ARKLOW CELTIC……….. 1 ROUNDWOOD AFC……. 5
ROUNDWOOD claimed the WDSL U16 Coral Leisure Plate with an emphatic Final victory over Arklow Celtic.
Leading 2-0 at the break on the grass pitch at Bridgewater Centre Park in Arklow on Sunday afternoon, the Blue’s ran out 5-1 winners to take the crown.
By PAUL DOWLING
They were never really troubled by the opponents after taking the lead midway through the opening period.
Conor Fee swung in a 21st minute free left-footed from the right of the penalty box. Andrew Watters won a looping header at the back post. It dropped just under the bar as Arklow goalkeeper Cormac Murray tried to claim under pressure from Matt Nolan. But a ‘Celtic player won the aerial duel only to head into his own net.
But their second goal two minutes deep into injury time was well worked.
Sub Jack Wolohan took a throw and received the ball back off Fee wide left. The full back drove a cross deep across the box were John Paul Nolan lost his marker to plant a brilliant header to the postage stamp of the right corner of the net.
Any hope of a comeback was put off six minutes after the turnaround. But there was more than a hint of controversy to it.
Fee broke clear along the left flank and sent a delivery across the face of goal. Enda Byrne arrived at the back post to convert.
Arklow claimed it was handball. But referee Willie O’Brien took direction from his assistant Tony Doran that the striker that put the ball over the line with the wide of his stomach.
A fantastic team move brought the Vartry side’s fourth score in the 65th minute.
Custodian Cian Timmons launched a long kick. It was flicked on by Watters which released John Paul Nolan down the left-wing. His precise back across into the box picked out James Cardiff. He side-stepped an opponent to slot low to the net from 14-yards with a placed finish.
‘Celtic – playing in all black rather than their traditional Green and White – pulled one back with seven minutes to go.
Murray’s long free from inside his own half went straight down the middle. The ball evaded everybody with ‘Celtic captain Craig Caulfield poking past Timmons low from ten-yards.
But there was still time for the Blue’s to notch a fifth in the 78th minute.
Fee threaded a pass down the left flank. Enda Byrne jinked inside a tackle. He was then challenged as he shot from 15-yards. The ball deflected across goal were Ben Kirwan reacted to score close in.
Roundwood will try and do a double when they face Coolboy Rangers in the
U16 Premier Division JAKO Cup Final on Sunday June 23 at the Carlisle Ground sin Bray.
ARKLOW CELTIC: Cormac Murray; Niall Myler, Craig Caulfield, Adam Mullervy, Kuba Kurzyna; Darragh Synnott, Paul O’Connor; Cian Reilly, Sean Britchfield, Lee Walker; Ronan Gilpin. SUBS: Sean Pocu, Ciaran O’Keeffe, Alex Chadwick, Evan Molloy.
ROUNDWOOD AFC: Cian Timmons; Donal Byrne, Ciaran Murphy, Kian Johnson, Ben Kiernan; John Paul Nolan, Andrew Watters, Matt Nolan, Conor Fee; Enda Byrne, James Cardiff. SUBS: Josh Kennedy, Thomas Murphy, Jack Wolohan, Lorcan Smith.
REFEREE: Willie O’Brien. ASSISTANTS: Seamus Ferguson, Tony Doran.