Carrigaline United face tough test against Cherry Orchard in U16 cup decider

Carrigaline United face tough test against Cherry Orchard in U16 cup decider
Robert Leonard, Carrigaline United, is put under pressure from John O’Sullivan, Leeds during their U16 National Cup match at Ballea Park earlier this season. Picture: Dan Linehan

AFTER beating Shannon Town away from home last Saturday, Carrigaline United have only a few days to prepare for this weekend’s SFAI Skechers National Cup final in Dublin against Cherry Orchard.
However, manager Jack Kent is confident his players are ready for their biggest test to date.

The Carrigaline United manager has watched on as his team overcame some talented sides over the campaign and Kent is hopeful the players can produce one more winning display this weekend. Carrigaline United’s excellent form in the Cork rounds saw them beating Leeside, Leeds and Springfield Ramblers. 

Their first clash in the national rounds was against Tramore AFC. Tramore did their best to upset the odds on the day but Carrigaline were too strong and the home side deserved their 5-2 win. 

A closer tie followed in the next round with Carrigaline again making use of the home advantage to progress to the next round at the expense of opponents Ardee Celtic. 

Again, Carrigaline United were drawn at home in the next round and St Joseph’s Boys made the trip to Cork. On the day, Carrigaline won 5-2 and their reward was a place in the semi-finals. 

Rob Leonard, Ciaran Crotty, Jamie Moore and Derry Howard were among the players to impress against Shannon Town but Kent praised the entire team for their work ethic and attitude throughout the entire campaign. 

“We have a great bunch of lads in the squad and they are all buzzing at the moment. We will concentrate on light training leading up to the final and it is important to remember that we may have won the battle in the semi-final last weekend, but the war is not over and we must go again in the final. 

“We have a very honest group of players and I know they will be going into the final against Cherry Orchard in a very positive manner and we will be hoping to bring the National Cup trophy back to Carrigaline.” 

As it happens it is ten years almost to the day that manager Jack Kent and assistant Ray Linehan experienced a heart-breaking penalty shootout National final defeat to Belvedere. 

“We took the U17s to the National final in Turners Cross 10 years ago only to lose to Belvedere on penalties so hopefully we will have a successful outcome this time around with the U16s.” 

Kent had high praise for a number of individuals at the club. 

“I would like to thank club chairman Wille Walsh for all his help and the management team including physio Paudie O’Brien. I would also like to thank the parents of our players for their support and everyone involved in the club also for their positivity.”

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