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WICKLOW U15S FINALLY SECURE TITLE AT FOURTH TIME OF ASKING

WICKLOW ROVERS B…. 3 AVONMORE FC…. 1

By PAUL DOWLING

AT THE fourth time of asking, Wicklow secured their first Wicklow District Schoolboy League Under 15 K&K Windows Premier League win of the season.

After failing behind to Avonmore at Whitegates on Saturday morning, Ruaidhri Kelly netted a brace to put the Green and White’s 2-1 ahead at the interval.

The end-to-end action late on saw the match result hang by a thread.

On the hour mark, the visitors’ Christian Carter struck a reverse shot across goal right to left with the ball agonisingly rebounding off the upright back into Alex Higgins arms. Moments later at the other end, Robert Cherry’s 35-yard lob dropped inches wide.

The Rathdrum side didn’t learn from that as in the 65th minute, James Fagan intercepted Brooklyn Busher’s goal-kick. But again, his long-range lob dropped just wide.

From the goal-kick that followed, Cherry won possession on the edge of the box off an Avonmore player. And fired in from 16-yards to seal victory.

After losing their first two outings to Rathnew AFC (3-1) and Ashford Rovers (2-1), Avonmore had made it third time lucky defeating Roundwood AFC 5-1 at Tullylusk.

They started well and went ahead in the fifth minute.

Ryan Kavanagh burst towards goal 40-yards out. His path was blocked by two defenders just outside the penalty box. One of them appeared to fall on the ball. But referee Willie O’Brien played a good advantage as Kavanagh reacted first to the loose ball and shot to the net from 14-yards.

Rovers had lost 4-2 to Arklow Town (at Bridgewater Centre Park); 5-1 at home to Coolboy Rangers and 2-0 away to Ashford Rovers (at Ballinalea Park).

Yet, they drew level in the ninth minute.

Alex Byrne’s free into the box saw Busher bravely punch. He then superbly saved Fagan’s follow-up shot. But Kelly finally forced the ball over the goal-line.

With half time looming, Wicklow hit the front. After good work by substitute Tiernan O’Brien, play was spread wide right. Zach Harris sent over a handing cross which got caught in the wind. Busher got his fingertips to the ball which led to a scramble before Kelly slotted in just yards out.

Kavanagh went close to equalising in the 41st minute. However, he dragged wide of the target after surging past two tackles off the right flank.

The winger then headed off his own line in the 43rd minute when clearing Byrne’s cross-shot. Fagan pounced on the loose ball but Busher made a fine save. Tomas Kennedy was first to the rebound. Yet, his effort found the side-netting.

WICKLOW ROVERS B: Alex Higgins; Alex Byrne, Rory Hannon, Ben Patterson, Luke Dunne; Zach Harris, James Fagan, Tomas Kennedy, Ruaidhri Kelly; Robert Cherry; Alexander Gallet. SUBS: Tiernan O’Brien, Josh Kelly, Conor Lacey.

AVONMORE FC: Brooklyn Busher; Conor Doyle, Kyle Byrne, Chris Boucher, James Woolmington; Lee Walker, Glenn Broughan, Sean Fleming, Ryan Kavanagh; Christian Carter, Caleb Fox. SUB: Josh Kavanagh.

REFEREE: Willie O’Brien.

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