Monday 18 December 2017

Youths begin defence with win in Waterford

The Wexford Youths squad who got off to a winning start on Sunday last.
The Wexford Youths squad who got off to a winning start on Sunday last.

WEXFORD YOUTHS Under-18s began the defence of their All-Ireland F.A.I. Youth Cup title on Sunday last, an away tie with Waterford Bohs, the team they beat in last year's semi-final.

It was daunting to have to play such a strong side as Bohs in the first round and it proved to be an epic encounter between two outstanding teams.

The Youths withstood a lot of early pressure from the home side but managed to get on top as the half wore on and grabbed a super goal just before the interval, courtesy of Jason McHugh.

The second-half was end-to-end stuff and the Youths only made the game safe in the dying minutes when Conor Maher played a ball that Johnny Giles would have been proud of, for Daryll Power to finish with style.

This was a super game of football which was a credit to both sides. Referee James McGrath was nothing short of excellent, and I still don't understand why we see better refereeing at Under-18 level than at League of Ireland, which leaves much to be desired.

It was impossible to pick a man of the match for the Youths, it was such a team performance, with Danielius Niekis in goal, Dale Scallan at sweeper, behind Ryan Delaney and Cian Boggan who were rock solid.

A midfield six of Donal Shanley, Eoin Dunne, Tony Smith, Daryll Power, Conor Maher and Nevin Rossiter worked themselves to a standstill, behind the excellent Jason McHugh up front.

The large crowd were certainly well entertained by the football on show.

Happy days - another historic win that should prove of immeasurable benefit to the latest kids on the block.

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