Cool­boy edge out gal­lant Ash­ford

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - SPORT - ERIC MELIA at Bal­li­nalea Park

COOL­BOY RANGERS won a tight evenly con­tested Un­der-15 Plate fi­nal against Ash­ford Rovers in Bal­li­nalea Park last Sun­day morn­ing.

An un­for­tu­nate own goal half­way through the first pe­riod been the only score of the con­test.

The open­ing stages were dom­i­nated by both de­fences with few real open­ings.

Cool­boy’s Kyle Doyle had mo­ments of trick­ery that ul­ti­mately led to noth­ing and Ash­ford’s Jake Cullen had a free drift over the bar.

Cool­boy fi­nally got the goal in the 18th minute.

Luke Wal­lace gath­ered the ball on the left wing and his cross through a plethora of bod­ies saw the keeper and de­fend­ers get in a tan­gle and the ball was un­for­tu­nately turned into his own net by an Ash­ford de­fender.

Two min­utes later Doyle was in on the Ash­ford goal only for Rovers keeper Fionn Doyle to come off his line and block away bravely. Cool­boy were in the as­cen­dancy with Mau­rice Shiels head­ing a Wal­lace cor­ner just wide be­fore Wal­lace nod­ded a ball into Kyle Doyle’s path, the speedy at­tacker did ev­ery­thing right, but the ball went nar­rowly past the Rovers post.

Once more an­other Wal­lace cor­ner saw con­ster­na­tion in the Ash­ford de­fence with the ball even­tu­ally fall­ing into Shiel’s path and his bul­let header was mirac­u­lously saved by Fionn Doyle be­fore Ash­ford cleared the dan­ger.

Cool­boy were well on top but Ash­ford had chances against the run of play. Josh Ni­cholls clipped a beau­ti­ful ball into Ben Kelly’s path how­ever the Rovers dan­ger­man screwed his ef­fort wide.

Most of the link up play went through Kelly who looked lively.

Cool­boy cen­tre-back MacDara O’Neill was snuff­ing out most of Rovers at­tacks through good po­si­tion­ing and brav­ery.

Cool­boy’s next change came when Odhran Doyle mazy run through the Rovers saw his shot blocked away be­fore Kyle Doyle has an­other ef­fort just past the post.

Luke Fitz­patrick worked Cool­boy keeper Louis Judge with the last shot of the half which the keeper par­ried away com­fort­ably.

The sec­ond half started dif­fer­ently with Ash­ford shoot­ing down the hill they were search­ing for the equaliser.

How­ever, Cool­boy were al­ways a dan­ger on the counter-at­tack.

The first chance fell to Cullen whose ac­ro­batic scis­sor kick was straight at keeper Judge. Next at­tack Adam Kearns floated in a free that saw Ni­chols nod just wide. These two com­bined again mo­ments later with Ni­cholls rasp­ing shot blocked away by O’Neill.

O’Neill was re­ally ex­cel­lent in de­fence and for a big man he showed great com­po­sure play­ing ball out from the back.

A Fitz­patrick free saw Ash­ford cen­tre-back David But­ler boot an ef­fort over. Cool­boy were still dan­ger­ous with Shiels re­leas­ing winger Odhran Doyle down the wing and his ball across the six­yard box nar­rowly miss­ing Wal­lace who made up mas­sive ground in an ef­fort to get there.

Cool­boy’s Shane Byrne had a header well saved by Fionn Doyle again.

With 15 min­utes to go, Fitz­patrick twice put Shane Syn­nott into space 25 yards out. The com­bat­ive mid­field­ers first ef­fort sailed wide left his sec­ond was mil­lime­ters to the right of the goal. It just did not seem to be Rovers’ day.

With six min­utes to go, Rovers fi­nally got the chance they craved. Fitz­patrick once more com­bined with Syn­nott this time the mid­fielder spread wide to Kearns and the tricky left winger drew a penalty with a bit of trick­ery.

Fitz­patrick stood up to take but re­ally stay­ing in line with the rest of Ash­ford’s day the ace marks­man put his ef­fort over.

The last few min­utes saw Cool­boy have the best chance with Doyle blaz­ing over un­der pres­sure.

An en­ter­tain­ing con­test with good per­form­ers on both sides.

Best for Ash­ford were Fionn Doyle, Luke Fitz­patrick and Ben Cullen.

For the vic­tors, Kyle Doyle and Luke Wal­lace were al­ways dan­ger­ous. How­ever, man of the match was MacDara O’Neill who was an in­sur­mount­able wall in de­fence. In the air or on the ground he was al­ways there to re­pel the Ash­ford at­tacks.

Stephen O’Leary of Cobh Ram­blers looks for a way around Hugh Dou­glas of Bray Wan­der­ers.

A de­lighted Cool­boy team cel­e­brate af­ter the match.

Ash­ford’s Evan Byrne and Cal­lum Pat­ter­son from Cool­boy bat­tle for pos­ses­sion.

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