ROVERS RUN RIOT
Webster hat-trickseals final place
SHAMROCK ROVERS ST. LEONARDS 5 0
A MIKEY Webster hat-trick laid the foundations for a stunning Shamrock Rovers victory as they qualified for the Wexford and District Schoolboys Soccer Under-15 Cup final in Peter Quinn Park recently.
Attacking down the right and invariably arriving on the scene with impeccable timing, Webster got his side into a strong position at the break, made it 3-0 after the interval, and watched on as Mylie Fortune and Seán Fitzpatrick wrapped up a spot in the decider.
This has been an incredible run for the Enniscorthy boys from Division 2.
They handed Gorey Rangers ‘B’ their only defeat of the season in the first round, sent Division 1A New Ross Celtic packing in round two, and knocked Gorey Rangers ‘A’ out in the quarters.
In that kind of form, and flying high at the top of their table, they probably went into this contest as slight favourites against a St. Leonards side near the end of a sterling season themselves, currently sitting second in Division 1A.
There was a clear contrast in styles from the off. The visitors packed the centre of the field and often looked to spring their attackers from deep positions.
Rovers were a bit more expansive and looked to work the ball on the ground from the flanks into their superb attacking talent.
The style clash resulted in a fascinating first-half. St. Leonards were strong through the middle and won a lot of individual battles but struggled to break down their hosts.
Rovers looked a constant threat in the final third and it was no surprise when they took the lead in the tenth minute.
The excellent Seán Fitzpatrick did the hard work, and his pass was deflected into the path of Webster who coolly fired home to make it 1-0.
The second, which arrived in the 23rd minute, was similar. This time Tadhg English cut in and saw his off-load rebound to Webster, and he was ice-cool again with a classy low finish past Dean Sinnott.
The closest St. Leonards came was an almighty goalmouth scramble just before the break that saw Conor Power’s shot hooked off the line.
The third goal was clearly going to be huge, and Rovers got it when Fitzpatrick ghosted through and unselfishly squared for Webster to tap into the empty net.
With the vast majority of their squad still Under-14, Shamrock Rovers were buzzing with confidence.
Eoin McGrath split the defence open in the 59th minute and Fortune tapped home before Fitzpatrick netted the fifth with a fierce strike from the edge of the area to book a cup final date with St. Joseph’s of Kilmuckridge.
Shamrock Rovers: Jamie Fitzpatrick; Shadragh Onwubiko, Jamie Kealy, George Spencer, Conor Holloway; Mikey Webster, Jamie Donnelly, Darragh Farrell, Tadhg English; Seán Fitzpatrick, Mylie Fortune. Subs. - Luke Boxwell, Jason Ogwueleka, Maxwell Shoyeju, Eoin McGrath.
St. Leonards: Dean Sinnott; Cormac Kiely, Shane Culleton, Eoin Power; Evan Russell, Liam Burke; Shane Ryan, Michael Mulligan, Ciarán Honan, A.J. Bennett; Alan O’Grady. Subs. (rolling) - Cian Swan, Brian Foley, Keith Kelly, Conor Power.
Referee: Ger Morris.
Mikey Webster (6, left) slotting home the second of his three goals for Shamrock Rovers. Shadragh Onwubiko (Shamrock Rovers) closing down A.J. Bennett of St. Leonards. Ciarán Honan (St. Leonards) gives Mikey Webster the slip.
The Shamrock Rovers squad who have an Under-15 Cup final appearance to look forward to in the coming weeks. Seán Fitzpatrick (Shamrock Rovers) in a battle for the ball with Eoin Power (St. Leonards).