Cool­boy see off Wick­low

Bray People - - SPORT - JAMES NOLAN At White­gates


IT WAS take two in the un­der-16 Pre­mier Cup semi-fi­nal be­tween Wick­low Rovers and Cool­boy Rangers.

The tie was orig­i­nally played two weeks ago with Cool­boy com­ing out 2-1 vic­tors but the fix­ture was re­played this week due to con­fu­sion over a Rangers player's sus­pen­sion.

The end re­sult of this game matched that of the pre­vi­ous with Cool­boy win­ning by two goals to one. It had all the in­gre­di­ents to be a cracker with Rangers win­ning the un­der-16 Pre­mier League and Rovers fin­ish­ing run­ners up ear­lier this sea­son.

Cool­boy took the lead af­ter 11 min­utes. Adam Barnes went on a run down the left flank, Barnes swung a deep cross into Rian Daunt Smyth who fired past Cal­lum Vick­ers to give the vis­i­tors an early lead. Rovers nearly hit back im­me­di­ately.

Kevin O'Hal­lo­ran saw a gap in the Rangers de­fence, fir­ing a low shot from range inches wide of the post.

The game seemed to be wide open in the first pe­riod; there was po­ten­tial goals in it for ei­ther side if they could cre­ate the chances. Mid way through the half Adam Barnes went on a sim­i­lar run to the one that lead to the ear­lier goal but the winger only man­aged to shoot across the box and harm­lessly wide.

Ten min­utes later Wick­low had their best chance of the half to level the scor­ing. Colin O'Toole laid off Kevin O'Hal­lo­ran who let fly from a dis­tance, Cool­boy cus­to­dian Nathan Keane par­ried the ef­fort but no­body was there to tap in for Rovers.

Rovers were com­ing into the game to­wards the end of the half, en­joy­ing a fair share of pos­ses­sion in­side the guests half with­out cre­at­ing many note­wor­thy chances. Stop­page time of the first half saw Kevin O'Hal­lo­ran shoot wide once more.

Wick­low made two changes at the break in the hope of pulling the game level and in their favour.

The in­tro­duc­tion of Ben Flem­ing brought fresh hopes as he has bagged plenty of goals from the bench this cam­paign. Cool­boy had a great chance to dou­ble their ad­van­tage in the 54th minute but Cal­lum Vick­ers con­fi­dently came out off his line to nar­row the an­gle and stop Rian Daunt Smyth's shot. The rest of the game fol­lowed the same pat­tern that was in place at the end of the first half with Rovers en­joy­ing large amounts of the ball. De­spite this Cool­boy nicked a sec­ond goal up the other end in the 62nd minute when Adam Barnes coolly slot­ted the ball into the Rovers net to make it 0-2.

Cool­boy al­ways looked dan­ger­ous in at­tack and the hosts got caught out over com­mit­ting go­ing for­ward in search of the equaliser.

Wick­low then had a great op­por­tu­nity. A mas­sive clus­ter of play­ers in the penalty area lead to a scrappy scram­ble in the box with Colin O'Toole and sub­sti­tutes Ben Flem­ing and Oisin Breen hav­ing chances to turn the ball in, the lat­ter of the at­tempts was de­flected wide.

Andrew Earls swung the cor­ner that fol­lowed into the box, cen­tre back Brian O'Sul­li­van headed in the di­rec­tion of Kevin O'Hal­lo­ran who blasted the knock down over the bar.

Time was run­ning out for the green and white's, in the 78th minute Andrew Earls forced Keane into his first save of the half with a low and hard drive. Once again the shot was par­ried and no­body was home to stick the ball in the net.

Plenty of in­jury time was added due to nu­mer­ous stop­pages through­out the half. In the fourth minute of added time Rovers were awarded a penalty when the ball struck the hand of a Cool­boy de­fender. Kevin O'Hal­lo­ran stepped up to take the spot kick, smash­ing the ball un­der­neath the keeper and into the back of the net. This was the very last kick of the game, it was too lit­tle too late for Wick­low.

Rovers had lots of pos­ses­sion and if they could of cre­ated just a few more clear cut chances they may have scored ear­lier on. Cool­boy showed what they were made of go­ing for­ward, at­tack­ing with lots of pace.

Top Form: Colin O'Toole (Wick­low Rovers): De­spite be­ing on the los­ing side, the Rovers front man never stopped run­ning and never gave up. If he was de­ployed a bit more he could of done dam­age.

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