PREVIEW: U14 Boys bid for All-Ireland glory
Our U14 Boys Interleague team will play Kerry this Saturday afternoon in UL Astro where they will bid to deliver a National Cup Title for the Limerick Desmond Schoolboys/girls league, the last team to do this was the 2016 U15 Boys team who won the title in Cahir Park beating North Dublin 3-2. Manager Niall O’Connor along with his management team of Tommy O’Connor & Kevin Taylor are hopeful of victory this weekend.
We started the trial process back in October with eighty five trialists in Killeaney AFC and after five weeks of trials we picked a provisional squad up until January where we made the decision to name a twenty man Kennedy Cup squad so it meant the unfortunate task of cutting the squad however little did we know that we would be contesting the Cup final the day after St Patricks Day, we are excited for Saturday and what lies in store.
The twenty man squad led by captain Rowan Collins have been working hard in training and in friendly matches and of course in the subway championship games where we have a very good record. We have won our 4 matches, scoring 15 goals and conceding just 4 in four fantastic team performances. Our journey began away back in November vs North Tipp in Moneygall. Where we won 5-1, scorers on the day were Dylan Buckley 2, Tiarnan Kelly 2 & Brooklyn Delahunty, we showed great resolve that day as we went a goal down and had to respond. Next up after Christmas we played the last group game vs Clare at home in Adare Manor Fields Astro. The same scoreline ensued, a 5-1 victory for Desmonds, Michael Kirby put us in front with Brooklyn grabbing a hattrick and Dylan Buckley scoring again.
After finishing top of our group we drew Donegal away in the quarter final, a daunting 600km plus round trip up north, however the team performed superbly winning 2-0, right back Ryan Foley opened the scoring with his first goal for Desmonds, rounded off by a Tiarnan Kelly header minutes from time, again good mentality and resolve shown by the team who not only won but kept a deserved clean sheet. Victory meant a home semi final vs North Eastern Counties in splendid Killeaney, We got the tonic start leading two nil after eight minutes thanks to goals from Eamon O’Sullivan, his first for Desmonds, and creative midfielder Seán O’Flynn, leading two nil at half time we knew NECSL would come out of the blocks in the second half and that they did pulling a goal back. However a fifth goal in four games for Brooklyn Delahunty meant that despite the late goal from NECSL we would go through to the cup final v Kerry on this Saturday the 18th March in UL.
Finally, I would like to thank firstly this special group of players who have given us so much joy on the pitch these last few months and have shown that hard work, team work and the will to learn does not go unrewarded. As stated earlier, the boys are a real hard working team who never miss training, friendlies or team events, Win or Lose on Saturday we are extremely proud of each and every one of them. I would also like to thank the coaches, Tommy & Kevin who are extremely dedicated and share a collective love for the game and this team. I would like to thank the parents who are extremely supportive of every one of the boys and of course bring them where they need to be for Training & Matches. I would like to thank the League Committee for their support, the referees who have refereed all our games including friendly matches which allow the team to develop together as a unit. I would like to thank Brian Hogan and all the staff at the Adare Manor Fields Astro where we have trained for the last 18 months. If I have forgotten someone it was not done intentionally.
One last thing to say, Let’s bring home the Cup!
Limerick Desmond U14 Boys Squad: Rowan Collins (c) (Shountrade AFC), Zach Bennis (vc) (Dromore Utd), Cian Barry (Dromore Utd), Eoin Hennessy (Breska Rvs), Ben Hough (Creeves Celtic), John Ross O’Reilly (Breska Rvs), Ryan Foley (Breska Rvs), Tiarnan Kelly (NCW Town), Seán O’Flynn (Broadford Utd), Brooklyn Delahunty (Dromore Utd), Aaron Murphy (Abbeyfeale Utd), Eamon O’Sullivan (Shountrade AFC), Dylan Buckley (GB Rvs), Mikolaj Pater (NCW Town), Sheagh Mulvihill (GB Rvs), Charlie McCarthy (Shountrade AFC), Andrew Johnson (Shountrade AFC), Thomas McMahon (Dromore Utd). Matthew Walshe (NCW Town), Michael Kirby (Shountrade AFC)
Management: Niall O’Connor (Breska Rvs), Tommy O’Connor (Dromore Utd), Kevin Taylor (Breska Rvs)