U14 Boys SFAI Interleague All Ireland Cup Quarter Final Result
Limerick Desmond 2 (Ryan Foley & Tiarnan Kelly)
Limerick Desmond made the long trip to Diamond park in Ballyare, Co.Donegal last Saturday to play their All Ireland Quarter final and it proved to be a fruitful journey as they came away with a two nil away win against Donegal.
The home team started brightly winning a few free kicks around the box and putting in some dangerous balls to which the Limerick Desmond defence along with captain in goals Zach Bennis dealt with expertly. The first half came down to a midfield battle with the ball rarely staying in either half for long periods. Donegal were testing on the right wing with their dangerous winger, however left back Aaron Murphy dealt expertly with him throughout the first half.
Limerick Desmond settled after 15 minutes and got into a passing rhythm with Seán O’Flynn and Eoin Hennessy getting a foothold in centre mid, Striker Tiarnan Kelly who worked hard all day had his first shot in anger on 19 minutes when Bennis released winger Eamon O’Sullivan who linked well with Ryan Foley thus releasing striker Kelly, who fired just wide with an early shot from outside the box.
Desmonds hit the front on the stroke of half time with the move of the game, Tiarnan Kelly holding the ball up well and linking with winger Dylan Buckley & Substitute Brooklyn Delahunty, it was a whipped cross from Buckley which found Eamon O’Sullivan on the back post, he was dispossessed by the defender with the ball falling to right back Ryan Foley to prod home with his left foot, his first goal for Limerick Desmond and an important one. After the kick off the referee blew for Half time.
The second half was a tense affair for the first 15 minutes with the Desmond team staying nice and tight and in a good shape, they had to defend some deadball deliveries from Donegal. Hennessy & O’Flynn were impressive in centre mid winning a lot of ball and creating some half chances for the forwards. Donegal were looking for their right winger a lot in the early stages in the second half but Murphy had his number all game and reduced him to only half chances at getting forward.
Fifty minutes into the game with Donegal pressing looking for an equaliser, a great combined block from centre backs John Ross O’Reilly & Ben Hough denied the Donegal full back getting his shot on target. Minutes later Hough was on hand to clear a dangerous ball from their no.10. Netminder Zach Bennis gathering the resulting cross from the Full back for Donegal.
Limerick Desmond stemmed the pressure and started to gradually grow back into the game again. On 59 minutes, Thomas McMahon combined with Delahunty who released Tiarnan Kelly only for the keeper to gather the ball at the second attempt. Some lovely intricate play and a sublime ball from Seán O’Flynn put McMahon in down the line who crossed first time on his right foot to Kelly who’s shot at the second attempt was blocked.
Two minutes later and it was 2-0 to Limerick Desmond, A clearance from Ben Hough found its way bouncing in the box and Kelly jumped for a brave header with the keeper and headed home to put the game beyond all doubt to the delight of the travelling crowd. There was still time for more chances for Limerick Desmond with substitute Matthew Walshe shot being saved by the keeper only for Kelly to see the resulting header deflect off the Donegal defender and go over the bar.
Sub Keeper Andrew Johnson was introduced and had a couple of crosses, and shots to deal with from Donegal. There was also a last gasp tackle at the end from Sheagh Mulvihill that prevented a certain consolation goal, but it wasn’t to be and Limerick Desmond heald out for a famous victory up North and a crucial clean sheet.
This result sets up a home semi final in the All Ireland SFAI Cup to North Eastern Counties League in a couple of weeks, Date, Time & Venue to be announced however we would like to get a huge crowd to cheer on the team and management as they look to try and secure a first Interleague final place since 2016 for Limerick Desmond.
Team: Zach Bennis (C), Ryan Foley, Ben Hough, John Ross O’Reilly, Aaron Murphy, Eoin Hennessy, Seán O’Flynn, Eamon O’Sullivan, Michael Kirby, Dylan Buckley, Tiarnan Kelly. Subs used: Brooklyn Delahunty, Andrew Johnson, Thomas McMahon, Matthew Walshe, Charlie McCarthy, Sheagh Mulvhill.