WICKLOW TOWN AFC…….. 2 AVONMORE FC……… 0
Two second half goals saw Wicklow Town capture the Wicklow League Youth Cup.
Skipper Jack Colaluca’s deflected drive and a Jack Meaney volley saw the Finlay Park based outfit take the final honours at Shamrock Park in Rathnew to deny Avonmore a potential treble.
The Rathdrum club had won the (four-side competing) John Tobin Youth League before Christmas.
And the two teams are currently battling it out for the (six-club) U18 John Tobin Youth Shield silverware.
But the Yellow and Blue’s endured early scares to take the trophy having only officially moved up from the WDSL last January.
The ‘Town hit the front on 59 minutes.
Meaney, Dan Fitzsimons and Scott Sheridan were all involved around the ‘D. The ball ran kindly to Colaluca who drove low from 22-yards out. The ball took a deflection off an opponent that diverted it into the bottom left hand corner of the net, past the diving Aidan Murray.
The vital second goal arrived with 18 minutes of normal time remaining.
Colaluca played a through ball from the left channel. It came off the head of an Avonmore player. And dropped to the breaking Meaney who steered in a hooked volley from 14-yards.
The score was a double whammy for Avonmore.
They had felt that Wicklow forward could have been dismissed for a high challenge on Luke Kearney inside their penalty area in the 43rd minute. Yet,
referee Dominique Lachaussée chose to brandish a yellow card.
Chances wise in the opening period, they fell to the Rathdrum side.
With just eight minutes gone, Mark Cullen latched onto Murray’s long punt up the middle. The attacker rounded ‘Town custodian Fionn O’Reilly. But the covering Mark Whelan cleared in front of the unguarded goal.
Less than a minute later, Cian Ward’s cross from the left-wing crashed back off the crossbar.
Then in the 38th minute, Mark Cullen again gathered Murray’s long-kick. He slipped between two defenders on the left-flank to hit a 20-yard shot. However, Luke Kelly blocked before the goal-line at the expense of a corner.
In terms of the Shield, Wicklow Town are currently five points clear of Avonmore who they must play in their final outing in the competition.
But the Yellow and Blacks have three fixtures in hand.
With the Leaving Certificate starting next Wednesday, it is unclear when they games will actually be played.
WICKLOW TOWN AFC: Fionn O’Reilly; Mark Whelan, Callum Kelly, Luke Durac-McGowan, Luke Kelly; Scott Sheridan, Alex Glynn, Craig Anderson, Jack Colaluca; Dan Fitzsimons, Jack Meaney. SUBS: Cian Kelly (for Fitzsimons 70 mins), Conor Collier (for Anderson 77 mins), Cian O’Brien (for Glynn 90 mins), Caolan Mooney, Ciaran Byrne, Jamie Noble, Nathan Wynne (all not used).
AVONMORE FC: Aidan Murray; Luke Kearney, Zach Cullen, Ryan Kenny; Cody Reid, Andrew Brancato, Liam Dickenson, Dale Fluskey, Cian Ward; Mark Cullen; Dean Carter. SUBS: Sean Leonard (for Kearney 54 mins), Keelan Busher (for Reid 59 mins), Alex Olohan (for Dickenson 79 mins), Daniel Morley (for Carter 87 mins), John Porter, Drew Murray (both not used).
REFEREE: Dominique Lachaussée. ASSISTANTS: Michael Kennedy, Seamus Byrne.