came away with a 3-0 win against St. Joseph's, while Gorey Rangers were too strong for New Ross Celtic. Both sides are now six points clear of Forth Celtic but the season is yet to reach the halfway point.

Things in Division 1A are unbelievably tight. There is now a three-way tie at the summit after leaders Blackwater and Glynn Barntown drew.

Fastnet Rovers stunned Wexford Albion 5-4 in a thriller to join the top two on twelve points. North End didn't play and are a point back, while Albion are five points behind with games in hand.

With Bunclody inactive, Shamrock Rovers and Rosslare Rangers took full advantage. The two winners started the day four points back in Division 2 but now move within the minimum after sterling victories over Oylegate and Curracloe respectively. Elsewhere, St. Cormac's picked up their first win of the season against Wexford Celtic.

Corach Ramblers put a couple of fingers on the Division 2A trophy after thumping their closest rivals for the title, Cloughbawn, 7-1.

With two games still to go they now hold a three-point lead and know that four more points will be enough to clinch the silverware. Adamstown kept their slim hopes alive with an away win at Ballymurn Celtic.

There is no slowing New Ross Town B at the top of the Division 3 table. They were a perfect six from six going into the weekend and further enhanced their title credentials with a big win in Ferns.

All Blacks kept their slim hopes alive by beating Gorey Celtic B, while Gorey Rangers against Camolin Celtic was called off.

Division 3A is now officially a two-horse race after Rathnure edged a tight contest with Tombrack. Kilmore also won at the weekend, meaning they are tied at the summit with the Blackstairs boys, but Rathnure do have one extra game to play - three as opposed to two.

It's a long way back for Campile in Division 4 after they went to The Ballagh and were beaten 3-0 by their hosts. They are now three points behind their top of the table rivals, and Ballagh United will clinch the title by taking four points from their final two games.

New Ross Town won the last remaining fixture in the second round of the Under-15 Cup at the weekend, and their reward for that win over Bridge Rovers is a quarter-final meeting at St. Cormac's.

Meanwhile, the only game played in Division 1 finished scoreless between Gorey Rangers and Enniscorthy Town. It was hardly an ideal result for either but the latter do move to the top of the table for the time being.

St. Leonards leapfrogged Wexford Celtic at the top of the Division 1A table, winning 2-1 at St. Cormac's. The Sinnottstown Lane club have two games in hand are just a point behind after their clash with New Ross Celtic was postponed.

Shamrock Rovers, winners against Ballymurn, joined Rosslare Strand at the top of the Division 2 table after the seasiders' game was postponed.

In Division 3, a draw with rivals Celtic suited Gorey Rangers B just fine as they remain nine points ahead with four games remaining.

Finally, after featuring in these pages two weeks ago, there were celebrations for Kilmore in Division 2A. A 6-2 win against Moyne Rangers was enough to see them into an unassailable position with two games remaining as, having won all eight in the league so far this season, they are champions.

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