O'Meara nets cup clincher
St. Joseph's see off Celtic
Eoin O'Meara was the St. Joseph's hero when his goal nine minutes from full-time won the Wexford and District Schoolboys Soccer Under-12 Cup final for his side in Ramstown on Monday.
St. Joseph's 1 Gorey Celtic 0
In a game of limited clearcut chances, O'Meara pounced on a rebound after Ben Ryan brilliantly saved Seamie O'Hagan's shot to the right of goal. The St. Joseph's goalscorer didn't have time to think about his chance but kept his cool and stroked coolly to the empty net to break Gorey Celtic hearts.
It came after 51 minutes of a defence-dominated game. Neither side deserved to lose this one and it took one moment of inspiration to separate two very evenly-matched, classy football teams. The concession of the late goal was harsh on Celtic who, led by the exceptional Aidan Mulcahy, were excellent defensively.
Yet the Kilmuckridge boys were their match on the day. They were stabilised at the back by official man of the match Jason Wallace and looked to hit Celtic on the break with ample runners willing to break forward from a heavily-populated midfield.
A nervy start produced little in the way of scoring opportunities. Both goalkeepers, Harvey Warren and Ben Ryan, snuffed out early crosses before the latter made a comfortable save from Adam Doyle's shot from the edge of the penalty area.
When Jack Twomey handled Aidan Mulcahy's cross from the right, David Smyth swung over a tantalising cross that Warren claimed ahead of the lurking trio of Kyle Kenny, Luke Leavy and Oisín Byrne. The St. Jospeh's goalkeeper also saved Kenny's shot from 20 yards out to ensure the sides went in level at the interval.
After an even first-half, Celtic started the brighter after the resumption. Good play by Brendan Tobin and Leavy released Kenny momentarily but he was swarmed out by three defenders as he drove into the box.
Michael McGonigle volleyed powerfully wide in the 36th minute and Smyth forced Warren into another save two minutes later. The shot-stopper was called into action again in the 49th minute to deny McGonigle a lead goal.
Just two minutes later St. Joseph's scored the goal that eventually won them the trophy. Unsurprisingly, Celtic threw everything at their opponents in what was left but couldn't find a way through.
The closest they came was when Kenny shot from the edge of the box in the final minute but his effort whizzed over the crossbar. The win wraps up a superb double for St. Joseph's while Gorey Celtic's great season also ends with the Divison 2 league trophy in their cabinet.
Star man - Aidan Mulcahy (Gorey Celtic): composed on the ball and crunching in the tackle, the Gorey defender put in a ten out of ten type performance for his unfortunate side.
St. Joseph's: Harvey Warren; Kevin O'Connor, Michael Butler (capt.), Jason Wallace, Jack Twomey; Conor Keane, Adam Doyle, Dylan McEvoy, Seamie O'Hagan, Eoin O'Meara; Tomás Whelan. Subs. - Nikedem Czernik for Whelan (53), also Dylan Patel, Bobby Brady, Adam Back, Stephen Furlong, John Burke, Mark Ryan.
Gorey Celtic: Ben Ryan; Danny Roche, Aidan Mulcahy, Cian Hughes, Noah Maher; Oisín Byrne, David Smyth (capt.), Brendan Tobin, Michael McGonigle; Luke Leavy, Kyle Kenny. Subs. - Seán Hughes for Byrne (50), also Luca Molumphy, Seán Lynch, Finn Mulcahy, David Neville.
Referee: Kieran Dunne.